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The damaged railway station in Puri.AFP  

The UN agency for disaster reduction has commended the Indian Meteorological Department’s “almost pinpoint accuracy” of early warnings of Cyclone Fani that helped authorities conduct a well-targeted evacuation plan and minimise the loss of life.

“India’s zero casualty approach to managing extreme weather events is a major contribution to the implementation of the SendaiFramework,” said Mami Mizutori, head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). The Sendai Framework is a voluntary and non-binding agreement which recognises that the State has the primary role to reduce disaster risk but that responsibility should be shared with other stakeholders, including the local government.

“The almost pinpoint accuracy of the early warnings from the Indian Meteorological Department had enabled the authorities to conduct a well-targeted evacuation plan, which had involved moving more than one million people into storm shelters,” said Denis McClean, spokesperson, UNISDR.

UNISDR also tweeted about the advisory distributed by India’s National Disaster Management Authority and local authorities days before Fani made landfall in an effort to minimise loss of life and injury.

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