According to Fr Xavier Pinto of the Apostleship of the Sea, these poor communities, who live a precarious existence at the best of times, have had their world literally turned upside down. While some 80 fishermen are said to be safe, 18 fishermen were rescued from the Bay of Bengal, some 3,000 mud houses in the area have been either wiped out or damaged.
The Apostleship of the Sea port chaplain in Paradip port, Fr Chitranian Navak, has been unable to contact colleagues due to the devastation in the area. Paradip port, one of the 12 major ports in the country, remains closed while work is underway to clear damage.
Caritas India, the relief charity of the Catholic Church in India is already working in the area. Caritas India has partnered with Apostleship of the Sea on many occasions to support the welfare of the fishing communities in this region.