Rehabilitation 'big challenge' for India's government

India's chief minister said rehabilitation following Cyclone Phailin will be a "big challenge" for the government.

A family waits to board a boat as they return to their villages after Cyclone Phailin hit.
A family waits to board a boat as they return to their villages after Cyclone Phailin hit. Credit: REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters today, "Our top priority was to save lives and I think we've been successful. Now rehabilitation is a big challenge."

A woman walks past a fallen marquee and chairs set up for a Christian prayer service in Ranchi, India.
A woman walks past a fallen marquee and chairs set up for a Christian prayer service in Ranchi, India. Credit: REUTERS/Stringer

Nearly one million people were evacuated ahead of the cyclone hitting the coast in the country's biggest evacuation operation, India's NDTV reported.

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India evacuations 'saved lives'

Mass evacuations have spared India the widespread deaths many had feared from a powerful cyclone that roared ashore over the weekend, officials said. Nearly one million people were evacuated from the coast ahead of Cyclone Phailin making landfall.