Cyclone Damage in Puri

On May 2, 2019, Cyclone Fani made landfall in Puri, Odisha, causing devestating damage. It will take many years for the region to fully recover, and your support is greatly needed.

Our brand new school, the Father Marian Memorial Beatrix High School, suffered extensive damage, as did the Ishopanthi Ashram (our affiliated spiritual center in Puri) and Karunalaya (the lepers’ village).

Father Baptiste, who runs the Beatrix school, wrote the following note in early May:

Puri city is totally destroyed. No trees are standing, all electric poles, installations, mobile towers, roofs of hotel and houses made of asbestos or steel are blown off. All houses from the light house to Ishopanthi Ashram are blown off. The sea beach road resembles a mountain of sand. Hotels along the beach are totally destroyed with sand and rubble flown in with the storm.

Coming to more personal issues, the damage to the building and property of Karunalaya, the (Ishopanthi) Ashram, and Beatrix School is beyond words. All glass windows of the school and ashram are broken; the 10 kilowatt solar panels in the school and the 16 kilowatt solar panels in the ashram are totally destroyed and blown off; the solar panels and solar water heating system with four water tanks of the hostel are destroyed, and the main gate of the school is blown away.

You all have been with us in the thick and thin of our life in the Puri mission. I only pray God shows us the way and gives us the strength to stand amidst this destruction. I shall be grateful to you for any help you are able to extend to rebuild our lives and mission in Puri.

Thankfully, school was not in session when the cyclone hit, as Puri schools are closed during tht May–June hot season. The buildings themselves remain standing and no one in and around the school was injured. More than a thousand people took shelter inside our school during the storm. Doctors Without Borders set up a camp on the school grounds to provide medical, hygienic, and psychological assistance to the local population. After the cyclone passed, the Indian government supplied each family with 100 pounds of rice and 2000 rupees (about $30) to help them start rebuilding their shattered lives.

Damaged solar panels

Destroyed rooftop water tanks

Extensive damage to the lepers’ care center

Anything you can give is very much appreciated. You have our deepest gratitude.