Wow. The last major storm hit that coast 14 years ago and killed 10,000. This one killed 21. Because a local official sat in his office working the phones and getting everybody evacuated.
"We were telling people: 'Look, you have to choose between death and life'," said Taradatt, who heads the Revenue and Disaster Management Department in the poverty-plagued eastern state of Odisha.
"Those who were not willing (to be evacuated), I was telling the local official to use force, because the rules permit that."
One guy in the capital who sees what needs to be done, volunteers to lead it himself instead of handing it off to a committee, then gives his crew the authority to handle decisions themselves, who then gave their crews that authority.
And they got a million people into storm shelters inside of 36 hours. And most of those people didn't want to go because the weather was beautiful and they didn't believe it.
It's good that they built storm shelters after the last storm, created disaster centers, and there's way more cell phones out there than there were 14 years ago. But without one guy picking up the reins there would still have been many more dead.