Saturday, December 03, 2005

Over 100,000 people affected by rains in south India, World Vision responds-ReliefWeb

New item from ReliefWeb

Over 100,000 people have been made homeless in southern Tamil Nadu after the heaviest rains in 50 years lashed the area.

The worst devastation occurred in Cuddalore district where 500 villages have been left under water and most parts are without power. News channel NDTV reported that six lakes in the area are overflowing.

Authorities have reportedly evacuated around 100,000 people and distributed food packets to survivors. If the weather improves, authorities say it will take at least 10 days for the water to recede. The army is expected to help with rescue and relief work.

World Vision Emergency Response and Disaster Mitigation Director Franklin Joseph reported that, "Apart from the Cuddalore and Nagapattinam tsunami locations, four other ADPs [World Vision Area Development Programs] in Tamil Nadu are affected by the floods." These include Mannargudi, Karikudi , Usilampatty and Perambalur ADPs.

World Vision staff whose homes were also affected by flooding are struggling to provide relief in the target areas. "We are using the self-help groups and village development committees to carry out the relief," reported Christabel Albert, Associate Director, Chennai. "Accessibility is the main problem now. Even our staff are stranded and they are not able to reach the communities for a situation assessment."

Community development coordinators who live in the communities arranged the initial supply of food packets and biscuits. "External aid is needed to respond to a situation of this magnitude," said Christabel.

Reporting from the flood affected villages of Perambalur where World Vision works through the Perambalur ADP, Program Manager Vani Victor said that the team had helped close to 6,000 families with food over the last two days. "We are concentrating on the most affected villages, and are looking at providing dry food by tomorrow," she said.

While the situation is not so grim in Usilampatty ADP, located in Madurai district, eight target villages are under water. All community members (nearly 300 families) from these villages are now sheltered in community halls and schools.

Assistance has been provided in coordination with the government. Over 200 bed sheets along with medicines have been provided to evacuated families.

In the tsunami-affected areas, World Vision India Tsunami Response Team are responding to the needs of the villages affected by the floods.

"We are looking at a coordinated effort in consultation with the government in each of these locations," said Franklin Joseph.

© 2004 ReliefWeb

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