ACT Appeal: India: Floods ASIN62

Report
from Action by Churches Together International
Published on 24 Oct 1996
Appeal Target : US$ 440,000
Torrential rains have fallen in the coastal districts of the states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka over the past days causing widespread flooding which has lead to the loss of life, livestock and property. ACT/UELCI (United Evangelical Lutheran Churches in India) and ACT/CASA (Church s Auxiliary for Social Action) are responding with urgently required relief.

A 48 hour cyclone warning has been issued, the results of which will seriously exacerbate the already grave situation in these states.

GENERAL:

Due to the formation of a low pressure front in the south-west Bay of Bengal on 16 October 1996, caused by the seasonal monsoons, torrential rain has wrecked havoc in many of the costal regions. Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu bore the brunt of fury of these storms, causing extensive flooding. Unofficial reports claim that more than 300 people have died in Andhra Pradesh and an initial estimate of 10 in Tamil Nadu. The heavy rains have caused irreparable damage to property. Many houses, community buildings, agricultural land, dams and culverts, roads, rail, canals and bridges have been washed away in the floods and the initial damage is estimated at $5.7 million. Communications have therefore been severely disrupted which has seriously hampered relief work.

The Prime Minister of India has appealed to voluntary organizations to assist the Government in providing relief to the flood victims. Local administrations within the affected regions have been pressed into flood relief services as well as the military. Helicopters have been used to drop food supplies to marooned villages and to provide evacuation for people stranded by the rising flood waters. However, relief operations have been hampered due to the sustained heavy gales and rainfall.

ANDHRA PRADESH:

The rains and consequent flooding have caused widespread damage in several parts of the state with an estimated loss of 326 lives. The worst affected districts are Prakasam, Nellore, Guntur, Krishna, Cuddapah and Chittoor. As many as 112 water catchment reservoirs have breached which has resulted in the urgent evacuation of about 17,000 people to safer places in Krishna, Nellore and Guntur districts. It is estimated that more than 22,000 houses have been badly damaged and 24,000 hectares of paddy crops lost due to the floods. Many roads and rail tracks have been breached which has seriously affected communications and relief efforts in the state.

The outbreak of epidemics can also be expected and authorities and voluntary organizations will need to address both preventative and potential outbreaks of illnesses through emergency campaigns.

The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh has appealed to the Central Government to declare the present flood emergency a national disaster and to extend all possible assistance in bringing relief assistance and also supporting the eventual reconstruction efforts.

TAMIL NADU:

In Tamil Nadu the unabated rainfall has claimed the lives of at least 10 people in Chennai district which received the full force of the storms. However, this figure is likely to increase substantially in this and other affected districts of the state (for instance, 21 people have been killed so far in flood related incidents in various parts of the state).

ACTion:

1. ACT/UELCI proposed response: $350,000

The districts affected by the present floods in Andhra Pradesh, namely; Vizag, Krishna, Guntur, Cuddapah, Nellore, rakasm, Chittoor, east and west Godavari and Anandpur, are all within the administrative jurisdiction of the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church and the South Andhra Lutheran Church. The Bishops in these areas have requested urgent assistance for their relief work.

ACT/UELCI therefore proposes to distribute emergency food, blankets, financial assistance for immediate needs and towards minor repair costs to some 5,000 families in the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church area of concentration. The same assistance will also be extended to some 3,000 families through the South Andhra Lutheran Church. Moreover, limited provisions will be provided to two medical camps which have been established in the affected area (see attached budget).

It should also be noted that, after discussion with UELCI, ACT/LWS (Lutheran World Service/India) will be providing 125,000 kgs of milk powder and 1,500 cartons of BP5 (an enriched food supplement) from their stocks as part of the emergency feeding program. Moreover, ACT/LWS will also carry out a survey of needs for the reconstruction of stricken areas and will, in due course, propose a further request for assistance in collaboration with ACT/UELCI.

2. ACT/CASA proposed Response: $ 90,000

ACT/CASA is establishing an emergency feeding program in the low-lying areas of Madras city in Tamil Nadu. Our relief teams are carrying out needs assessments for the proposed distribution of 1,500 relief sets containing clothes, blankets and kitchen utensils. In Andhra Pradesh, three feeding programs are being established in Prakasam, Guntur and Krishna districts by the ACT/CASA relief teams from Machlipatnam and Bapatla and supported by teams from Madras. In addition, 7,000 relief sets comprising clothes, blankets and kitchen utensils will be distributed in these affected districts. Tarpaulins to provide temporary shelter will be distributed to the most needy in Andhra Pradesh (see attached budget).

We hope that the ACT Network will favourably consider providing support to these relief efforts by our partners, UELCI and CASA.

Implementing Partners:ACT/UELCI ACT/CASA

The budget details are given hereafter.

Please kindly send your contributions to the ACT bank account.

For further information, please contact the ACT Co-ordinating Office.

We thank you in advance for your support.

Rev. Myra Blyth Miriam Lutz Rev. Rudolf Hinz
Director ACT Co-ordinator Director
WCC/Unit IV LWF/World Service

Action by Churches Together (ACT) is a worldwide network of churches and their related agencies meeting human need through co-ordinated emergency response and common identity. The ACT network is organizationally based in the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the World Council of Churches (WCC) and is a co-ordinating rather than an operational office.

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