Alert India 1/2007: Heavy rains and flash floods wreak widespread havoc

News and Press Release
Originally published
Geneva, 26 June 2007

Heavy rains triggered by a depression over the Bay of Bengal, have wreaked havoc in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Karnataka, as well as in Maharashtra and Assam, over the past four days. The death toll has risen to over 150 and thousands are displaced according to local media. The monsoon season that usually lasts from July to September has come early this year. A further depression has been forecast and more heavy rains are expected.

ANDHRA PRADESH: In Andhra Pradesh the worst affected areas are Guntur, Kurnool, Prakasam, Kadapa, Rayalseema, Srikakulam, Nandyal, Karimnagar, East Godavari, Mahaboobnagar and Hyderabad. It is estimated that 222 villages and more than 300,000 people have been badly affected. According to an official government release at least 45 people have been killed. Kurnool district was the worst affected with 21 deaths reported, and the evacuation of 85,000 people who are currently taking shelter in 51 relief camps. Preliminary reports indicate that 9,799 houses have been damaged and some 8,530 livestock killed. Communication facilities are badly affected and several villages are cut off.

The Meteorological Office has forecast further heavy rainfall in Telanagana, parts of coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema. The local government officials in Coastal Andhra and Telanagana have been instructed to take precautionary measures. The government at state, district, and sub-district levels is monitoring the situation, and the army and navy have been alerted to assist in rescue and relief operations.

KARANATAKA: Heavy rains particularly in the northern districts of Bagalkot, Bijapur and Raichur have claimed 43 lives and rendered about 4,500 people homeless in the last two days. Eleven relief camps have been opened in these districts to provide shelter. According to preliminary estimates, more than 1,300 houses have suffered complete or partial damage in the districts of Gulbarga, Bellary, Belgaum, Dakshina Kannada and Gadag.

KERALA: More than 43 people have lost their lives. Electricity, traffic and communications have been severely hit. The main affected areas are Wayanad, Kollam, Kottayam, Pathth-anam-thitta, Kannur and Ernakulam. More than four thousand people have been moved to safer places. However, there should be some respite from the rains for the next two days.

Assessment and Response:

ACT member Churches Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA) is assessing the situation and planning to respond in the Kurnool, Rayalseema, Nandyal, and Prakasham districts of Andhra Pradesh state. CASA is also assessing and planning a response in the Kottayam district of Kerala state, and the Bagalkot, Bijapur and Bidar districts of Karnataka state.

CASA, working with the Church of South India, the Andhra Pradesh Christian Council, Marthoma Church, and the Kerala Church Council based in the affected areas, have identified the need for food, non-food items and tarpaulins for temporary shelter. In addition, materials are needed to repair schools and other damaged infrastructure.

The United Evangelical Lutheran Church in India (UELCI) is assessing the situation and planning to respond through their local member the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church (AELC) located in the districts of Guntur and Praksam of Andhra Pradesh state.

ACT member Lutheran World Service India (LWSI) is not planning any response at this time.

The ACT members are coordinating their responses and expect that an ACT Appeal proposal will be forthcoming in the next few days.

Any funding indication or pledge should be communicated to Jessie Kgoroeadira, ACT Finance Officer (

Thank you for your attention.

For further information please contact:

ACT Director, John Nduna (phone +41 22 791 6033 or mobile phone + 41 79 203 6055) or
ACT Program Officer, Michelle Yonetani (phone +41 22 791 6035 or mobile phone +41 79 285 2916)
ACT Web Site address: