AMDA Emergency relief assistance for the victims of cyclones of Orissa, India

According to the information released by the Government of India, a violent cyclone hit the State of Orissa on October 17, 1999 caused many casualties and 60 villages were severely affected in the districts of Ganjam, Puri, Khudra and Ganjapathi. A second powerful cyclone hit the same area on October 29, 1999 has caused enormous damage. According to information released by the government of India and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in India, more than ten million people, that is about one third of the population, have been affected in eight districts of the State of Orissa. The worst affected districts are Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Khurda, Puri and Cuttack. The industrial town of Cuttack has been severely damaged. According to the preliminary assessments of November 5, more than 10.22 million people have affected and the officially reported confirmed number of casualties stand at 1,361. However, according to unofficial newspaper reports, the number of casualties may be significantly higher. 275,000 houses have been destroyed and 323,000 hectares of corps have been damaged. Information concerning damage and casualties are difficult to obtain, due to the lack of communication facilities and limited access to the areas. The Natural Disaster Management (NDM) Control Room at the Indian Ministry of Agriculture has provided an update on the situation and the national response, indicating that the death toll now stands at 9,803.

Urgent Relief Needs:

Food is identified, as the most urgent relief need. Other urgent relief needs are including shelter (plastic sheeting), safe drinking water and medicines. According to the media of India, a large percentage of victims have been left without food and water. After the cyclones, flash floods have worsened the situation. Purified drinking water is not available, raising concern regarding the risk of water-borne diseases and possible outbreak of malaria. There is a strong possibility for the outbreaks of epidemic and communicable diseases. Utensils, mosquito nets, clothes, blankets, vessels, canvas tents, life saving drugs and other medical supplies are also urgent needs of the victims.

Most of the victims are suffering from intestinal infections, respiratory infections, diarrhea, dysentery, fever, malaria and physical injuries.

AMDA's Activities:

AMDA-India has requested to AMDA Headquarters to provide immediate relief assistance to the victims at Cuttack district of Orissa State. AMDA Headquarters dispatched various AMDA Multinational Medical Mission (AMMM) of the following members on November 9, 1999 from AMDA Headquarters in Japan as well as from AMDA-India and AMDA-Nepal for the immediate relief assistance to the victims at Cuttack district of Orissa state, India.

Sr. No. Names AMDA Chapters
1. Mr. Tomofumi Takamatsu AMDA Headquarters
2. Mr. Hajime Nishimura AMDA Headquarters
3. Dr. Osamu Nikaidou AMDA-Japan
4. Dr. Mansoor Ahmed B AMDA-India
5. Dr. Mangesh Rajaram AMDA-India
6. Dr. Narayan Gaonkar AMDA-India
7. Dr. Ramesh Aacharya AMDA-Nepal

The team is tasked to assess and review the situation, identify the priority needs and to coordinate relief activities. It was decided that the AMDA team would provide humanitarian assistance to the victims in form of food, water and medicines.

The team started humanitarian relief activities from November 12, 1999 with the specific purpose of conducting medical relief and a survey of most affected areas for further rehabilitation. The team decided to concentrate in the three districts of Orissa namely Balasore, Kendrapada and Jagatsinghpur. The team spent 13th and 14th November in Balasore district and visited Dogarpada, Achutapur and Khania villages. The team treated around 1,000 patients in these areas. On 15th November the team moved to Bhubaneshvar and treated around 200 patients. On 18th November team opened camps in Kujanga block and Erasama block of Jagatsinghpur district and provided medical assistance to around 500 patients. In fact, AMDA team was the first to a few pockets of Erasama where most of the families had lost one or two members and most of the villages were completely destroyed. The team returned to Japan on November 22, 1999.

Government Response:

The government of Orissa appreciated the contribution and involvement of AMDA in medical relief activities. Government of Karnataka praised the activities of AMDA and sent a team of 20 doctors to Orissa in collaboration with AMDA-India.

Appeal for Donations:

AMDA is prepared to serve as channel for cash contribution to be used for immediate relief assistance, in coordination/consultation with AMDA-India. Contributors from Japan are requested to deposit the fund to Postal Transfer Account named AMDA, Account No. 01250-2-40709 with reference: India - Cyclone. Foreign donors are requested to deposit their funds to Chugoku Bank, Head Office, Okayama with Account No. 1219 or by using International Money Order in the name of AMDA with the following address.

This situation report is prepared from the information released by UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Further information report ongoing emergencies are also available on the AMDA Internet Website at

For Further Information:

AMDA Headquarters
310-1 Narazu, Okayama 7701-1202, Japan
Tel. +81-86-284-6758
Fax +81-86-284-8959

Persons to contact:
Advisor of Project: Dr. Shigeru Suganami, M.D., Ph.D.
Head of Project: Prof. Dr. Hidetoshi Matono, M.D., D.Sc., Ph.D.
In-charge of Project: Dr. Khan M. Zaman, M.Sc., Ph.D.