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Compassionate aid to the flood and landslide victims of Koottickal

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The low pressure and gusty winds have caused heavy rains in Kerala and the rain, in turn, led to floods and landslides. The weather conditions of Kerala changed substantially due to the low-pressure developed in the east-central Arabian Sea on October 14, 2021. This low-pressure moved closer to the Kerala coast and triggered severe rainfall. Kerala experienced heavy to very heavy and extremely heavy rain in at least six of its southern districts leading to flash floods and landslides.

Around 50 individuals lost their lives and many of them were found missing. Many landslides occurred in Kottayam and Idukki districts, while 13 died in landslides at Koottickal, Kottayam. Several landslides were reported from various parts of the Kottayam district due to heavy rain. The State Government has announced ex-gratia of Rs. 4 lakh to the families of people who were killed in rain-related tragedies. Minister for Revenue has made the announcement as a primary compensation to the kins of the victims.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have been deployed in Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur, and Malappuram districts. In addition, 5 more teams were also deployed in Idukki, Kottayam, Kollam, Kannur and Palakkad districts. The Volunteer Force and Civil Defense are ready to deal with emergencies.

Caritas India’s Executive Director, Fr. Paul Moonjely visited Kerala to understand the exact situation and the immediate needs of the people who are affected in the Kottayam district of Kerala. He visited Koottickal village in Kottayam district where almost 13 people lost their lives due to landslides triggered by heavy rains in the Centre part of Kerala. Fr. Paul interacted with the victims and listen to their real situations, problems and needs of the time. The villagers shared their feelings, emotions and needs with Fr. Paul. He listened to them carefully and comforted them with hope. Caritas India is planning to distribute kitchen utensils, Non-food items and educational support to the children who are affected by the flood and landslides at Koottickal village in Kottayam district, Kerala.

Koottickal village is located in the eastern part of Kottayam district of Kerala State, more than 10 thousand families are living in the village, most of them are dependent on agriculture-based livelihood activities, primary cultivation of these families are Rubber and other spices. Out of thousand families, 173 houses were washed away, hundreds of houses were damaged partially, many people lost their belongings and livelihood materials by the landslide during the month of October 2021.

After the visit Fr. Paul had attended the Inaugural ceremony of the second phase of the Kootickal relief mission Cash transfer which was held at Bishop house, Pala, Kerala. During the Inaugural Ceremony, 50 families were supported with 10,000 INR (each) as emergency financial aid as part of the Koottical Relief mission of the Pala Diocese.

“The intervention of the Diocese of Pala through Social welfare society in disaster affect areas of Kootikkal was glorious and it’s also appreciated that the caring intervention of the social work department of all Diocesan during the time of crisis,” said by Fr. Paul. The Financial aid was handed over by Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt to the participants during the ceremony which was presided over by Msgr. Joseph Maleparambil.