At least 510 people have died as a result of a cyclone that affected some two million persons in total and caused massive destruction on the low-lying coast land of southeast India. Heavy rains, flooding, and gale-force winds also destroyed or damaged 400,000 homes caused extensive agricultural losses throughout the region known as the nation's "rice bowl."
Authorities reported thousands of livestock killed and more than one million acres of rice, chilies, banana, and coconut cropland damaged. Downed trees and telephone lines, collapsed bridges, and blocked roads are disrupting communication and transportation throughout the affected area. Coastal villages are experiencing water shortages.
The armed forces are providing emergency relief and conducting search and rescue operations. Food packets and kerosene are being distributed. Water is being transported from towns as far as 125 miles away. One-hundred seventy-eight relief camps are sheltering more than 100,000 persons.
CWS expects to support the response of Church's Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA) to the disaster and is awaiting its report on needs.
Call the CWS HOTLINE for updates: (800) 456-1310.
For further information about this emergency, contact CWS Emergency Response at (212) 870-3151, or through ECUNET to CWS DROFFICE. Call (800) 733-2863 to join ECUNET. After-hours emergency pager: (800) 418-0408.