India

Fida International helps Asian catastrophe victims in India

The huge 9.0 Richter's scale earthquake, which struck Indonesia on Sunday 26.12., also caused a devastating tidal wave that hit India. Estimates of the death toll vary, but over 15 500 people are thought to have lost their lives at the earthquake and the tidal waves that followed. In India it is feared that over 5 600 people have lost their lives and hundreds are still missing. The states of Tamil Nadu and Andra Pradesh were worst hit.

In the state of Andra Pradesh the district of Krishna has suffered the most, there alone hundreds are feared dead. In the village of G.Pedapatnam, which is one of the 37 fishing villages supported by Fida International's Fishing Village Development Program, 20 bodies have been found so far. The tidal wave hit as the fishermen were out at the sea fishing. Over 200 villagers are still missing. At the moment the villagers are returning to their homes as new tidal waves are not expected. The affects of the disaster become reality now as people are returning to their destroyed homes. Many boats were lost and the fields are under salty sea water. Also many of the missing are being discovered from under the receding waters and the death toll is rising.

In the villages of K.P.T.Palem and Malakayalanka fishermen left in the morning out to the sea to fish. Then the tidal wave struck. The villagers lost 15 boats, but fortunately the fishermen were able to swim to the shore despite being injured. Many lost their source of income.

Material loss in the villages is enormous. Boats and nets were lost, with them the livelihood of the people. The tidal wave brought salty sea water to the rice fields. Now the next harvest is lost.

Fida International has been supprting a state program under which rice and other food storage facilities have been built in case of large scale floods. Villagers have also received instructions on how to act under such circumstances. These food stocks will only last for a short time and the time to help these fishing villages is now!

Fida International has donated 10 000 € for the catastrophe victims. In the Krishna district we helped with the evacuation of the villagers, organized food and water distribution along with accommodation for the evacuated villagers. Fida International is responsible for the feeding of people from 870 villages. You can help the tidal wave victims through Fida International, bank account in Finland: Nordea 228718-5256, reference nr 72410.

For more information contact the Area Coordinator, Mika Jokivuori, mobile phone +91 98211 41743 or email mika.jokivuori@fida.info