A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
A severe depression formed over the Bay of Bengal in early November 2015 was followed by heavy rains in several parts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The rains intensified in early December 2015 again and caused unprecedented rains and flooding pounding several parts of Chennai city and most areas of its suburbs, leaving over 300 people dead and prompting government to declare it a “calamity of severe nature”. Chennai Corporation officials reported at least 57,000 houses in the city of Chennai suffered structural damages. The city was badly affected with more than a million people directly affected by flash floods and overflows from lakes and reservoirs. During the first week of December, Chennai received 539 mm of rain which is above the normally recorded monthly average of 191 mm. More information on impact of the disaster can be found in operations update no. 1 and 2.
Summary of current response
Overview of Host National Society
Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) provided assistance to 3,500 families as targeted under the DREF operation. First Medical Responders (FMR)1 , volunteers, District Disaster Response Team (DDRT), National Disaster Response Team (NDRT) and National Disaster Water and Sanitation Response Team (NDWRT) members were deployed to assist the respective state and district branches. Some 239 Red Cross volunteers were engaged during the response operations and deployed across all the district branches of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Since the onset of the floods they assisted the affected communities in terms of debris clearance, traffic regulation, rescue and evacuation of people to safe locations, distribution of essential food items such as milk and cooked food. Some 3,500 family packs, consisting of essential relief items such as dhoti, saree, cotton blanket, towel, bucket, bedsheet and one kitchen set were distributed to the affected people. The non-food items (NFIs) were mobilized from the existing stocks of IRCS warehouse located at Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu. Only the distribution of tarpaulins was not completed on time due to some customs restrictions and transportation in the country. In addition, the state branches have also distributed materials received from other district branches of Tamil Nadu and other philanthropic donors.
During field visits, IFRC staffs noted from the updates of the branches that about 5,065 patients were assisted through mobile medical camps, and more than 20,000 people received food distribution from the IRCS. Awareness on dengue, malaria and water borne diseases was conducted across the affected areas, with more than 3,000 pamphlets distributed in Tamil Nadu by 32 IRCS district branches. IRCS staff/volunteers also distributed 4,000 pamphlets during Medical Camps in association with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), ETA & O’ General in Greater Chennai region.
Overview of Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in country
The IFRC country-cluster support team (CCST) based at New Delhi, provided technical support to the IRCS for the preparation of an emergency plan of action (EPoA) and mobilization of financial resources for the response operations under the IFRC Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). In the initial phase of the operation, two IFRC staff (disaster preparedness manager and communications manager) were deployed in the field to support the IRCS branches. Two monitoring visits have also been conducted together with the IRCS national headquarters (NHQ) team and with some donors In addition to IFRC, in-country Movement partners including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Belgian Red Cross-Flanders (the Canadian Red Cross Society closed its delegation in India at the end of 2015) have been working closely with the National Society.
Overview of non-RCRC actors in country
Government emergency services, Indian army, corporates and several NGOs responded to the floods in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The state branches worked closely with their respective local authorities; especially in rescue and evacuation of people to safer places and conducting initial assessments. In addition to the NFIs distributed through the DREF, IRCS distributed relief materials received from many local institutions and organizations: Bala Mandir Kamaraj School, Church Park Convent, Chennai Model School Mackeys Garden Greams Road, Michelin India, Gummidipoondi and Ellapuram 27 Government School Pupils, 10 Creche Centres, Slum Board Chennai Tenaments – Mylapore, ICWC and Tamil Sangam Dubai Donor, Indian Oil Corporation Limited, ONGC, Om Charity India Foundation Bangalore, etc.