India

India: Floods - Information Bulletin n° 1

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published
Glide No. TC-2007-000084-IND

The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in 185 countries.

In Brief

This Bulletin (no. 01/2007) is being issued for information only, and reflects the status of the situation and information available at this time. The Federation is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at this time.

For further information specifically related to this operation please see contact details on the last page.

The Situation

During the 48 hours prior to reporting, a tropical storm with heavy rain and strong winds, with speeds up to 55 knots, moved in a west-north westerly direction across central India. The storm moved off the India Ocean, leading to heavy rainfall in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, and moved through the states of Karnataka, Kerala, Goa and Maharashtra. The storm then hit southern Pakistan, particularly the city of Karachi in Sindh province.

The storm and heavy monsoon rains caused widespread havoc, landslides and flooding, affecting normal life in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Goa and Maharashtra. The Indian meteorological department has forecast that the southwest monsoon will move further north, with heavy rainfall likely over coastal Karnataka, Konkan, Goa and Gujarat on the western coastline, and the state of Orissa on the eastern coast, of the country.

According to media reports, in Andhra Pradesh, 150 people have been killed as a result of the monsoon storm and landslides, and 85,000 have been evacuated and are housed in temporary relief camps. The total number of people affected is 330,000. The storm and overflowing rivers have left thousands of villages without basic services like water and power since Friday, 22nd June, and hundreds of kilometres of roads and rail tracks were inundated in the worst-hit areas of the state. In the worst affected Kurnool district of the state, the army and navy assisted people stranded in submerged areas, evacuated 24,900 people and set up 68 relief camps for the displaced people. Two helicopters ferried relief materials to Kurnool and 100 army personnel assisted the civil administration in relief operations.

In Karnataka, life is inching back to normal, though the meteorological office has forecasted that heavy rain will continue in the coastal areas. In Kerala, people staying in relief camps, after they were displaced by the flooding, have started returning to their homes once the rainfall stopped on Sunday, 24th June. Revenue officials are assessing the damages caused by the monsoon storm.

Government action

The central government has offered assistance to the affected states to deal with the situation arising out of the havoc caused by the rains and floods. The Indian prime minister reviewed the flood situation across the country with the cabinet secretary and home secretary, and spoke to the chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Assam (heavy rainfall and flooding had affected the state of Assam during the week prior to reporting).

The Andhra Pradesh chief minister has said that all the coastal districts are still on high alert. The chief minister of Karnataka convened a high level meeting to take stock of the situation in the state.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

The Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) national headquarters is releasing 2,000 family packs to the Andhra Pradesh state branch, for immediate distribution among the affected communities. So far, the Andhra Pradesh state branch has provided the below-mentioned relief items in Kurnool and Guntur districts.

Table: Relief items distributed in the badly affected districts of Andhra Pradesh

Items
Quantity
Kurnool district
Women's clothing items
300
Men's clothing items
300
Blankets
250
Bleaching powder
1,000 kilograms ( 40 bags)
Chlorine tablets
30,000 tablets
Bed sheets
400
Old clothes
12 bags
Oral rehydration salts (ORS)
1 pack ( 500 sachets)
Family packs
200
Guntur district
Women's clothing items
100
Men's clothing items
115
Bed sheets
80
Chlorine tablets
10,000 tablets

The IRCS national headquarters has been monitoring the situation over the weekend and has been in regular contact with the IRCS branches in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. On the day of reporting, an emergency review meeting was called by the IRCS secretary general, and he spoke to the state branch secretaries of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Assam. The disaster preparedness office is maintaining contact, twice a day, with the branches in the affected areas. A meeting was also held between the head of the Federation's India office and the IRCS secretary general, to discuss the situation.

Map: India: Floods

How we work

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

The Federation's Global Agenda

The International Federation undertakes activities that are aligned with its Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".

Global Agenda Goals:

- Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

- Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

- Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

- Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In India: Indian Red Cross Society, Dr. S.P. Agarwal (secretary general), email: spagarwalsg@indianredcross.org; phone: +91.11.2371.6424; fax: +91.11.23711.7454

In India: India office, Mohamed Babiker (head of India office), email: mohamed.babiker@ifrc.org; phone: +91.11.2332.4203; fax: +91.11.233.4235

Federation South Asia regional delegation in India, Nina Nobel (acting head of regional delegation), email: nina.nobel@ifrc.org; phone: +91.11.2411.1125; fax: +91.11.2411.1128

Federation Secretariat in Geneva (Asia Pacific Department): Hiroto Oyama (regional officer); email: hiroto.oyama@ifrc.org; phone: +41.22.730.4273; fax: +41.22.733.0395 or Gokce Balcik (senior assistant); email: gokce.balcik@ifrc.org; phone: +44.22.730.4429; fax: +41.22 733.