Initial Joint Rapid Needs Assessment: Cyclone Nivar, 2020 (Report Version 2 – 96 hrs), November 2020


Executive Summary

A well-marked low-pressure area formed over the southwest and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal during the third week of November. The Deep depression intensified into a cyclonic storm “Nivar” and made landfall on the east coast of Tamilnadu near to Puducherry coast on early morning of 26th November.

The Nivar Cyclone affected the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Union Territory of Puducherry. Nearly 3400 relief camps were opened and people from the coastal districts were evacuated. The most affected regions include Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Viluppuram, Chengalpattu, Chennai, Tiruvallur. 12 lives have been reportedly lost and assessments are in progress to assess the damage.

To understand the overall impact of the cyclone NIVAR upon the vulnerable communities Initial Joint Rapid Needs Assessment has been carried by collecting data from 5 districts (Chennai, Kanchipuram, Cuddalore, Chengalpattu and Nagapattinam). For data collection, quantitative data for the six sectors- Food, Nutrition and Livelihood, Health, Shelter, Protection, Education and WASH, was collected to understand various thematic/ sectoral issues, concerns, and emerging needs in the affected areas.

The analysis was done based on 296 household responses comprising of 30 from Chengalpattu, 105 from Chennai, 28 from Cuddalore, 5 from kanchipuram, 95 from Nagapattinam and 33 responses Villupuram covering 24 blocks, 82 colonies/villages and 37 villages. The key findings are analysed below:

Food and Nutrition Security: Availability of food and drinking water is major issue in most of the districts and people are forced to survive with limited means and few even reported that water was made available to the on alternative days. 75% of the informant’s responders informed about lack of availability of food with no means to purchase or even cook because of lack of utensils and other required sources.

Livelihood: Fisheries and agricultural industry along with other small scale works faced huge losses due to cyclone along with dysfunctional markets with limited or no access at all. Resident were observed to be engaged mainly in job roles of coolie, auto rickshaw driving, daily labourers, petty businesses etc that faced huge losses due to the disaster.

Health: Significant cases of diarrhoea and cold flu were notified to the surveyors along with few COVID cases during the survey. Disasters cause loss to few healthcare facilities like government hospitals, primary health care centres, Anganwadi/ ANM centres in Chengalpatu, Chennai, Kanchipuram and Nagapattinam districts.

Shelter: Almost every district covered reported few fully damaged shelter and relatively large amount of partially damaged shelters with adverse affect, loss of non structural and household items ranging from clothing’s, water storage tanks, beddings, utensils, stove and other hygiene items.

Protection: The evacuated people and other residents reported to face long power cuts creating a sense of insecurity especially in the mind of vulnerable part of the society. Little or no privacy for WASH and living facility is posing a great threat to protection. Both external and domestic violence has been reported by few respondents. Women are facing issues for their daily hygiene and sanitation requirements in few districts due to lack of adequate privacy.

Education:Various education infrastructures like government schools, middle and higher standard schools were reported to be damaged due to disasters and owing to COVID the verge of education status was already at downfall. Disaster not only caused damages to infrastructure but also study essential materials like books, stationary items and digital studying mediums creating further hindrance for education provision.

WASH: Relative difference in excreta disposal came out in the analysis, residents reported with damaged WASH infrastructure along with limited hand washing facility. People reported insufficient WASH facility, limited separate toilets and lack of privacy. Localities showed dependence on cane and normal water supply sources pre disaster but post disaster availability of water from normal sources [tap water] significantly dropped. There was a noticeable change in rate of open defecation reported during the survey in various affected regions.