Oxfam is preparing to provide emergency assistance including clean water and temporary shelters to people affected by one of the worst floods in the history of Kerala, in south-west India.
So far 324 people are reported dead and thousands forced from their homes with many stranded by flood waters, running out of food and clean water.
Oxfam teams on the ground have carried out a rapid assessment of needs.
The international agency will be providing aid including clean water, toilets, food and temporary shelter in two districts initially – Idduki and Wayanad – then scaling up to cover Alappuzha, Palakkad and Pathanamthitta. To help prevent an outbreak of disease, Oxfam teams will be working with communities to remove debris from villages and distributing hygiene kits containing soap and other items.
Amitabh Behar, Oxfam India CEO, said: “We are concerned about the rising death toll. The situation is grim and the scale of the tragedy will not be clear until affected areas become more accessible. While rescue and relief are the highest priorities in the short term, this catastrophe will require a long road to recovery and reconstruction.”
Floods and landslides have caused massive destruction. Houses in most districts are submerged and inaccessible and crops and livestock have been damaged.
Conditions remain challenging for the emergency response - the airport is closed, public transport suspended and there is limited power or mobile network.
Oxfam is working with the Indian government, local partners and other agencies on coordinated efforts to help those in need.
Oxfam spokespeople are available in Delhi. Please contact Melanie Kramers, firstname.lastname@example.org, +44 7825 088894
Melanie Kramers, Oxfam GB senior press officer
email@example.com Skype: melaniekramers +44 (0)7825 088894
Oxfam works with others to overcome poverty and suffering.