India

Rapid assessment: Thane Cyclone affected villages in Cuddalore

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Cyclone Thane hit Tamil Nadu coast on 29th and 30th of December 2011 destroyed houses, boats, standing crops, livestock and livelihoods. As per the Government sources the cyclone killed 35 people. The storm brought wind speeds of up to 135 kmph (83 mph) and tidal surges reaching 1.5 metres (5 feet) which forced coastal fishing and farming communities into relief shelters set up in schools.

The Impact

Deaths in Cuddalore occurred mainly due to electrocution, falling of trees and collapse of house or walls. A large number of cows, goats and buffaloes were killed in many villages. Trees, lamp posts and electric poles were uprooted, hand-pumps and bore wells have been damaged that lead to water scarcity and lack of safe drinking water. Major roads were blocked in almost all areas of Cuddalore district for a whole week.

Need Assessment Visit

After the tsunami disaster, a large number of self help groups of women were actively involved in relief and rehabilitation process. They were also active after Nisha Cyclone in 2006. Subsequently these groups have undergone several training programmes on disaster risk reduction offered by SSP and Groots International. These trained women’s groups came together and formed a Federation to work and offer their knowledge on disaster preparedness and risk reduction on a sustained basis. There are two such Women’s Federations; one in Cuddalore and another at Nagapattinam.