Cyclone strikes India
Salvation Army responds quickly to flooding in Southern India.
Salvation Army emergency workers provided relief to over 13,000 families affected by severe flooding in southern India due to Cyclone Ogni. At least 23 people were killed and 100,000 evacuated from their homes as heavy rains and strong winds lashed the state of Andhra Pradesh for three days. Most of those killed were workers in paddy and shrimp farms in the southeastern districts of Prakasam and Guntur, where some 400 villages and 15 towns were submerged.
Captain John Kumar, The Salvation Army’s emergency relief coordinator in Chennai, writes: “The extent of the damage is very great. Crops are submerged under floodwater and roads have been cut off. In some places the water level is as high as nine feet.” More than 60 centimeters of rain fell in one day, flooding towns and villages, cutting power supplies and leaving thousands of households in darkness.
Kumar continued, “People are in need of urgent help and most of their thatched houses have collapsed. Around 450 people from affected villages were taken to the Salvation Army high school in Bapatla where, with support from the local government, our relief teams provided food.”
Lt. Colonel Prema Rajan (chief secretary, India Central Territory) reports: “We have already surveyed the damage in 11 districts…and are focusing our efforts on supporting 13,700 families. Teams have set out with five kilos of rice for each family.”
To support this emergency operation, International Headquarters released US$10,000. However, this will cover less than half the funds needed for the emergency rice distribution and even more money will be needed to provide long-term assistance. Donations to the South Asia Disaster Fund will help Salvationists in India to continue their work; donations may be made online at www.salvationarmy.org.
From a report by Major Cedric Hills,
international emergency services coordinator