November 8 2005
Cyclone threatens southern regions of India
Survivors of the 2004 tsunami are concerned again
08/11/2005 - Widespread rainfall in South India threatens a region already greatly affected by the tsunami disaster. SOS Children's Villages, in the middle of its own reconstruction effort, is helping with the most essential services.
The cyclone in the southern part of India seems to never ebb. With the forming of the new depression in the Bay of Bengal the whole region is experiencing heavy rainfall and certain coastal towns - including Chennai - are experiencing flash floods. Victims of the tsunami catastrophe, who are supported by SOS Children's Villages, are again seriously affected.
In the last 24 hours some areas have received more than 25cms of rain. Heavy rains and flash floods have severely disrupted normal life all along the coasts. Air, road and rail transport are also badly affected. More than 100 people have died in the past few days. The worst affected families are daily wage earners, agricultural labourers and those in the fishing industry who have been warned not to go to sea.
Cuddalore district has experienced maximum rainfall and most areas are flooded. In Puthupettai, the District Collector has approached SOS Children's Villages of India to assist and offer relief to the people who are living in temporary shelters. Since the tsunami catastrophe, more than 125 families have been living in temporary shelters as the reconstruction of houses for the affected families by SOS Children's Villages is underway.
Since last night SOS Children's Villages of India has been distributing essentials like food, milk for children and candles for light. Electricity has been curtailed as electrical poles have fallen due to heavy winds.
The bridge connecting Nagapattinam to the rest of the province has been washed away by incessant rains and flooding. Currently, Nagapattinam is literally totally cut off from the rest of the world. All means of contact to Nagapattinam have been lost. Today, staff from SOS Children's Villages of India will try to reach Nagapattinam with food supplies by another route, provided roads exist.
In Karaikal the situation is similar to that in Cuddalore. The temporary shelters in Akkampettai are flooded and SOS Children's Villages of India is organising for distribution of food. As in Cuddalore, SOS Children's Villages is also undertaking the rebuilding of family houses and is providing extensive support to families affected by the tsunami in Akkampettai. A third-level warning has been issued in these areas making it virtually impossible to step out of the home, let alone venturing into the sea.
Just when the people were trying to recover from the tsunami and rebuild their lives, the cyclone has hit, which means there will be no fishing and no food until the rains stop.