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ACT Alert India: Flooding in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh

Author/Source : ACT
Publish Date :Sun, 29 Oct 2006

Geneva, 29 October 2007

Heavy and continuous rainfall over the past five days has caused widespread flooding and the deaths of at least 13 people in the state of Tamil Nadu. The rains, also affecting the state of Andhra Pradesh, were caused by a low pressure center over the south-eastern bay off Chennai along with the north-east monsoon.

In Tamil Nadu, between 40-50 cm of rain has been recorded over the past five days and the most seriously affected districts are Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Chennai, Thanjavur, Theni and Cumbam. The State Government is stepping up flood relief activities and has closed schools and colleges as the Meteorological Department forecasts continuous rain for the next two days. Fishermen have been warned not to go to sea and a cautionary alert has been issued at the Chennai port.

In the Cuddalore district alone, at least 3,000 homes have been inundated by flood waters and people have been evacuated to safer places. Close to 35,000 hectares of standing crops including paddy and groundnut are submerged. As the rain continues, the village administrative officers in the Cuddalore district have been directed to keep the community halls and cyclone shelters ready and equipped with basic supplies. Cuddalore is prone to flooding as it is the confluence point for seven rivers, the Pannaiyar, Vellar, Gedilam, Paravanarul, Kollidam, Old Kollidam and the Manimautharu.

Hundreds of hectares of paddy crops in the Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur and Thanjvur districts remain submerged under the flood waters. In Tiruvarur, 107 villages have been affected and displaced people have found shelter in schools and other public places. Community kitchens are functioning in four locations.

In Andhra Pradesh, the districts of Nellore, Chittoor and Kadapa are badly affected by the rains and it is estimated that close to 45 villages are seriously affected by the floods.

ACT member, the United Evangelical Lutheran Church in India (UELCI), is assessing the situation and planning to respond through its local member churches: the Arcot Lutheran Church (ALC), the Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church (TELC), the Indian Evangelical Lutheran Church (IELC) and the South Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church (SALC). Initial plans are to provide emergency food and non-food items. A Rapid Response Fund request may be forthcoming.