Incessant rains and flash floods have so far created havoc in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Kerala, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal and killed 1550 people, affected a population of 348.7 lakh, loss of 69,889 livestock, damaged crop area of 5300074 hectares and demolished 263743 houses in 28706 villages of 206 Districts. The total economic loss is to the tune of Rs. 108506.37 (lakhs) Bihar witnessed one of the worst floods in 30 years as 160 people died, 140.54 (lakh) people were affected in 5946 villages of 26 districts.*
Over the years, the IRCS, as an auxiliary agency to the State has been supplementing the Government efforts in times of disaster. In the current flood fury the National Headquarters (NHQ), Indian Red Cross Society has mobilized and sent relief material worth Rs. 5.07 crores to the State branches (Andhra Pradesh-49.62 lakhs, Assam-117.14 lakhs, Gujarat-24.75 lakhs, West Bengal-13.5 lakhs, Kerala-35.2 lakhs, Tripura-11.05, Bihar-160 lakhs, Madhya Pradesh-11.2 lakhs, Orissa-65.75 lakhs, Haryana- 5.98 lakhs, Meghalaya-4.1 lakh) for distribution to the vulnerable community. In addition, financial assistance to the tune of Rs. 9 lakhs have been provided to cover operational costs.
LIST OF RELIEF MATERIAL PROVIDED BY NHQ DURING THE RECENT FLOODS
IRCS also has Water Sanitation Units (Watsan) where a single unit can provide 5000 to 10,000 litres of clean drinking water in one hour, which would suffice to the needs of 10,000 beneficiaries per day. Three Watsan Units are ready to be deployed at needy places.
Action by State Branch
On the request of Bihar State Red Cross Branch, the Steel Authorities of India Limited (SAIL) has donated 1, 25,000 family packs amounting to Rs. 5 crores for distribution among the flood victims of the State. (A family pack consists of Chudra (5kg), Channa (2kg), Jaggery (1 kg), Biscuits (2 packets), Match box (1 packet), a dhoti, a sari and a lungi.
* Source of Information: Ministry of Home Affairs (Disaster Management Division) as of August 9th, 2007.