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An Update on Indian Red Cross Flood Relief Action
August 7th, 2007

Rain and floods have affected millions and engulfed 1,100 lives all over India

since the onset of the current monsoon season. The States of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, Tripura, Bihar, Karnataka, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtrahave been affected.

Bihar is facing one of the worst floods in 30 years. Atleast 126 people have died, several are missing and over 70 lacs have been affected across 17 Districts in the State. 54 lacs have been marooned and 16 lacs are living in temporary shelter.

In West Bengal , 9315 villages in nine districts have been affected by heavy rainfall and flooding. Atleast 45 people have died. The affected Districts are Howrah , Hooghly , Burdwan, Birbhum, Bankura, Puruliya, Paschim-Midnapur, Purba-Midnapur and 24 Parganas.

In Orissa, six Districts are affected by floods, the worst in 35 years. Atleast 27 people have died, 1738 villages and 13 lac population has been affected.  The districts, though not traditionally flood-prone, have been witnessing increased floods in the past couple of years. Two discernible causes are water logging due to the newly constructed National Highway 5 that connects Bhubaneshwar to Kolkata built under the Golden Quadrangle project. The other reason for floods is the increased denudation of forests in the upper reaches of the rivers, due to indiscriminate mining activities in Jharkhand as well as Orissa

Relief Operation by the National Headquarters

The National Headquarters has been regularly in touch with the affected State Branches. The task force which was constituted on June 27th, 2007 is closely monitoring the situation in all flood prone States. The National Headquarters' released the relief material to the tune of Rs. 5.03 crores including the financial assistance of Rs. 9 lakhs to the States of Kerala, Gujarat , Assam and Andhra Pradesh to cover the operational cost of flood response.  The assistance provided to the State Branches is as under:

Floods in Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh: Relief items like cotton blankets (4500), bed sheets (2000), sarees (2000), dhotis (5000), mosquito nets (5000), plastic buckets (4500), kitchen sets (4500) have been released.

Assam: Blankets (10,000), bed sheets (10,000), sarees (10,000), dhotis (10,000), towels (10,000), kitchen sets (10,000), mosquito nets (10,000), plastic bucket (2000) have been released.

Bihar: Dhotis (10,000), sarees (10,000), kitchen sets (10,000), cotton blankets (10,000), bed sheets (10,000), mosquito nets (20,000), towels (10,000) and tarpaulin sheets (10,000) have been released.

Gujarat :  Cotton blankets (3000), bed sheets (3000), sarees (3000), blankets woolen (3000), towels (3000), kitchen sets (3000), tarpaulin sheets (2000), clothes (as per availability) have been released.

Kerala: National Headquarter has released mosquito nets (7500) and bed sheets (5000).

Meghalaya: Mosquito nets (1000) have been released.

Madhya Pradesh: Dhotis (2500), sarees (2500), towels (2500), cotton blankets (2500), bed sheets (2500), woolen blankets (2500) and tarpaulin sheets (2500) have been released.

Orissa: Dhotis (4500), kitchen sets (4500), blankets (4500), towels (4500), sarees (10,000) and tarpaulin sheets (3000) have been released.

Tripura: Dhotis (1000), sarees (1000), mosquito nets (1000), kitchen sets (1000), bed sheets (1000), towels (1000) and plastic buckets (1000) have been released.

West Bengal : Dhotis (2000), sarees (2000), blanket (1000), mosquito nets (1000), kerosene stove (200), children's shirt (200), ezar (400) and frocks(100 ) have been released.

Haryana: Bed sheets (1500), dhotis (1500), sarees (1500), cotton blankets (1500) and tents (100) have been released. The State branch has requested for the relief material as a measure for preparedness to floods.

Relief Operation by the State Branches

The disaster prone States have developed contacts with donors, corporates and banks which have good credibility in the society. They are providing pre-positioned relief materials raised through local sources. Trained volunteers and officials have been deputed who are assisting the community in close coordination with the government authorities. Similarly, the State Red Cross branches in Assam , Bihar, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh have utilized local resources and are assisting flood victims in the worst affected Districts

 The Bihar State Red Cross Branch have mobilized relief items like tarpaulin sheets (1700), kitchen sets (1000), dhotis (1200), sarees (1200) and assorted clothes (2500) locally. 300 Red Cross volunteers have been deployed to carry out search and rescue work and supervise the relief operation in the field. The volunteers have managed to evacuate 2500 people all by themselves. The volunteers trained in First Aid have provided medical services to nearly 3000 people.

During the floods the Andhra Pradesh State Branch distributed family packs, chlorine tablets, bleaching powder and ORS pack for children in the affected districts of Mahaboobnagar, Ananthapur, Prakasam, Krishna , East-Godavari and Cuddapah.

The Assam State Branch deployed Disaster Response Team members and 1000 Red Cross volunteers who are co-coordinating the search, rescue and relief operation in the affected area. The State Branch released 2000 family packs and financial assistance of Rs. 5000/- each to 20 affected Districts to meet the operational cost of relief work.

The Gujarat State Branch distributed food pack (2000), water bottles (2000), blankets (800), sarees (800), kitchen sets (800) and tarpaulin sheets (300) locally. Disaster Response Teams members and Red Cross volunteers were deployed in assessment and relief operation in the State.

.The Orissa State Branch coordinated with the NGOs and other voluntary organizations through Inter-Agency Group (IAG) to mobilize the relief material and to make sector-wise arrangement for relief operation.

The Tripura State Branch has distributed tarpaulins, bed sheets and buckets to the families of Bishalgarh and in the Dhalai District branch of Ambassa sub-division. The South Tripura District Red Cross branch organized health camps at many places in South Tripura District

The situation is being monitored closely
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