A deep depression over the Bay of Bengal has brought heavy rains to several parts of Tamil Nadu beginning late October 2015. These rains, which continued in the month of November, are still lashing some parts of the state. As on 01 December 2015, extreme rains have brought the capital city of Tamil Nadu, Chennai, to a standstill. Educational institutions are closed, the airport completely shut, trains cancelled, and the city bridge out of bounds for commuters.
The meteorological department has issued a heavy rain warning in Tamil Nadu for the next one week with very heavy to extreme rain forecast in Chennai, Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur districts in North Tamil Nadu. Over the last one month the worst affected areas are Chennai and districts of Cuddalore & Kanchipuram. The unprecedented torrential rains resulted in significant increase in water levels of ponds, lakes and other water bodies which flowed into low lying areas and entered homes of inhabitants.
The rains and subsequent floods in Kanchipuram and Cuddalore caused significant damage. About 35,000 huts were partially damaged and 15,000 fully damaged in these two districts. 80% of the people residing in the affected areas are daily wage labourers. It is difficult for them to make ends meet even under regular circumstances – now with no work for the last one month life has become very difficult.,
The State Government has set up relief camps and initiated other relief measures for affected people, which were largely insufficient looking at the magnitude of the incident. Poor and marginalized people, residing in the interiors and parts of rural areas, are the most affected and vulnerable and are in dire need of immediate relief measures.
Water-logging, insufficient food, inadequate health facilities and a lack of proper sanitation pose the threat of epidemic outbreak.
Phia Foundation along with partner NGOs have been active in the immediate aftermath of the disaster and have carried out several assessments and response actions. Phia is responding in the flood affected areas in Tamil Nadu to provide support to the affected districts for #disaster relief and recovery interventions in the form of food items and non-food items, restoration and installation of water sources (tube wells etc.), provision of drinking water (filtration systems), hygiene kits, shelter kits, and educational material – shoes and bags for school children.
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