Shelter needed in India

Tens of thousands of people in India are in need of decent shelter after a cyclone caused widespead damage in the district of Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu and in the former French town of Puducherry.

More than 47 people have reportedly died from Cyclone Thane, possibly the last major natural disaster of 2011.

Thane, which hit India’s eastern coast, has put fishing and farming communities in evacuation centers. In Cuddalore alone, 7,000 people are residing temporarily in school buildings, community halls and cyclone centers.

About 200,000 thatched homes have been damaged by the high winds and 50 homes in a village near the coast have been wiped out, AlertNet reports.

John Roche, head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in India, said there is definitely a lot of damage but that it is “too early” to say how bad it is. Other agencies also said they do not yet have a full picture of the situation.

Amar Jyoti Nayak, regional manager for ActionAid India in Tamil Nadu, said his agency is already assessing the needs of the victims of Cyclone Thane.

“People need dry food rations, clothes, clean water as basic relief … many also need support to rebuild their homes which have been completely destroyed by Thane,” he told AlertNet.

SOS Children’s Villages, a nongovernmental organization which has been working in India since 1963, said the construction team from one of its units has arrived in Puducherry to prepare a repair plan in the area that would restore electricity and water supply, which have been cut off at the height of the cyclone.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.