Orissa Flood Update

October 5th 2008

Death toll rises in Orissa floods

Officials report that some 4.2 million people in Orissa have been affected by floods triggered by monsoon rains.
More than 500,000 people have been evacuated from the worst-hit areas.

The Mahanadi River has breached its banks in several places, sweeping away motorways. The floods have also ravaged the states of West Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Assam.

The Repair and renovation of canals will be completed by the third week of October. Electricity supplies have not yet been restored in the central areas. The Government have  planned the completion of the repairs for these breaches by November 15th.

Emergency funding

Road links between the state capital of Bhubaneswar and many surrounding districts have been destroyed by the floods.

Indian army helicopters have been dropping food aid to people who remain stranded.

"In its dimension and sweep, the current flood in Orissa is comparable to the recent flood in Kosi River that caused havoc in Bihar," said a senior government spokesman.

This natural disaster "should be treated with the same urgency and seriousness", said Ajit Kumar Tripathy.

The authorities in Orissa have requested 15bn Rupees (£179m) in emergency assistance from central government in Delhi.

Water- borne diseases are on the increase following the flooding. The health department has been directed to provide health care in marooned villages to help prevent the outbreak of an epidemic. About 40 health teams have been created for this purpose.

Shelter remains a big issue. Polythene sheets have begun arriving and 120,000 have been supplied to the flood-affected people on Friday.

Prajnana Mission, our partner for emergency relief in Orissa, has organized doctors and volunteers to distribute drinking water, dry food packets and medical aid to those in need. The relief team is traveling to approximately three villages each day and distributing relief supplies and establishing health camps for medical care.

Funds are required for purchasing water, food, and medicines as well as for fuel costs. Many villagers’ cattle are dying from starvation.

Cattle feed is also essential to help save the livestock, and maintain the local economies.

If you are interested in making a donation for the relief efforts, please send to:

Hand In Hand USA 710 St.
Josephs Drive Oak Brook,
Illinois 60523

email: handinhand01@voyager.net
website: www.HandinHandUSA.org

Hand In Hand Europe
Organisation fur humanitare Hilfe
ZVR: 622986022
A-1120 Wien
Pohlgasse 10/4/7

Fon : 0043(0)650 / 702 60 50
e-mail: secretary@handinhand.at
website: www.handinhand.at