THANE CYCLONE RELIEF ASSISTANCE

Relief Program

517 families of Pennadam, Cuddalore OT, Thurinjikollai, Neyveli, Vadalur, Eraiyur, Avalur, Keeramangalam, Kurinjipadi, Who were affected by Fire and Flood, given immediate relief assistance of Rs. 69700 from the Archbishop's Relief Fund. 412 families from 13 villages in Pondicherry and Cuddalore who were affected by Floods, given relief assistance received through Caritas India to the tune of Rs. 2,00,000.

2011 year ended creating a heavy damage through Thane Cyclone. Unimaginable heavy damage caused affected the entire district regions of Pondicherry, Cuddalore and partially the Villupuram district.

DISSEMINATION OF CYCLONE EARLY WARNING

PMSSS had the facility of Cyclone Early Warning System within the organization installed by mapINCOIS and hence it was able to disseminate warning information to the Coastal and inland regions since 22nd December 2011 onwards and prepared the communities beforehand. PMSSS and Indian National Center for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) partnership through Information, Communication and Technology program was very much useful. It was a great opportunity to disseminate right information at the appropriate time. Until the Cyclone crossed the sea shore, PMSSS was able to disseminate 99.9% accurate & Government authentic information to the people.

INCOIS scientists were continuously in touch with PMSSS and passed on the weather information. Hence it was helpful to know the information on, the time when the cyclone would hit, Wind speed, Tidal height and exact coast line the cyclone would hit. Unique factor was that the deployment of Wave Rider Buoy in the Pondicherry Coast by INCOIS, NIO in collaboration with PMSSS. It proved to be a valuable effort. PMSSS had greater visibility.

Unfortunately, the thane cyclone while crossing the shore drifted away the Wave Rider Buoy and in the process the Buoy got lost disconnecting the information network. Now, once again PMSSS has taken efforts to deploy New Wave Rider Buoy along the Pondicherry Coast in partnership with INCOIS and NIO.

DETAILS OF CYCLONE DAMAGE

It is not surprising to state that such damage had never been caused so far as that of Thane Cyclone. The situation was so bad that all community people felt and expressed that it was worse than Tsunami disaster occurred in 2004.

Government of Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu declared that Pondicherry and Cuddalore districts as Disaster hit. As per the Government report following are the damage data in Pondicherry, Cuddalore and Villupuram district regions:

  • Affected villages : 2153
  • Affected No. of Houses and Families : 14,02,112
  • Damaged Houses : 4,59,082 People
  • Died : 53
  • Loss of Livestock : 10,000
  • Damage to Agriculture in Cuddalore District: Paddy : 58,000 Hectors
  • Cashews : 23,000 Hectors
  • Jackfruit : 5,572 Hectors
  • Coconut, Plantain and other fruits : 8,947 Hectors.

In that context of so much of destruction, it was disappointing that the cyclone did not attract the media attention and information not shared at the National and International Level. The cyclone information did not reach the International Communities and Donors. There was a gap in Information Dissemination.

It was sad that the cyclone disaster not declared as a National disaster. Hence, the International Donor Organizations could not respond and came forward to extend assistance.

RELIEF ACTIVITIES AND ASSISTANCE

In that critical situation PMSSS immediately contacted Caritas India and Catholic Relief Services and appealed for Immediate Relief Assistance.

PMSSS started relief operations during pre-cyclone stage itself. Specifically, PMSSS started its relief service in Manalmedu Coastal hamlet of Pondicherry since December26th itself. Food was cooked at PMSSS office and supplied to the villages in Pondicherry and Cuddalore. Continued to that official team from CRS, Chennai office arrived in PMSSS and selected few most vulnerable village locations and organized extending relief assistance.

PMSSS staff team made rapid assessment in the affected 3 districts and appealed to Caritas India seeking assistance at least for 20000 families. In turn Caritas India appealed to International Caritas.

Then Caritas India Zonal Team along with Mr. Albert, Representative of Caritas Germany came to PMSSS to study and prepare proposal to ECHO.

Caritas India as a immediate relief assistance released Rs. 24,00,000, in which Rs.16,50,000 was allotted to PMSSS and Rs. 7,50,000 to SAMSSS to extend immediate relief assistance totally to 2200 families. Based on the support received and with the cooperation of the Parish Priests, Village leaders, Community members, an assessment was made, procured relief materials and supplied to the worst affected families. In the context of large number of houses and families affected and all people had to be supported PMSSS took efforts to contact various service organizations. In specific, PMSSS got the support of CRI, NASSCOM Foundation network, NGOs, IT Industries and other philanthropic organizations and supplied relief materials. Moreover, District Educational Center, Salem, Shrine Basilica, Velankanni, Auroville Foundation, AB Children Trust, Italy given their donation. In total PMSSS was able to extend immediate relief assistance to around 40000 families in 160 villages.

DETAILS OF RELIEF ASSISTANCE