22 Responding to the flood of the century - Fr. Paul Moonjely

posted Aug 21, 2018, 11:25 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Aug 21, 2018, 11:25 AM ]


It's being called the flood of the century. Torrential rains and strong winds over three weeks have devastated God's own country, Kerala. It has already received 30% more rain than its annual average; rains in the state often last till Novemeber.

34 dams are spewing water, 44 rivers are in spate. 12 of the state's 14 districts are submerged. 36 locations are battling landslides. More than Rs 20,000 crore in damages. Such devastation was last seen in 1924, long before Indian Independence.

- 1,287 of 1,553 Kerala villages affected.

- More than 650,000 people from 70,000 families.

- 1,33,000 people living in 1,684 relief camps.

- 24,000 hectares of agricultural land lost.

- 2000 houses destroyed, 9000 partially damaged

- No drinking water for more than half the people of Malappuram, Palakkad and Kozhikode

- Kochi international airport shut for four days, rail services disrupted, roads blocked or washed away.

- More than 160 dead

Farmers, daily wage workers and agricultural labourers won't earn anything for the next 2-3 months. Thousands have no homes to go back to. Lakhs need food, clothes, beds, mosquito nets, medicines, drinking water supplies and temporary shelters. Sanitation and hygiene has been severely compromised, risk of epidemics is at an all time high. After all these needs are met, there is a need for longer term rehabilitation, reconstruction and livelihood support for affected families.