In the wake of Sundays quake-tsunami that killed hundreds of people and displaced thousands in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and coastal regions of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala, a Delhi-based Christian relief and rehabilitation agency is preparing to launch what may be called its biggest-ever relief operation since its formation in 1967.
For its initial efforts, the Evangelical Fellowship of India Commission on Relief (EFICOR) is drawing out a plan to cater to basic needs of more than 20,000 affected families. The relief operation will cover the length and breadth of the affected areas.
Based on a comprehensive survey conducted by the EFICOR in the affected areascovering more than a 1,000 km along the three southern states and the Andaman and Nicobar Islandsthe relief organization identified Car Nicobar in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, and Kanya Kumari districts in Tamil Nadu, as the areas that demand unprecedented relief operations.
EFICORs assessment team discovered that water supply in Car Nicobar and surrounding islands was completely damaged and the existing dam water had also got contaminated. There was no electricity, and houses, jetties and boats had been damaged, EFICOR reported. People had no shelter, nor any relief camps. Mainland businessmen were fleeing the islands, but the poor did not have any option. Fear and trauma was all that was found in this isolated region.
In Nagapattinam Taluk of Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu, where the death toll reached 4,500, the team discovered that 73 out of 84 villages were affected. 35,235 persons had been affected, 2,400 dead bodies buried, 9,075 houses destroyed, 1,407 boats damaged, 1,200 hectares crops damaged, and 865 cattle dead.
In Kutilpadi Taluk of Kanya Kumari, 430 out of the 450 houses had been washed out by the giant waves. In another Taluk, Kulachel, one whole village was still submerged in water. In addition, more than 750 dead bodies were buried in this Taluk alone, out of which 350 were children. Similarly, in Devapatnam Taluk of Cuddalore district, 1,000 out of the 1,500 families had lost their houses and more than 500 had lost their lives.
To meet the unprecedented challenges of the tsunami disaster the EFICOR is partnering with two other Christian organizationsthe Discipleship Center and the Emmanuel Hospital Association (EHA).