(11/9/2015) A confirmed death toll of 200 which is expected even to increase, ten million people affected including more than 1.2 million displaced, hundreds thousands of houses damaged, fields submerged, people suffering from shortage of drinking water and food: This is the gloomy situation that India is facing after a week of heavy monsoon rains and in the aftermath of cyclone Komen.
In Myanmar, another 300,000 are affected by heavy floods and landslides. Almost 30,000 households are displaced, 200,000 farms destroyed.
Floods and cyclone caused damage and hunger
Extreme rainfalls that had been plaguing the states of West Bengal, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Manipur and Odisha, were exacerbated by a tropical cyclone that developed over the northern Bay of Bengal on July 29 and eventually reached tropical storm strength and moved inland the following day. West Bengal seems to be the most affected, with over 80 cases of people dying from lightning strikes, wall collapsing, electrocution, drowning and snake-bites. Due to the cyclone the state witnessed a rainfall of 1026 mm, almost three times the normal rainfall of 389 mm. More than 214,000 people are currently taking shelter in the 1,537 relief camps set up.
In Myanmar, 12 of 14 states are affected. In Sagaing, Magwe, Rakhine State und Chin State, where Welthungerhilfe is running projects, state of emergency has been announced.
Welthungerhilfe Fight Hunger First Initiative (FHFI) project areas in Indian South Parganas have also been badly affected, with 24 villages and over 80,000 people in very grim conditions. The submerging of make-shift toilets has led to a very risky situation due to the contamination of water. The main concern is about the spreading of water-borne diseases as well as the situation of children and pregnant and lactating mothers, who cannot benefit anymore from the project nutrition support. In Manipur, where Welthungerhilfe is currently implementing the "Empowering Women for Peace and Development in South Asia" project, whole villages have been washed away by floods and a landslide. Hundreds of thousands are currently living in make-shift camps, with roads and bridges connecting villages greatly damaged. People say, the floods are the worst in the last 200 years.
How life will be after the disaster?
People are now wondering how they will build up their future again, after these dramatic losses. One of the major problems are health and nutrition due to lack of clean water and hygiene. We support the people together with our partners by initiating health camps and hygiene training, as well as distributing hygiene kits and supplementary nutrition for small children.