August 13, 2019
Unrelenting rainfall, landslides and storms continue to ravage large parts of India, particularly the states of Kerala, Maharashtra and Karnataka. Over 95 lives have been lost and several lakhs displaced as on Saturday. More than 1,300 relief camps have been set up across the three states of Kerala, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
Oxfam India's Humanitarian Team has been assessing the situation across the states closely through coordination with the respective state Inter Agency Groups as well as partners for local coordination and collection of information.
Having been working on the ground in Kerala through the last one year to rebuild and rehabilitate communities affected by the flood situation that unfolded this time last year (2018), Oxfam India has a strong and active presence in the region.
In a grim reminder of last year's devastating floods that wreaked havoc in Kerala, the southern state is yet again reeling under torrential rain and an ensuing landslide and severe flood situation. According to a statement issued by the State Disaster Management Cell on Saturday evening, 46 lives have been lost and 1.45 lakh people have been evacuated to safety. Though the rains seem to have let up, the devastation caused by nearly 80 landslides and the deluge across nine affected districts has left Kerala struggling.
Our Humanitarian team in Kerala is presently conducting a rapid needs assessment, and is responding to immediate need with emergency food and water support, in the interim.
In Maharashtra, over two lakh people have been evacuated to safer places as heavy rains continue to batter several districts in the western half of the state. The total number of deaths due to rain or flood-related incidents in five districts of the region has climbed to 27.
In Maharashtra, a two-member team from Oxfam’s Humanitarian Hub has been deployed to conduct a rapid needs assessment.
In Karnataka, 9 people have died and 44,000 have been evacuated from flood-hit areas of the state, in the past few days.
“Our interventions are focused on providing immediate needs including food and water support. The personal hygiene of women and girls in particular will also be our top priority. After a full assessment of people’s needs we will work to rebuild and rehabilitate in the worst affected areas,” said Pankaj Anand, Director - Programs and Humanitarian Response at Oxfam India.
During the last four years, Oxfam India has responded to more than 35 humanitarian disasters across the country and directly provided relief to nearly 1.5 million people. Oxfam India’s response is guided by the needs of the most vulnerable communities in the flood affected areas.
We are aware that in a disaster situation such as this, women and girls, the aged, people with disabilities and other marginalised sections are the worst sufferers. Oxfam India’s interventions shall keep these most vulnerable groups at the centre of all that we do.
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