|Water was reported at levels of 10 feet in some areas, causing landslides that buried everything in their path.|
Weeks of monsoon rains in western India triggered flooding and landslides that ravaged more than 600 villages in the state of Maharashtra. Water was reported at levels of 10 feet in some areas, causing landslides that buried everything in their path. Local infrastructures suffered extensive damage and government authorities struggled to get basic services operational again.
Christian Children’s Fund (CCF), working in some of the most severely impacted areas in western India, has confirmed the loss of eight CCF-assisted children in the village of Jui, in the Mahad-Raigad district.
“Our hearts go out to the families who lost children in the devastating landslides that followed recent torrential rains in western India,” said CCF President John F. Schultz. “We also want to extend our sympathy to the CCF sponsors of these children in the United States, Australia and Denmark. CCF-India reports that families not only lost their children and other family members, they lost their homes and belongings, their livestock and most of their crops on agricultural land that was buried under silt from the heavy flooding that took place,” Schultz added.
The CCF office in Mahad was also inundated and a temporary office set up to provide immediate assistance to local villages.
“Our CCF team traveled for three days to reach the project area where we have been working for more than 15 years,” noted Dola Mohapatra, national director for CCF-India. "They assessed the damage and began immediate emergency relief efforts. Christian Children’s Fund provided food, dry rations, clothing, medicines and water storage tanks to families living in the temporary camps.”
Nine camps were set up for more than 9,000 displaced people.
“CCF has supplied tarpaulins, set up community kitchens and provided volunteers for family assistance and support in all of the camps,” said Mohapatra.
Families from the most severely impacted villages will literally have to start over, moving to safer locations, rebuilding their homes and restoring their livelihoods in new communities.
Close to 1,000 deaths have been reported as a result of the severe flooding and landslides. As recovery operations continue, that number is expected to climb. In the city of Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, the commercial and financial center of India and home to 15 million people, more than one-half the average annual rainfall occurred in the first 12 hours, bringing everything in the city to a complete standstill.
CCF-India is currently working with the government and district administrator on long-term rehabilitation plans for the affected communities.
CCF has been operating in India since 1951 and currently assists 500,000 children and families in 1,000 communities.
Figures updated: August 25, 2005.