Over two million people displaced by flooding in India

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Two and a half million people have been displaced and over 250 people were killed following the heaviest flooding to hit southern India in a hundred years.

Karnataka was the state most heavily affected by the floods. R.V. Jagdish, a government spokesman, said that 172 deaths from the rains in the state were reported, and fifty thousand people are living in relief camps. The neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh reported at least fifty flood-related deaths. 1.5 million people residing in 100 relief camps across that state, chief minister K. Rosaiah said.

Relief crews dispatched boats and helicopters to send rations to large numbers of villagers left stranded after torrential rains.

No less than five million people have been sent to temporary government shelter areas following the heavy rains, which had flooded millions of acres of cropland.

Ambrose Christy, the south zonal manager for anti-poverty group Caritas India, said that “we have never experience anything like this before. It is the worst flooding in 100 years. The situation could become even more severe as the rains get worst. If the Krishna River bursts its banks, millions more will be forced from their homes and a huge area of land will be underwater.”

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