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Reports indicate that 400,000 people have been displaced by the floods in Tamil Nadu that began earlier this month. Over 70,000 have been rescued and 122 people have died. Estimates suggest that the floods have caused over $1 billion of damage.
The neighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh and the union territory of Puducherry have also been affected by the heavy rain and flooding. At least 35 deaths have been reported in Andhra Pradesh as a result.
Third Week of Flooding
The southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu is entering its third week of flooding. Several districts of the state have been battling floods since 08 November 2015 when an area of deep depression formed over the Bay of Bengal and dumped heavy rainfall across parts of the state.
Cuddalore was particularly badly affected and at least 27 people died in the district during the first few days of the heavy rain. Recent official reports say that Neyveli in Cuddalore district saw 437 mm of rain fall on 09 November.
More rain hit the state between 10 and 17 November, causing severe flooding in Chennai, as well as Cuddalore, Kanchipuram and Thiruvallur districts.
Further Heavy Rain and Floods from 22 November 2015
WMO figures say that 133.1 mm of rainfall was recorded in Cuddalore in 24 hours between 22 and 23 November 2015, and 194 mm during the same period in Karaikal, Puducherry. Chennai saw 139 mm of rain the following day.
Local media are now reporting that floods have since affected the districts of Thoothukudi and Vellore. Flood water remains in the districts of Cuddalore, Chennai, Kanchipuram and Thiruvallur, although no new flooding has been reported since 18 November 2015.
13,000 Affected in Thoothukudi District
In Thoothukudi, The Hindu reports that 20 localities have been flooded following heavy rain late on Sunday 22 November 2015. At one point flood water rose to waist level in parts of Anthoniyarpuram, Maravamadam and Diraviapuram.
Over 2,500 people had to be rescued and evacuated by boat in the district. Six relief camps have been set up to house those displaced. Local authorities are also providing food and other relief items to over 13,000 victims in the district.
1,779 houses damaged in Vellore District
Heavy rains have increased levels of rivers in Vellore district. Local media are reporting that the Appukkal River has overflowed and flooded two villages near Anaicut on Tuesday 24 November 2015. At least 50 families were forced from their homes.
Heavy rain has also caused some flooding in other villages in the district, as well as Vellore city, where 150 families have been evacuated.
As reported by local media, Vellore officials say that 432 villages have been affected by floods and heavy rain, with a total of 1,779 houses damaged. Of these, 214 thatched huts were totally destroyed. The rains and floods have so far claimed the lives of 18 people in the district since 09 November 2015.
Tamil Nadu Floods Cause $1 Billion Damages
Earlier this week the state’s Chief Minister, J. Jayalalithaa, wrote to the Prime Minister with details of the flood situation. She said that 169 people had died in flood-related incidents since the start of October 2015 and that current estimates suggest that flooding has caused INR 8481 crore (US$1 billion) of damage across the state.
Ministerial Team to Assess Damage
A ministerial team, led by Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, TVSN Prasad,
will visit Tamil Nadu on 26 November 2015 to assess the damage caused by the recent floods.
The team will include representatives of the Ministries of Agriculture, Finance, Rural Development, Drinking Water and Power from Delhi, representatives of Ministries of Road Transport and Highways and Health from Chennai and Central Water Commission, Bengaluru.
Relief Efforts Not Reaching All Victims
The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) reported yesterday that low caste communities, consisting of approximately 2,500 households are not receiving any aid and require humanitarian assistance. ECHO is currently carrying out an assessment in the area.
Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry
The neighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh and the union territory of Puducherry were also affected by the heavy rain and flooding. At least 2 flood-related deaths were reported in Puducherry.
In Andrha Pradesh the district of Nellore was worst hit. Chittoor, East Prakasam and Kadapa districts were also badly affected. By 20 November, 35 people had died in the flooding and over 14,000 people evacuated to relief camps in Nellore and Chittoor districts.
On 19 November 2015, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Naidu wrote to the Indian Prime Minister estimating flood-related damage in the state at almost US$500 million.