Media CenterCRS Responds to Floods in India with Emergency Relief

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Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is coming to the aid of thousands of people affected by severe flooding in southwestern India following a period of intense rainfall that’s led to widespread damage, hundreds of deaths, and mass displacement.

The flooding, concentrated in the southern India states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, has claimed the lives of more than 300 people, and has caused significant damage to critical infrastructure, farm fields and houses. What’s more, the rains have led to the evacuation of approximately 72,000 people to hundreds of nearby relief camps, while the runway at Chennai airport is flooded and has been closed for several days.  Many roads in the surrounding districts are inaccessible and it remains difficult to reach affected areas.

“Such infrastructure damage could prove challenging to our emergency response efforts in the days and weeks ahead,” explained Jennifer Poidatz, head of the CRS emergency response team. “However, we are well-positioned to respond to this emergency given that we were already in the middle of responding to the needs of flood-affected households in Tamil Nadu when the return of heavy rain led to additional flooding in Chennai city and the surrounding areas.”

The rain has since stopped, but many places remain under water.  CRS will scale up its emergency response efforts when roads clear and further assessments can be made. 

CRS Response

CRS and its partners are responding throughout the region to support thousands of flood-affected households. Our priorities include:

  • Food and food voucher distributions
  • Distributions of basic household items such as tarps, blankets and kitchen sets
  • Distributions of household toolkits for debris removal
  • Distributions of clothing
  • Raising awareness about the protection of women and children
  • Assessments of livelihood recovery needs

You can help CRS respond to emergencies around the world by making a donation

Tags: Emergency
Nikki Gamer

Senior Public Affairs Manager

Nikki Gamer
December 4, 2015

Based in Baltimore, MD

Nikki is the Senior Public Affairs Manager for CRS and connects journalists to regional stories and sources related to the agency’s life-saving development work. Previously, Nikki worked as the Communications Officer for the Middle East, Europe, and Central Asia. She has covered CRS’ response to the Syrian refugee crisis and the mass displacement...More