RDT in HUDHUD Cycle affected Visakhapatnam, Coastal Andhra Pradesh State
14th October 2014:
A team of 38-members left along with 3 trucks, 1 lorry, 6 jeeps and 2 ambulances to carry out relief work in cyclone affected Visakhapatnam on 14th October 2014. The team consists of 2 sector directors, 1 regional director, 1 assistant director, 4 area team leaders, 10 community organizers, 2-sector team leaders of health, 2 health organizers, 2 doctors, 1 accountant, 10 drivers and 2 mechanics. They carried 25 tons of rice, 2 tons of red gram, 300 packets of milk powder, 2000 blankets, 2000 sarees, 2000 lungies and 1000 plastic mats. One of the area team leaders who is from coastal districts was sent in advance to find a suitable location for the team to set up its initial base.
The team reached Dornala on 14th October night and started to Visakhapatnam early morning at 5 am the next day. As they were told that there is scarcity of diesel and water in and around Visakhapatnam they purchased 15 cans of diesel, 15 water cans and 10,000 water packets. By afternoon 3 pm the team reached Rajamundry where they had their lunch. The impact of the cyclone was seen from Amalapuram which is about 215 Km from Visakhapatnam.
Due to the horrifying velocity of Cyclone HUDHUD more than 75% of trees in and around Visakhapatnam were found to have been flattened. Some of them were uprooted. Even the hills wore a barren look. Big sized trees that were bent and broken were seen throughout the city and outskirts. It is estimated that over 50 lakh trees covering 3,600 hectares of the city were found to have been damaged. There is closure of educational institutions, banking institutions and business enterprises. Industrial and agricultural operations came to standstill. Livelihoods of all sections of people were affected severely.
By 7p.m in the night the team reached Visakhapatnam. By then the area team leader got accommodation for the team at an Indoor stadium where the tops of the sheds were blown off. 4 rooms having RC slab were given to the team. They stored the relief materials. There was no supply of water and electricity. The team managed with the generator they carried along with them and thrived upon the water which they carried. There is also a big sized generator in the stadium which is being run with the diesel carried by the team.
The municipal corporation has been supplying water 2 days after the team reached the city. The leaders met the district collector and revenue divisional officers to get the list of most affected villages. The process of survey is carried out in 2 villages namely Muthalamma Palyam and Thikkani Palyam. On 17th October 2014 they finished distributing a package of relief materials. Each package comprised of 2 kilograms of red gram, 25 kilograms of rice, 2 saris, 2 lungies, 2 bed sheets, 1 mat and 1 milk powder packet was distributed to 334 fishermen families at Thikkanipalyam which is completely destroyed. The fishermen had lost their livelihood and we are the first to distribute the materials in the village. Two medical camps were conducted covering 2 villages and a total of 390 persons suffering fevers, cough and eye infections were treated. 2 more medical camps are planned today i.e., on 17th October.
A team is carrying out survey in another 2 villages while one team will visit SRIKAKULAM to assess the situation and explore the possibility of carrying out relief work in the places which were inundated by floods.
The minister for civil supplies, Mrs.Sunithamma in the Government of Andhra Pradesh visited the place where the team stationed and acknowledged the efforts of RDT in extending helping hand to those in need. She introduced the staff to local MLA, Mr. Bandaru Sathyanarayana and the authorities. She briefed them about RDT and the commendable work which RDT is carrying out in Ananthapuramu and neighbouring districts. She mentioned that even the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh who is also staying in the city was also briefed about RDT and its work in the adjoining villages of Visakhapatnam.
One of the leaders by name Mr.Sudheer mentioned that, “Restoring electricity will solve many problems. Due to non-availability of power there is scarcity of water. Relief and rehabilitation work is being taken up by the government on a large scale. The governments including TELANGANA, TAMILNADU, ORISSA etc., have extended financial assistance and also deputed manpower to clear the roads and restore water and electricity. The Government is supplying vegetables, milk and water from the neighbouring coastal districts, Guntur and Krishna. We could see hundreds of Lorries with relief materials being carried out by NGOs, Individual Donors and Governments. There is lot of crop damage and roofs of the huts and sheds were blown off due to winds. Industrial production is almost stopped due to lack of power supply and many industrial sheds were also damaged as their roofs were made of asbestos and plastic sheets. There is good co-operation from local authorities and people. We are planning to visit SRIKAKULAM also to assess the needs and explore the possibility of sending one team to carry out relief work. Our focus is to reach the villages which are so far not reached by others. We are taking measures to avoid duplicating the works which are already carried out by others. We work where need is there. Already we started the work and it would continue further”
18th October 2014:
2 teams are still carrying out survey in SRIKAKULAM District to identify the needy villages for the distribution of relief materials. It will take another two days to complete the survey and later the team would carry out distribution process in the shortlisted villages in a phased manner. It was shared by the team that in the villages where they visited the fishermen had lost their boats and nets and requested the team to provide them with boats and nets so that they would carry out their fishing-the only livelihood activity.
370 families in four villages namely C. Thimmapuram (220), Pokkala Palyem (27), Simhadrinagar (95) and Varalasminagar (28) were given relief materials. The way of distribution of relief materials was appreciated by not only beneficiary families but also by the representatives of local bodies.
2 medical teams conducted mobile health clinics in 7 villages. In all 733 persons suffering from various ailments were treated. The villages are Thimmapuram (125), P.V.Palem (36), Simhadrinagar (143), Varalaxminagar (76), P.Uppada (139), Simhachalam (116) and Pine apple colony (98). “We are unable to carry out domestic works due to sickness. We are glad that both doctors and nurses treated us with lot of concern and provided us medicine, eye drops and ointments. They also provided relief materials. Both our health and food needs are taken care by RDT in this critical time” One of the ladies who attended the health camp
In one of the villages namely Pineapple colony where RDT conducted mobile health clinic there was a young person by name RAMBABU aged 25 years had an accidental fall while doing repairs to the roof of his house which was damaged in recent cyclone. They called 108- ambulance to shift him to the hospital but it didn’t come timely. RDT mobile health team shifted him immediately to King George Hospital where the doctors confirmed that his leg got fractured and needs hospitalization.
“Already we are in deep shock due to unprecedented cyclone that completely damaged our crops and house. Added to this shock, sudden fall of my son from the top of the roof made us panicky. There was swelling of his leg and was crying due to severe pain. We are so lucky to have RDT when we were waiting for government ambulance which didn’t come. Doctor and nurses of RDT provided first aid to our son and immediately shifted him to hospital in their ambulance. Timely help rendered by RDT will be remembered forever” Father of Rambabu
19th – 22nd October 2014:
On 19th October 2014, relief materials were distributed to 215 families comprised of 113 at Chokkavanipalem and 102 at Hastinapuram. Mobile health clinics were conducted in 5 villages covering a total of 698 patients. A majority of patients are suffering from viral fevers, respiratory infections and eye infections. At Yeradu 306 patients were treated followed by 142 at Jodugulapalem, 90 at Chokkavanipalem, 85 at Mangammavaripalem and 75 at V.Thimmapuram.
On 20th October 2014, 456 cases were treated by mobile health doctors/nurses in 6 villages. They are Nammidoddi (123), Chinna Nagaiah Palem (110), Sri Bandarupuram colony (79), Chapala Colony (67), Pata Rajanna Palem (42) and Jeerupalem (35). Relief materials were distributed to 72 families in only one village namely Jeerupalem.
Team leaders comprised of Mr.Sudheer, Mr. Sirappa, Mr. Vannurappa and Mr.Nagappa visited different places on 20th and 21st to explore the sources of relief materials like rice, red gram, saris, lungies and blankets. It was decided by the team to buy rice at KAKINADA, Red gram at VISAKHAPATNAM and other materials at Vijayanagaram duly taking into account the prevailing market rates in those places. It was decided not to distribute mats as they were available at either Vishakhapatnam or surrounding towns.