31/01/2012 – The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) has just released €1 million to help the victims of the cyclone-ravaged districts of Cuddalore, Villuppuram, and Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu, as well as the Union Territory of Puducherry.
Cyclone Thane struck Tamil Nadu in the last days of 2011. The 140 km per hour winds killed 48 people, and destroyed or damaged up to 350,000 homes, ruined electricity and communications systems and flattened large areas of standing crops.
“Cyclone Thane has wreaked havoc on rural communities: people have lost their thatched homes and, at a critical time of harvest, their means to earn a living.” said Dr João Cravinho, the European Union’s Ambassador and Head of Delegation to India and Bhutan. “While the Governments of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are spearheading the relief efforts, Europe’s humanitarian funds aim to boost support to the marginalised communities in the worst-affected rural areas.”
The humanitarian funds will be disbursed to international non-governmental organisations working in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, who will provide essential materials and tools to repair homes, together with enhanced access to income and food through cash for work activities targeted at the most vulnerable families. Village clean-up campaigns will also speed up the recovery of the communities.