Flood victims in Kerala need urgent help
Sharjah, September 24, 2018
Venkat Raman (Indian Newslink)
Auckland, September 24, 2018
A former President of the Auckland Malayali Samajam has appealed to all New Zealander to extend their financial support to help victims of the devastating floods that ravaged the State of Kerala last month.
Sasi Nambissan, who currently works in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates is in daily contact with a number of his friends throughout New Zealand coordinating efforts to bring relief to the people of his home state who are still under a state of shock and despair.
Massive relief work
He visited Kerala soon after the floods and has had first-hand information about the extent of destruction wrought by torrential rains and floods.
“The relief work being undertaken is on a massive scale. I am grateful to our people at the grassroots level who are on the forefront of relief efforts.
“Our young people in Auckland and Rotorua, including Dijo John Thottappally, Justin Matthew Kavapurackal, Nithin and Jomin Antony have been working relentlessly to mobilise funds for flood relief in Kerala. In view of the large extent of the damages and a very large amount required (more than US$ 1 billion, these efforts will continue for sometime,” he said.
Rescue operations in progress
Deaths and Missing Persons
Mr Nambissan quoted Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan as saying to the ‘One-Day State Assembly’ on Thursday, September 20, 2018 that about 485 people died in flood-related incidents and that 14 persons were still missing.
“Excessive rainfall, floods and landslides have destroyed roads, bridges, buildings and houses, forcing a large part of the state’s population to take shelter in relief camps. According to an Indian Express report, on August 21, at the height of the floods, a total of 1.45 million people belonging to 39.1 million families had to be rushed to nearby relief camps. The latest figure is that there are 59,296 people in 305 relief camps,” he said.
Prayers continue even as floods create havoc
Mr Nambissan, who was President of the Auckland Malayali Samajam in 2009 and its Vice-President in 2013-2014, said that more than 100,000 families have lost their homes, belongings and are now living in temporary shelters.
“Many of them have lost their immediate family members and friends. Several are still trapped under mud, fallen buildings. We hope and pray that there would be no more rains and the resultant floods and damages,” Mr Nambissan said.
For donations and more information, please contact Dijo John on 027-2882000.
Another report on a fundraising event on Thursday, September 27, 2018 at Kairali Restaurant, 754 Manukau Road, Royal Oaks, Auckland will appear shortly.
Widespread destruction in Kerala
(Pictures Supplied by Sasi Nambissan)