July 1, 2013
The Initial Assessment of the Emergency Response Team (Excerpts)
The districts that have been affected are Uttarkashi, Chamoli, Rudraprayag Tehri and Pithoragarh.
The IGSSS team visited the Tehri-Garhwal, Rudraprayag district during 26-28 June 2013 and carried out discussions with District Magistrate, Sub Divisional Magistrate, Block Development Office, local Community Based Organisations and local people including affected persons. The team made observations, held group discussions with people. Rapid assessment was done for both these districts.
The villages visited as part of the assessment in Tehri-Garhwal district on 27th June, 2013 are the following: Narandranagar town (Old capital of Tehri), AgraKhal, Gazakheri, Nagiri, Chamba town, New Tehri, Baurari, Tepri, Okhargoan, Nandgaon, Pipuldali, Gadolia, Asina, Patagali, Kilkhi, Ghansali, Sendul, Chimiala, Lata, Chatiara, Budhakedar.
Cloud burst with heavy rains followed by land slide and rock fall in certain pockets affected the agri-land of some families. But no major infrastructure destruction was found except for seven houses that have been washed away. People reported that they have received an early warning and managed to shift from the place. There was no report of any causality though roads are found damaged in some areas.
The villages and Tehsil areas visited under Rudraprayag District on 28th June, as a part of the assessment are Chirpatiya, Mayali, Tuneta, Lavdi, Tilwada, Rampur, Phaladi, Saurgarh, Vijaynagar, Silli Sera, and Agastmuni.
Heavy infrastructural damage, property loss, loss of agricultural land, business (Shops hotels, etc) which is one of the main alternative economies of the villagers have been reported. The sudden flood has also washed away several government institutions like, schools, land revenue office, insurance office, PDS shops, community halls etc. Other than this the major damages have occurred to the roads and bridges, which has caused disconnectivity of the villages as well as the service providers resulting in the delay in relief and rescue operations. As per the government reports there are very little causalities reported but the information received from local sources estimates that there could be high possibilities of deaths of human life as there are people missing that have not been found yet. There are also reports of livestock’s missing.
Detailed Assessment of Agastmuni Block
The three Tehsils under Agastmuni Block of Rudraprayag district which has also been severely affected are Rudraprayag, Ukhimat, and Jagoli.
- Relief Ration – It has been found that the govt is providing immediate relief to the affected people in Agastmuni block as the roads connectivity has been restored up-to Vijay Nagar village. However the villages above Vijaynagar to Guptkashi under Agastmuni block and villages under other two Tehsils have not yet received any relief services due to absence of roads and bridges. The relief materials provided by the govt are the following: 10 kg rice, 2 kg dal, spices, salt 1 kg, sugar-500 gm, biscuit-4 packs, drinking water, tea leaf, mustard oil, plates/glasses (1 set) per family/per week.
- Health Services – Insufficient health services has been reported by people. As there are complaints of diarrhea, vomiting, skin diseases as of now.
- Immediate Road Construction – It has been found Road construction is given a high priority by government, however the frequent rain falls followed by landslides and rock falls are delaying the rebuilding process.
- Relief camps – It has been found that out of two relief camps in Agastmuni, one camp for the pilgrims has been evacuated. However the villagers who have lost their houses are sheltering in one camp.
- NGOs visited the area – It has been reported by the SDM and BDO of Agastmuni that the following NGOs Ramkrishna Mission, Sahantikunj, Cosmic Orange, Asram Harimandir, Pataudi Gudgoan, Believers Church have distributed some food items to the affected people in the relief camps to the Pilgrims.
WASH – contamination of water sources:
There is a suspected contamination of the drinking sources. As most local villagers depend upon natural springs for drinking water, and with many dead bodies still unattended in the Kedarnath valley, it may be possible that their decay is leading to the contamination of water. A number of people from local villagers have been complaining of diarrhea and vomiting according to ITBP doctors who have set up camps in the area. Hence, access to clean drinking water has emerged as one of the crucial issues that will need to be tackled.
Sanitation & Toilets:
With complete loss of habitat, there is a tremendous pressure to deal with sanitation issues. Lack of toilets leading to open defecation adds further to the situation at hand. It becomes a matter of concern for the already vulnerable women and girl child population and needs immediate attention.
Loss of habitat and personal belongings:
Houses in the villages have collapsed or washed away and the people have been left with little or no personal possessions. Living in high altitudes, monsoons spell the change in the weather with the nights getting colder, especially if the people have no cover. Inclement weather and the fact that they lack a roof over their heads also mean that they are completely exposed to the vagaries of nature.
Lack of bedding/shelter provision including sleeping mats, tarpaulins and mosquito nets for all families is another area of concern as reported by families living in the affected areas.
Most of the local community, especially those that were near the shrine, were completely dependent upon the religious tourism/other tourism industry for their livelihood. With this sector being severely affected, due to the complete breakdown of communication and the roads network, the most vulnerable members of the community will be the worst affected. Cash for work could be an option where provision of cash remuneration for clearing up debris, reconstructing habitation could be one immediate solution.
June 27, 2013
IGSSS has activated an Emergency Response Team (ERT) and approved INR 10 lakhs for immediate response to the Uttarakhand Flash Flood Victims. It has deputed the ERT for initial assessment to Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
Based on the initial information gathered from the Inter Agency Group – Uttarakhand (IAG-UK) and Sphere India, there is an immediate requirement of Hygiene kits, Dignity Kits and basic necessities such as blankets, mosquito nets, solar lights and torches and biscuits etc for more than 3000 families.