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Cyclone Thane kills 48 as thousands affected by Indian floods

January 16 2011 - Christian Aid has released £50,000 to partner organisations in India after more than 6000 Indian villagers were forced from their homes and 48 were killed by Cyclone Thane.

The storm swept through the east-Indian coastal state of Tamil Nadu on December 30 uprooting trees, destroying roads and buildings and bringing down power lines.

As villagers attempt to rebuild their damaged homes many communities are still without electricity and clean drinking water.  The high winds also destroyed 15000 hectares of paddy crops and 20000 hectares of cashew and jackfruit trees which will both affect immediate survival needs but cause long term impact on livelihoods.

In Tamil Nadu, the two most vulnerable groups of concern to Christian Aid are the socially excluded dalit community and Sri Lankan Tamil refugees.

In response to the crisis Christian Aid has launched a Rapid Emergency Response Initiative providing support to the Organisation for Eelam Refugees Rehabilitation and Social Awareness Society for Youths, two existing partner organisations in Tamil Nadu, which have been able to carry out assessments and start relief activities

Emergency food provisions consisting of dry food such as rice, flour and milk powder for two weeks are being circulated along with winter kits of bedding and floor mats for those whose houses have been destroyed.

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If you would like further information please contact Joe Ware on 0207 523 2418 or jware@christian-aid.org. 24 hour press duty phone – 07850 242950  

Notes to Editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in nearly 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the lives they deserve.

2. Christian Aid has a vision, an end to global poverty, and we believe that vision can become a reality. Our report, Poverty Over, explains what we believe needs to be done – and can be done – to end poverty.  Details at http://www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/poverty-over-report.pdf

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of 100 churches and church-related organisations that work together inhumanitarian assistance and development.  Further details at http://www.actalliance.org

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit www.christianaid.org.uk