South India Tsunami

[ photos from the region]

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On Boxing Day i.e. December 26 in 2004, a massive undersea earthquake in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Indonesia caused a terrible tsunami. The earthquake was one of the largest even recorded and triggered other minor earthquakes. The tsunami struck the southeastern coast of India killing more than 10,000 people (besides Andaman and Nicobar Islands) and directly affecting more than 300,000 people, especially in coastal Tamil Nadu. The tsunami affected other countries such as Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

HOPE worldwide arrived in coastal Tamil Nadu with relief on 27th December 2004. Immediate relief to the victims was provided. HOPE worldwide workers were able to help the affected populace through medical camps dispensing medicines and treating bruises. Food packets and sleeping mats, bed sheets, rice and other essential items were distributed to the victims. They also help to bury the dead and comfort the living. Counselors met with victims to discuss their fears and concerns following the tsunami, to restore their confidence and security.

In collaboration with IMGE, HOPE worldwide started a program called ‘Save the Family’. 120 boats were given to the fishermen community in lieu of the boats that were destroyed by the tsunami. Nets were also provided for the fishermen. Life starter kits were also given to the families who had lost everything in the tsunami.

The coast which was filled with debris brought in by the tsunami was cleared up. Long term programs were started in Pudupattinam and Nagapattinam. This is one of the largest initiatives in response to the Tsunami disaster and was launched in collaboration with Manpower Inc., USA. Nagapattinam is a district which witnessed three-quarters of the fatalities that occurred in Tamil Nadu.

The collaboration has produced the establishment of two Vocational Training Centres at Tharangambadi and Nagapattinam with a focus on local requirements and developing the local economy. The Centre of HOPE in Puduattinam is an integrated complex comprising a permanent school, community hall, health clinic and vocational training block. The local people can avail Micro Credit facilities, again from the Centre to setup businesses and take a job through HOPE’s placement services.

A Centre of HOPE was also launched in Nagapattinam with the help of Manpower. The two vocational training centres train young men and women in different professional courses, like computers, masonry, sewing, mobile repairing, electrical fittings and others.

The two Centres of HOPE together benefit nearly 2000 residents of the fishermen communities, helping them have better lives.

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