Thousands of Children and Families Stranded in Mountains by India Floods, Save the Children Warns
WESTPORT, Conn. — Thousands of children and their families have been left stranded in mountains by heavy monsoon rains that swept through the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, Save the Children reported today.
More than 150,000 people, almost half of them children, are thought to have been displaced by the flooding and are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. The global humanitarian agency says that relief efforts are entering a critical period before further heavy rains are forecast to hit the area.
“Thousands of children, pregnant women and old people are in desperate need of food and medical attention. Dozens of villages have been cut off by the floodwaters, and homes, livestock and possessions have been swept away. The next 24 hours will be absolutely critical in getting aid in before more heavy rain arrives,” said Latha Caleb, Save the Children’s India Director of Programs.
The organization’s emergency teams are already on the ground, and have reached some of the most inaccessible areas. In the village of Karadhi, they found 500 families sheltering in a dilapidated school building after their homes were swept away by the floods, including a family whose one-year-old daughter had died of pneumonia because they could not reach medical help.
The floods struck as tens of thousands of people were making a pilgrimage to four holy sites in the area. The death toll currently stands at 500, but officials are expecting more deaths to be confirmed as access to the stricken area improves.
With fresh downpours expected, there is an urgent need for food, clean drinking water, blankets, medicines and warm clothes and proper shelter. Save the Children has declared an emergency response and has started delivering emergency supplies to the families reached by its teams, including buckets, mosquito nets and blankets.
Save the Children is the leading independent organization for children in need, with programs in more than 120 countries, including the United States. We aim to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives by improving their health, education and economic opportunities. In times of acute crisis, we mobilize rapid assistance to help children recover from the effects of war, conflict and natural disasters. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
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