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On 11th November 1996, some 600 kilometres into the Indian Ocean, a cyclone took birth that eventually bulldozed across a 300 kilometres wide track of annihilation at speeds of up to 260 kmph. East and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh, a southern state of India, were the worst hit.

The Damage

  • 1,000 dead and 925 missing
  • 5,80,000 homes destroyed
  • 4,00,000 hectares of rice fields washed away
  • 22,000,000 coconut trees uprooted
  • Banana and rice crops destroyed completely
  • Rs.20.26 billion damage estimated.

The Relief Operation
As news of the devastation spread, the volunteers of the Sanstha in Vijaywada began formulating relief work. Within hours, groups of volunteers set out to survey the damage. Within four days, a large experienced BAPS volunteer force had been formed from Vijaywada, Secundrabad, Hyderbad and Mumbai. As Government aid agencies were distributing rice, the local staple diet, the Sanstha decided to distribute other basic food as well as clothes, old and new.
Over 10,000 families were provided aid in the following 20 villages:

  • Kondokuduru
  • Vemavaram
  • Aainvalli
  • Aainvalli Lanka
  • Vemavrapadu
  • Potailanka
  • Machavaram
  • Nanvalli
  • Janpalli
  • Gandhinagar
  • Ravuluchcheruvu
  • Ambajipet
  • Mundavaram
  • Kamanagaruvu
  • Nandampudi
  • Thondavaram
  • Gogulanka
  • Nagabattuluvaripalam
  • K. Agraharam
  • Virvallipalam
  • Food Distribution:

Rice: 10,000 kg.

Flour: 1,000 kg.

Jaggery: 200 kg.

Dal: 8,000 kg.

Ravo: 1,000 kg.

Sugar: 150 kg.

Biscuits: 5,000 packets

Vegetables 500 kg.

Amali: 300 kg.

 

Clothes Distribution:

New Sarees: 10,000

New Baniyan: 5,000

New Lungis: 5,000

New Shirts: 200

2 trucks of used clothes

 

As well as food and clothes, the Sanstha also sent a team of qualified doctors to help the sick or injured. Medicines were also distributed to medical units working in the area.

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