Caritas aid efforts underway in Sri Lanka following Cyclone Nisha
Cyclone Nisha has caused severe damage in Jaffna and Vanni after the storm hit northern Sri Lanka on 25 and 26 November.
In the Jaffna peninsula alone 338, 579 people were affected by the cyclone. Credit: Caritas Sri Lanka
In the Jaffna peninsula alone 338, 579 people were affected by the cyclone, with 93,135 forced from their homes by the bad weather into camps. Some 12,000 houses were completely destroyed and another 31,000 houses were badly damaged.
Caritas is one of only two international aid agencies allowed to operate in Jaffna and Vanni by the Sri Lankan government.
The local Caritas has already begun providing meals to those made homeless through its network of diocesan centres.
Caritas provided them with clothes, mats and other immediately needed essential items. Cooked meals were provided for five consecutive days.
In Jaffna, Caritas is providing for the relief and rehabilitation needs of 3000 families currently in temporary accommodation.
Caritas is also providing non-food items in the Jaffna, cleaning all wells and giving people shelter. Caritas is ensuring medical treatment is available to people in camps with the help of Holy Cross sisters.
Caritas staff on the ground in Jaffna said, "The flood has risen to a maximum height of five feet in many places. Nisha has caused damage to the dwellings of all types, including the Caritas offices. Temporary houses were damaged by the storm and washed away by the flood. The roofs of many permanent houses were ripped off by the storm.
"All the activities came to a stand still for about a week. Transportation both public and private was not possible due to road blocks. Electricity supply was stopped from the 25th November and still many places are without electricity as there is a delay in clearing the fallen huge trees. Some telephone communication services were cut off and still have not been resumed in many places.
"Damage has been caused to the agriculture sector. The farmers of agriculture invested for paddy and other crops for maha season experienced a heavy loss. Loss to livestock is very high in many places due to the cold or drowning.
"The health authority fears that disease may break out due to contamination."
In Vanni, 300,000 people who have already been forced from their homes numerous times because of conflict have been affected by the storm. Communications with Caritas in Vanni remain down.
Please call Patrick Nicholson on +39 06 698 79 725 or +39 334 359 0700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any requests.