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2012 Indian cyclone

Damaged homes at SOS Children's Village Punducherry
Damaged homes at SOS Children's Village Punducherry

Relief operations are under way in south India after Cyclone Thane, with winds of up to 140 kilometres (85 miles) an hour, struck the east coast on Friday between Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu and the territory of Pondicherry. It is thought 47 people have died so far.

Indian President Pratibha Patil has said that she was "saddened to learn about the loss of lives and damage of property.I am sure that the state government is making all efforts to provide help to families who lost their kin and those whose properties have been damaged," she added.

Most of the deaths occurred due to electrocution and walls collapsing. Roads blocked by falling trees were reopened on Sunday, while engineers were trying to restore power in the worst-hit district of Cuddalore. Some 7,000 people are staying in emergency shelters set up in school buildings, community halls and 20 cyclone centers in the Cuddalore area.

India MapDamage to SOS Children's Village Punducherry

We are pleased to report that all the children, mothers and staff of the SOS Children's Village in Puducherry are safe. However, due to the high-velocity winds, some of the family homes have been heavily damaged. Electricity and water supply have been cut off and access by road is restricted.

Staff from nearby SOS Children's Village Nagapattinam have arrived at Puducherry to help the local team and alternate arrangements for electricity (hired generators) and water have been made. The construction team is visiting SOS Children's Village Puducherry to prepare a repair plan and the National Director of SOS Children's Villages India is visiting Puducherry today to assess the situation.

SOS Children's Villages India

SOS Children began working in India in 1963. Today there are 39 SOS Children’s Villages, eight of which are for Tibetan refugee children. In the Villages over 6,000 once-destitute children now have a permanent family home.  Over fifty welfare, educational and medical facilities also provide assistance for people in the wider community.

How you can help

Every day we help children whose lives have been damaged by natural disasters, conflict, poverty, or disease. You can help us continue our work in India by sponsoring a child or making a one-off donation which will help us to focus on the long-term welfare of children who have no one to care for them. Thank you.


Did you know? SOS Children looks after around 11,000 Tibetan refugees in Northern India.