Aum Sri Sairam

Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations ~ Tamil Nadu

DETAILED REPORT ON THE DISASTER MANAGEMENT TEAM’S INVOLVEMENT IN RESCUE OPERATIONS REGARDING GAJA CYCLONE

BEGINNING:

On 13th November 2018, Officers from Collectorates (DISASTER MANAGEMENT (DM) Tahsildars and DROs) of Ramanathapuram, Tanjore and Pudukottai Districts, frequently contacted Zonal Co-ordinator and District President of Madurai, regarding deployment of our Disaster Response Guards. District President Madurai in constant touch with Sri Anandavelu, under the leadership and Guidance of State DM co-ordinator Sri R.K.Sekaran, made arrangements for deployment of sufficient strength of our Sai DM Team members at Places in tune with the requirements of the respective districts and also in tune with the report of the CRA/IMD.

INITIAL DEPLOYMENT:

24 Members were deployed at Mandapam camp of Ramnad district, 12 members at Athiramapattinam of Tanjore district and another team at Cuddalore district. The Team at Mandapam functioned under the leadership of Sri R.K.Sekaran, Sri Anandavelu and Sri Mohankumar, and Madurai DP acted as liaison between Government and our Team. The team was closely monitoring the situation, and also kept a reserve team ready, to join any of the locations or proceeding to a new location as per the exigencies.

FINAL DEPLOYMENT:

Based on the prevailing situation, District Collector of Ramnad spoke to Madurai DP and requested the team at Mandapam to immediately move to Nagapattinam on the morning of 15/11/2018. All the team members immediately left to Nagapattinam from Mandapam. Meanwhile, the team at Athiramapattinam was requested to stay at Athiramapattinam itself and Tanjore DP Sri Srinivasan sir took maximum efforts to strengthen the team there, by sending additional youth members, arranging vehicle for transportation and moving available materials from Tanjore to Athiramapattinam. He also kept the communication channels with the Collectorate of Tanjore.

AT NAGAPATTINAM:

The Team members were accommodated in a marriage hall at Nagapattinam. Based on the request of PA to Sub collector of Nagai, the team members immediately left for inspection of vulnerable areas, the arrangements in place there etc. The areas covered were, Nagore Pattinancheri, Samanthan pettai, Soorya Nagar, Nambiar Nagar, Ariya Nattu Theru, Akkaraipettai, Keechankuppam, Kallaru, Vadakku poigai nallur, Therku poigai nallur, Sellur, Anthananpettai, Papa kovil and Panangudi. From the above places, Keechankuppam, Kallaru, Vadakku and Therku poigai nallur and Akkaraipettai areas were very much affected. However no loss of life there. Sea water entered the houses and it receded on 16/11/2018 morning .

THE MOMENT:

When the team members at Nagapattinam just retired for the night after splitting the teams in to 5 members each with each team having a leader and charting out plans to function in complete co-ordination with no room for confusion. It was around 11.30 pm on 15/11/2018 and suddenly we felt heavy wind with thunderous sound. The window panes in the Mandapam lay scattered. Huge Tin sheets (from nearby shops) started flying around. Our volunteers removed around eight to nine sheets in the middle of night. We had a distress call from a family of eight living nearby. Our members immediately rushed to their houses and brought in all the members to safety of the Marriage hall. There were two children, and two elders in the family. Most of us didn’t sleep the whole night and went to sleep at 04.00 am after the Storm completely crossed and winds stopped.

Team Members Sri Anand from Madurai and Sri Naveenkumar from Dindigul responded to the Call of Tahsildar and went for distribution of Sambar Rice to some people at Shelters when the Storm began to cross the coast.

FOLLOW-UP:

Once there was enough light our volunteers ventured out and started clearing uprooted trees in the nearby locality. They were instrumental in clearing the road before government machinery arrived. Again based on the instructions of Government authorities some of the team members under the leadership of Madurai DP and Sri Mohankumar, went to Keechankuppam. Madurai DP and Sri Mohankumar visited all the surrounding villages,( all Tsunami habitats) by foot, met the affected people, spoke and counseled them. It was a great relief to find out that there is no loss of life and not much damage.

During all these, we had close contact with the Team at Athiramapattinam also and were happy to note that they also did excellent seva.

After around 09.00 am on 16/11/2018, we came to a conclusion that there was no need for us to continue our presence in the affected areas, as the major work was restoration of electricity and removal of road blocks due to fallen trees, which was promptly began in right earnest by the Government. So we decided to return to our respective places. All the team members reached safely to their respective places.

By this time Nagai DP who just returned from Prasanthi Seva, assembled a team of around 20 and we directed them to move to Vedaranyam. They reached Vedaranyam braving road blocks and did commendable service in clearing the same.

CONCLUSION:

  1. This is the first occasion, after the joint launch of DM activities and Tamilnadu Government’s recognition of our Team and so our performance would have been closely watched. With Bhagawan’s Grace and guidance of our State Leaders, we were happy that we could be of little help.
  2. We felt the unseen hand of Bhagawan guiding and Guarding us throughout. When trees were getting uprooted and tin sheets were flying, we ventured out in to the open, with no fear as we had our beloved Swami firmly seated in our hearts.
  3. Though glass panes of windows, where we stayed, were broken and scattered, none came near us. In fact, windows nearer to us remained intact and only which were farther from us broke.
  4. This time around, we are more prepared, more sure in our plans and our professionalism has improved a lot, that in was during our Kerala Flood
  5. The Tamilnadu Government authorities welcomed us with warm regards and made arrangements for our stay and food. Only thing is they were not able to provide us with vehicles.
  6. It is to act and behave like this in times of need that our Beloved Bhagawan gave us this wonderful training in 2004, and we are grateful to Swami for giving us this opportunity to serve.
  7. We are thankful to all the State/District/Samithi office bearers and lots of members for their constant encouragement, support, prayers and good wishes, which gave us enough strength to carry out our mission smoothly.

Jai Sairam

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Contact: Shri NARAYANASAMY, District President, Madurai, /ZONAL CO-ORDINATOR, ZONE-2

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