India Cyclone Victims Return to Devastated Villages

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The aftermath of the worst cyclone to hit India in years has left tens of thousands homeless. Many Indians are returning to their devastated villages.

CBN is bringing them hope as they start rebuilding their shattered lives, with disaster relief teams in the area providing much needed help.

Victims like Thotamma and her husband, Thataya, live in a small village near the eastern India seashore where the worst of Cyclone Phailin's 140 mph winds and torrential rains hit.

Authorities evacuated the couple and nearly a milllion other Indians like them to nearby shelters. Their actions kept the death toll minimal compared to 14 years ago when 10,000 people died in a similar situation.

When Thotamma and Thataya returned to the village of New Bakshupalli, they discovered their humble, thatched home was still standing but badly damaged by the cyclone.

Sadly, the storm surge had washed away all their clothing and belongings.

"Our boats are gone, clothes are gone...everything is gone!" Thotamma said, overwhelmed. "What will we eat? How can we live?"

On top of everything, she worried about the damaged roof and how would her husband could afford to pay for repairs. Thataya is a manual laborer who makes a meager daily wage.

When a CBN disaster relief team learned of their plight, they brought the couple much needed food, clothing and soap. They also received a check up at a CBN India emergency medical clinic.

To Thotamma's delight, CBN also helped them with their roof by providing them with a tarp to shield their home interior from rain. Thataya didn't waste any time and quickly put the tarp in place over the roof.

"Everything was gone. But because you gave, you gave a tarpulin, you gave medicine, you gave rice, you gave clothes, you gave a towel, you gave lentils…," Thotamma said. "You gave everything. Thank you 10,000 times!"

How You Can Help:

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Gary Lane

Gary Lane

CBN News Sr. International Reporter

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