Flood of the Century Causes Devastation in India
In mid-August, natural disaster struck in Kerala, a state located on the southwest coast of India. Monsoons brought more than 80 inches of rain to the region in less than three months, causing the worst flood that has hit the state in 100 years. Hundreds of people have been killed and millions more displaced from their homes as a result.
While flood waters have receded, Kerala residents are now dealing with damage to homes and personal property, power outages, and the spread of water-borne diseases. FedEx has hundreds of team members who live and work in affected areas and many of them were forced to evacuate their homes in the wake of the disaster.
To support our team members and all those recovering from the damage, FedEx donated $150,000 in cash to multiple non-profit groups who are contributing to the relief efforts in Kerala. Local FedEx management in Kerala have been in contact with all affected team members and efforts are underway to provide monetary support and relief supplies to them and their families. Through our FedEx Cares Delivering for Good initiative, we also support Direct Relief, one of the largest providers of humanitarian relief efforts in the world.
We had a chance to speak with Sunil Menon, a FedEx warehouse operations team member based in Kerala. Hear about his experience and what’s happening in the aftermath of the historic floods.
Q: Where are you located? Can you describe the scene there right now?
A: I am located in Cochin in Kerala state. The water has receded, and we are trying to return to normal life. The gravity of the situation is just sinking in. You can still see marks on the walls from the dirty water. It’s not something we will soon forget.
Q: What has life been like since the flooding began?
A: The flooding started in mid-August. The dams were full and the ocean tides were high, so the water could not flow out into the sea. It had to go somewhere. Dirty water came down from the hills and flooded my house and many others’. The water levels have since gone down, but we had to clean the furniture, our appliances, everything. We left our house for higher ground on Aug. 16. We were able to come back on Aug. 20.
Q: Have you ever experienced anything like this?
A: This hasn’t happened in the past 80 or 90 years. Nobody could imagine the water would rise to the levels that it did. It was a nightmare for all of us. My wife and two girls and my father live with me. My wife and I came back first to clean everything. When it was safe, we brought our girls and my father back. We are lucky because some families lost their houses. There are certain areas where the houses have been totally washed away.
Q: What will you take away from all this?
A: It’s important to take every precaution necessary when there is the threat of a disaster. We never dreamed this would happen, and it did. If there is a chance to leave before something like this happens, then that’s what you should do. Don’t ignore warnings. Once things reach a certain point, you might be stuck. You can’t stop the power of nature. I’m thankful for the assistance FedEx has provided and the spirit of our team members. It hasn’t been easy, and there are lots of people who are still struggling.
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