India: The chaos of Cyclone Tauktae

Post by

Jaigar O'Neill

June 14th 2021

A COVID-19 outbreak, curfews, and now a cyclone. Our teams in India have had a challenging few months.

Last month in Goa, Cyclone Tauktae left a huge trail of destruction. With the highest winds ever recorded across the state, lives were lost, people were injured, and homes and businesses were left in ruins. Large trees were uprooted, houses, electrical poles, and roads were damaged, and water and power supplies were affected. Many went without power for over 72 hours.

This all happened whilst Goa, alongside the rest of the country, was fighting an outbreak of COVID-19.

Thankfully, our teams and facilities escaped injuries and damages, and with our vaccination work suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions, we were on hand to help others.

In the days following the cyclone, calls came in from other NGOs who hadn’t been so lucky. Our teams sprang into action, assisting with rescuing animals, clearing fallen trees, replacing roofs that had blown off, and building temporary shelters for the now homeless animals. You can help support our teams, doing all they can for animals in need, by making a donation today.

Read on to hear about our team's extraordinary efforts in a time of crisis.

Rescuing Halfway Home

Halfway Home, an animal shelter in Mandrem, came crashing down after the cyclone. Luckily, a leak in the roof meant that the 28 dogs weren't in harm's way the moment it collapsed. As soon as the cyclone passed, help arrived. People came forward to donate supplies, whilst we helped remove the tree and the rubble, and our sister charity, Worldwide Veterinary Service, rebuilt the fence.

Relocating Animals at ARC

The Animal Rescue Centre (ARC) in Canacona, too, had people come forward to lend a hand. The cyclone had left all three outdoor areas at the centre in ruins, forcing ARC to move the animals into one area until it could be fixed. Some local volunteers, along with our animal handlers, came to help.

Rebuilding ‘I Love Goa Dogs’

Although every shelter was badly damaged by the cyclone, the animal shelter in Arambol, ‘I love Goa Dogs,’ was hit the hardest. In the swirl of heavy rain and strong winds, the trees surrounding the shelter were uprooted and sadly fell onto the shelter, completely devastating it. It was a miracle that the owner, who lives in the shelter, and all the animals were unharmed.

The shelter, which can hold up to 40-50 stray dogs in its care for sterilisation and treatment, thankfully only had 14 housed under its thatched roof at the time of the disaster. Some of which unfortunately got trapped under the debris. Our teams were alerted to the emergency and rushed to rescue the trapped dogs, before returning in the following days to help rebuild the shelter.

After several days of clearing trees and building temporary shelters, the animals had somewhere dry and safe to rest, and the shelter was slowly getting back on its feet.

Ways You Can Help

In times like these, it’s important to lend a helping hand.

In Goa, the entire animal welfare community came together to ensure both people and animals not only escaped the disaster but had access to food, water, shelter. Your support, no matter how small, made this possible.

As these trying times continue in many parts of the world, please consider supporting our hard-working teams in any way you can.

Donate today, and your support will go directly where it's needed most – rescuing sick and injured animals and supporting communities in rabies hotspots worldwide.