Kerala, India, is experiencing monsoon rains that have not been seen or experienced since 1924. Reports estimate that 70 to 100 lives have been taken due to the floodwaters. Many homes and businesses have been washed away by severe landslides and rivers overflowing because of the constant downpour. For the first time in its history, the shutters of 35 of Kerala’s 39 dams have been opened to keep the dams from erupting, which would inevitably create even more destruction.
According to the Indian Express, the Indian navy has begun to airlift many trapped people who climbed for safety on top of their homes or to hilly areas, rescuing them from the engulfing floodwaters surrounding their homes. Many have lost their livelihoods while escaping with only the clothes on their backs.
The once bustling Cochin airport has now been shut down due to the flooding, and a red alert has been issued throughout the 14 districts of the state of Kerala. Many roads, including some main highways, are covered by floodwaters, making transportation very difficult. It is becoming more and more impossible to travel as the rain continues. Kerala, aside from all the relief teams working, is at a standstill, as life is threatened to be washed away by the ever-growing water disaster.
One of Kerala’s largest festivals, called Onam, has been cancelled as the local officials are calling the people to use their money to help fund relief work instead of purchasing fireworks and other items they would use to celebrate. Kerala is now in emergency mode.
Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, wrote on Twitter on August 15, “Spoke to Kerala CM Shri Pinarayi Vijayan again this morning. We discussed the flood situation in the state. Have asked Defence Ministry to further step up the rescue and relief operations across the state. Praying for the safety and well-being of the people of Kerala.”
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters, according to BBC News, “We’re witnessing something that has never happened before in the history of Kerala.”
Schools located on higher ground and secure church buildings are being used as places of refuge for flood survivors, while many more people are currently in relief camps. GFA-supported workers in the area are involved in helping those around them even as they experience the devastation of loss.
K.P. Yohannan, founder and directorof Gospel for Asia, said, “Tens of thousands of houses have been washed away. It will take three times longer than the tsunami to rebuild.”
Churches led by GFA-supported pastors all across Asia will be supplying relief items, such as food, water and clothing, to those in need in Kerala.
As we see throughout Scripture and in Jesus’s ministry on earth, we know that God is a God of compassion and mercy. Please extend your hand to help those who are in need right now. There are many who are enduring the sorrow of extreme loss and suffering today. You can be part of the hands and feet of Christ by partnering with GFA-supported disaster-relief teams that are offering aid to those in need. Please take a few moments to pray and to consider sending help that is extremely needed today.
Help Disaster Relief teams serve survivors of flooding and other disasters.
Donations to support GFA’s disaster relief work in Kerala can be made at www.gfa.org/flood.