Photo by Indian Navy
In late May, Sri Lanka monsoon rains began and soon after that, flooding and landslides. Many villages were set off from relief teams being able to come in.
In one village, the villagers told The Guardian, “‘All access to our village is cut off. A landslide took place inside the village and several houses are buried and several houses are buried. But nobody could go to that place,’ resident Mohomed Abdulla, 46, told Reuters.”
At first, when access was cut off from these villages, most relief agencies thought the most immediate need was food and other necessities. This has been confirmed as relief agencies have gone to these areas.
The United Nations (UN) explains, “With access gradually being restored, field teams from non-governmental organizations and the International Federation of the Red Cross confirmed that emergency shelter, NFIs (non-food items), water, sanitation and hygiene, and health service are key immediate needs in the worst-affected divisions in Galle, Kalutara, Matara and Rathnapura.”
At first only the military and other rescue teams were the only ones allowed in areas with lots of danger, due to lack of access in some areas.
The Guardian reports, “Sri Lankan military and rescue teams have used boats and helicopters, but they said access to some areas was very difficult. Military spokesman Roshan Senevirathne said more than 2,000 military personnel had been deployed to help the police and civilian agencies.”
The flooding and landslides displaced over 6,000 people in 15 of its 25 districts.
Per the UN, “On 25 and 26 May, incessant heavy rainfall brought by the southwest monsoon triggered flooding and landslides in 15 of the 25 districts of Sri Lanka. As of 31 May (18:00, UTC+5:30), about 630,000 people have been affected.”
The flooding was the worst since the 2003 floods.
The Guardian explains, “More than 100 people are still missing after the worst rains in the Indian Ocean island since 2003. The state-run National Building Research Organization warned people in seven out the country’s 25 districts to evacuate from unstable slopes if rains continued for the next 24 hours.”
Gospel for Asia (GFA) reports, “On June 9, two teams led by Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported workers distributed about 580 relief packets to survivors of severe flooding and landslides. The relief packets contained items such as food, medical supplies, personal hygiene items, clothing, bedding, cooking utensils and pots.”
Please pray for the people of Sri Lanka, that they would be able to see Christ’s hope through Gospel for Asia and other relief teams.