Flood Devastates Sri Lanka: 500,000 Homeless
May 27, 2010
Christian Aid Mission has been helping indigenous
missions and children’s outreaches in Sri Lanka since 1998. (CAM Photo)
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Native missionaries say disaster relief is needed now for distressed Christians in Sri Lanka. Just off the southern coast of India, the island state of Sri Lanka was hit with a tropical storm on May 14 that caused massive flooding and displaced 500,000.
“Please help us,” says one indigenous leader, “many have lost everything, including their their houses, clothing and household items.” So far 28 are reported to have been killed by the storm, but half a million are in desperate peril - tens of thousands are starving and sick.
“I was on my way to the training center and found many roads already underwater. By the grace of God, I was able to take an alternate route. A trip that usually takes 3-1/2 hours ended up being an eight hour journey, “reports Brother Abraham of Hokma Ministries Lanka.
Tropical Cyclone Laila struck Sri Lanka on May 14, bringing with it torrential rains that resulted in flooding of the south, west and central parts of the country. Thirteen districts out of the country’s 25 were affected by the flooding.
In just 24 hours, over 12 inches of rain fell in the Nittambuwa area and streets are covered by more than a meter of water. Contributing to the problem are the poor storm-water passages clogged by rubbish and other muck, slowing down the natural flow out to sea.
“Our Lalwala church members are affected by the flood. One home completely destroyed belonged to a young couple with a small baby. They stayed for a few days in our church building, but it has no doors, shutters or glass windows; leaving them only partially protected from the elements. My heart is broken as we have no funds to help them. Please pray for these people and for God’s provision,” Abraham requested.
While the rain has dissipated, the future does not look good as this is only the early monsoon season; many more storms are expected in the months to come. One woman told reporters that this was not the first time they have been affected like this, but it’s probably the worst.
“Disaster relief is urgently needed now,” says Sarla Mahara, South Asian Director of Christian Aid, on behalf of indigenous Christian mission leaders in Sri Lanka. “Continued help will be needed as the monsoon season adds to our already devastated country in the months ahead.”