Responding to Sri Lanka's Continued Flooding and Landslides
The worst rains in over 25 years deluged Sri Lanka for several days earlier this month, sending half a million people fleeing from their homes and triggering landslides that have buried victims in up to 50 feet of mud.
It is estimated that 300,000 people are still displaced, 200 are dead, and 100 families missing since the mudslides are still unaccounted for. According to the Red Cross, 200 families were initially buried by debris, but rescue teams have managed to rescue at least 180 people.
“These rains started after months of extreme heat,” says an AGWM team member. “At first they brought relief from high temperatures and soothed the parched ground. But as they continued to fall, people’s relief quickly turned to fear.”
Floods have affected 21 of Sri Lanka’s 25 districts. Some 200,000 people are said to be staying with friends and family while another 300,000 are staying in shelters. Many churches and believers are affected by this crisis.
On Monday a two-person assessment team from Convoy of Hope went to Sri Lanka to begin addressing the dire situation, which includes a terrible lack of potable water.
“It is our goal to provide clean drinking water for as long as it is needed,” the team member says. “This will be accomplished through 20 water filtration systems. Until those systems are ready, we are providing bottled water for up to 20,000 people. Our further goal is to provide medical care for those acquiring infections, parasites, and funguses through contaminated water.”
Dishan Wickramaratne, general superintendent of the Sri Lanka Assemblies of God, adds, “We are supplying dry ration packs that will sustain one family of 4-5 for about one week. We’re targeting 5,000 families and also providing bed sheets, sanitary supplies, clothing, and cookies and milk for children. Please pray for our nation. Pray also that the rains will soon stop, as the main river in our city is only a couple feet from overflowing, which will cause immense problems.”
“Our worldwide Fellowship joins in prayer with our Sri Lankan brothers and sisters who are, in the midst of their own suffering, reaching out to others who are suffering,” affirms U.S. AG General Superintendent George O. Wood.
AGWM Eurasia Regional Director Omar Beiler asks for prayer that “many may come to Christ as a result of the diligent, compassionate efforts of Sri Lankan AG leaders and AGWM missionaries.”
AGWM and Convoy of Hope are partnering in an initial response. Anyone wanting to contribute to that partnership can visit agwm.com and click on “Sri Lanka Flooding” in the pull-down menu under the “Give” button.