Prayers after Flooding and Landslides in Sri Lanka

Churches in the Anglican Diocese of Colombo are responding to community needs following a period of heavy rains worsened by Cyclone Mora, which hit Sri Lanka on May 26.  More than 630,000 people were affected by the severe weather, which caused landslides and flooding.

June 20, 2017

Binnu Jeevarajan, Board of Social Responsibility (BSR) Coordinator for the Diocese of Colombo, reported on an Anglican Alliance conference call the week of June 12 that: “The flood has receded and people are slowly returning to their homes, unless their houses were damaged. Some are still staying in the camps to get relief.”

Read the full article on the Anglican Alliance website.

Episcopal Relief & Development partner Amity Foundation sent a team of health care providers who conducted five medical camps in coordination with the Diocese of Colombo.

See pictures from the visit on Episcopal Relief & Development's Facebook page.

Episcopal Relief & Development Web StatementMay 31, 2017

Churches in the Anglican Diocese of Colombo are responding to community needs following a period of heavy rains worsened by Cyclone Mora, which hit Sri Lanka on May 26.  More than 630,000 people have been affected by the recent weather, which caused landslides and severe flooding.  As of May 31, according to the Sri Lankan Disaster Management Center, 203 people have died, 96 are missing and more than 77,000 are taking refuge in safe locations.  Over 1,500 homes have been destroyed and another 7,600 have been damaged, with assessments still ongoing.

The Diocese of Colombo’s Board of Social Responsibility mobilized immediately during the storm, citing its training and experience with disaster management as a factor in the rapid organization of the operation center.  Organizers are sharing information about local needs and response capacity via established WhatsApp groups. They are dispatching teams of responders with relief supplies gathered from around the diocese.  After the water recedes, these teams will also help with cleaning and recovery, with continuing leadership and support from the diocese.

According to the diocese, all churches and parish halls in the impacted areas are serving as relief centers, and in many places the local clergy have joined with other religious leaders to minister to their shared communities.  Current activities include organizing volunteer teams, housing displaced people and distributing cooked meals, clean water and dry rations.  So far, response teams have identified emergency needs for medical care and household items such as candles, mattresses and cooking utensils.

“The regional disaster teams are a tremendous asset and a credit to the Diocese of Colombo for recognizing the importance of having systems in place,” said Nagulan Nesiah, Episcopal Relief & Development’s Senior Program Officer for Disaster Response and Risk Reduction.  “The ability to organize relief activities quickly and to coordinate with other local efforts is incredibly helpful when the needs are sudden and of such magnitude as this.”

Episcopal Relief & Development has a long-standing partnership with the Diocese of Colombo, working together in response to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and in support of healing and reconciliation since the end of Sri Lanka’s decades-long civil conflict in 2009.  The diocese was also one of the key partners in the creation of Episcopal Relief & Development’s “Pastors and Disasters” toolkit.

Please pray for all impacted by the severe weather, for those who lost homes or loved ones, for the responders who are working to ensure safety and for the volunteers who are caring for their vulnerable neighbors.

To enable Episcopal Relief & Development to strengthen communities against disaster, please donate to the International Disaster Response Fund.

Read more about the situation in Sri Lanka (ACNS article).

Header image: Anglican Diocese of Colombo

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