CWR, HCC Assisting Survivors of Flooding in India

Flooding and landslides have heavily damaged or wiped out homes.

PUNE, INDIA (August 25, 2018) – The Hindustani Covenant Church (HCC) is using emergency funds from Covenant World Relief to provide aid in the wake of historic rains and flooding that have killed more than 400 people and displaced another one million.

The disasters are impacting the states of Kerala, in the country’s most southwestern region, Odisha and Bihar to the east, and Himachal-Pradesh in the north, amid the Himalayas. All of the states have been subjected to rains well above normal since late July.

Live-saving relief packages are being distributed.

In Kerala earlier this month, Helicopters and boats were used by national and state disaster response forces around the clock to rescue people stranded on roof tops and hill tops for days, Jyoti Deep, HCC project director, wrote in an email on Wednesday. “Additionally, there are many cases of landslides, collapses of houses, bridges and roads.”

Government officials said Kerala is experiencing its worst flooding in 100 years. Farmers depend on the monsoon rains, but this year two-and-a-half times as much rain as normal fell across the state just in the past week.

Recent rains also have overwhelmed parts of Odisha in the last month. “People of these villages are very poor, and they live in houses made of mud and wood,” Deep said. Much of their food has been destroyed. Contaminated water has led to disease outbreaks.

The suffering has been magnified in parts of the state because local newspapers reported that 187 people who had migrated to Kerala in search of jobs were killed there in the flash floods. The fate of others remains unknown.

Assistance being offered in each of the areas includes food and relief kits containing soap, blankets, buckets, and other items.

Contributions to the relief effort can be made online.

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Stan Friedman is the news and online editor for the Covenant Companion and is grateful for the opportunity to serve in a job that combines his newspaper and pastoral ministry experience. He has been to 15 Bruce Springsteen concerts in four cities and listened to “Thunder Road” an average of at least once a day for 41 years.

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