The Salvation Army responds to Sri Lankan floods
FOLLOWING severe flooding and mudslides in south-western Sri Lanka, The Salvation Army is providing much-needed practical and spiritual support to hundreds of families and individuals.
As of 31 May, more than 200 people had lost their lives as a result of the monsoonal deluge and 96 were still missing. In excess of 1,500 homes have been destroyed and many thousands more damaged. More than half a million people have been displaced and tens of thousands are being sheltered in 366 safe locations.
Relief work mounted by local Salvation Army officers and their teams was initially hindered because of inundation in Salvation Army properties and the associated dangers. As flood waters subsided, relief operations went into full swing.
Truckloads of supplies despatched from the capital Colombo have been shared with survivors, and Salvation Army teams from the city have bolstered on-the-ground support. Teams are also working in low-lying areas of the capital itself. The Salvation Army’s Secretary for Business Administration in Sri Lanka, Captain Felix Kumaravel, said that relief work has not been easy.
‘Because of the damage to our own properties, The Salvation Army’s response was totally dependent upon our own capacity in any one town or village to address the impact of the flood upon ourselves and to support the community at the same time.
‘We are now in full response mode,’ said Captain Kumaravel, ‘being able to mobilise people and supplies from other parts of the island that had been cut off from the south.’
He continued: ‘The Salvation Army will also be assisting in the clean-up operation with our teams helping families re-establish reasonable living conditions in their homes. We are grateful to the Government and other agencies that are helping, including the arrival of international aid. A large-scale humanitarian response is underway and The Salvation Army is glad to be making its contribution.’
The Salvation Army’s International Headquarters has released funds to assist relief work.
From a report by Major Peter McGuigan
Communications and Public Relations Secretary
Sri Lanka Territory
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