August 24, 2018

Deadly Flooding in Southern India Prompts ADRA Response

Adventist News Network & Adventist Review

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in India is requesting prayer for the southern state of Kerala, which in August 2018 has experienced unprecedented monsoon rains and the collapse of more than 80 dams. According to media outlets, more than a million people have been displaced by the floods in the region, and close to 400 people have lost their lives.

“Roads and buildings are submerged in water, trees have been uprooted, houses damaged, and transportation in the region has come to a standstill,” Adventist News Network (ANN) reported this week, adding that Cochin airport, the busiest in Kerala, has been closed until further notice, communication lines have been cut, and there is unprecedented loss of property.

“Roads and buildings are submerged in water, trees have been uprooted, houses damaged, and transportation in the region has come to a standstill,”

As many people are homeless and in desperate need of food, shelter, and medical assistance, local authorities and international charities have stepped up to help. In late August, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Canada launched a donation campaign to provide relief to some of the people affected. “Your gift will provide life-saving assistance,” ADRA Canada said on a web page inviting people to contribute to the effort.

Even though information is sketchy — 80 percent of the state is without power, according to authorities — early reports suggest that many Adventist Church members and churches have also been severely affected by the floods.

Various regions of India suffer the effects of the yearly monsoon rains. In 2017, floods in the northern state of Bihar hit more than 17 million people and caused the death of more than 500 residents. The record-setting flooding prompted ADRA’s response across the state. On that occasion, ADRA carried out assessments with local partners and activated the response to target the most vulnerable households. Volunteers distributed non-food items (NFI) kits that included blankets, a mosquito net, tarpaulin and ground sheet, a solar lamp, cooking pots, and other kitchen tools.

In the past 15 years, major ADRA emergency initiatives in response to flooding in India took place in 2005, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2018. In 2009, ADRA responded to the worst flooding to affect southern India in a century by assisting survivors of a disaster that affected, according to estimates, close to 3 million people and caused more than 300 deaths.

ADRA is the global humanitarian organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Through an international network, ADRA delivers relief and development assistance to individuals in more than 130 countries, regardless of their ethnicity, political affiliation, or religious association.