S evere floods affected the South Indian state of Kerala due to unusually heavy rainfall during the monsoon season this year. The August 2018 flood is the worst witnessed in the region in nearly a century. According to the local government, one-sixth of the total population of Kerala was affected by these floods.
Impact of the Flood
At least a million people were evacuated from their homes; 33,000 people have been rescued and the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority has placed 14 districts on red alert as a result of the intense flooding.
Over 3,274 relief camps have opened at various locations to accommodate the flood victims and it is estimated that 1,247,496 people have found shelter in these camps. Access to clean drinking water is limited because the water treatment plants were forced to cease pumping. The floods affected hundreds of villages, destroyed an estimated 10,000 km of roads, and thousands of homes were either damaged or destroyed. Roads and buildings are submerged in water, trees have been uprooted, and transportation in the region has come to a standstill. The airport has also been closed until further notice. Communication lines have been cut, and there is unprecedented loss of property. 80% of the state of Kerala is without power.
Relief work is in process. Help is pouring in from all over the world. But the Wynad, Idukki, Alappuzha-Pathanamthitta regions have still not been able to resume normal life.
Adventist Relief Efforts
The Adventist churches in India, especially the churches in Kerala, are actively involved in post flood relief work. All the sections in the Southwest India Union have sent local church members from different regions to join relief efforts and participate in raising funds and distributing relief material to help people begin to rebuild their lives.
The Church in the North Kerala Section distributed clothes to flood victims. Members from Thambaram church, Tamil Nadu, sent a truck full of supplies to Idukki Section to be distributed to people affected in this area. Hope TV India sent a van load of medicines and medical supplies to be given to those who need them. Iddukki Section is providing all the assistance possible to affected church members. The Tamil church in Hosur sent a truck load of relief packets including clothes, food grains and other supplies to be distributed to church members and other members of the community. Alappuzha-Pathanamthitta Section distributed rice, dhal, other grains and clothes to more than 1,000 families. Southern Asia Division Office provided funds to support the members in the affected areas.
ADRA India Program Director, Rajan Pydimalla, visited Kerala to determine the most vulnerable in Idukki, Alappuzha-Pathanamthitta, Waynad districts and will send supplies, clothes, and food grains to help rehabilitation efforts in these areas.
The Southwest India Union is soliciting funds to contribute to the Chief Ministers Relief Fund and to offer financial and other assistance to church members and members of the community to help rehabilitate and rebuild their lives.