Floods, Mudslides, and Heavy Rains in Brazil
As you have undoubtedly seen in the news, Brazil is facing its worst climatic catastrophe in decades, after nonstop heavy rain in the southeast caused floods and mudslides in many cities, especially the state of Rio de Janeiro. Millions of people are affected. A total of 630 people have died. Authorities fear the death toll could climb as rescue workers retrieve more victims buried under collapsed homes and buildings.
ACT Alliance member organizations in Brazil are responding. Your Week of Compassion gifts are contributing to that response—which will be ongoing. ACT members Koinonia, Lutheran Foundation of Diaconia (FLD), Ecumenical Coordinator of Services (CESE), Diaconia and Christian Aid-Brazil are acting together to support the affected population. Community-based churches in the cities have already deployed emergency response and offered solidarity with the victims. A rehabilitation project, under the coordination of Koinonia and the accompaniment of other ACT member organizations in Brazil, will also be drawn up. Week of Compassion will continue to support these efforts. Our hearts go out to the people of Brazil.
Queensland Flooding Update
The effects of these devastating floods in Australia will be felt for a long time, not just in the communities that have been washed away, but also in the national economy as stock and crops have been destroyed and mines temporarily closed. The flooded regions are greater in area than France and Germany combined. In association with Lifeline Community Care Queensland and the Queensland Synod of the Uniting Church in Australia, Week of Compassion has contributed to these efforts, through Global Ministries, to assist flood-affected communities in Queensland in the clean-up efforts and with immediate resources needed to assist this. The church will also provide on-going pastoral care to those communities that need help.
Additionally, Week of Compassion has contributed to the relief work through the Churches of Christ in Queensland. As the flooding in Queensland increases to an unprecedented level, our prayers and thoughts go out to everyone who has been affected. The unrelenting floods have had a devastating affect on the entire state. We will continue to respond through our ecumenical family as needs arise.
Flooding in Sri Lanka
Over the last several days the Batticaloa District of Sri Lanka has been hit by the worst floods in over 50 years. Heavy rains led to severe flooding in several communities, and the release of waters from reservoirs to prevent breaches in their banks has led to the lagoon level rising, swamping roads and residential areas. Roads have become impassable and numerous villages have been forced to evacuate. According to official disaster management sources, 232,571 people have been displaced. Our Global Ministries partner, the Church of the American Ceylon Mission (CACM), is providing emergency and relief supplies of dried foods, clothes and mosquito nets to families as they return to their homes. Week of Compassion, through Global Ministries, is supporting the work of CACM as they work to meet the needs of 1,000 families.
Earthquake in Pakistan
A 7.2 earthquake has hit a remote area of southwestern Pakistan. Yesterday’s quake was centered in Baluchistan, Pakistan's most sparsely populated area, according to the US Geological Service. The quake was felt in several neighboring provinces and in major cities, including Karachi.
Church World Service in Pakistan, which has a long record of responding after earthquakes, including the 7.5-magnitude quake that hit Pakistan in 2005, will conduct assessments and respond if needed. As always, Week of Compassion stands ready to contribute to that response. We lift up the people of Pakistan as they experience yet another disaster.