Bangladesh (MNN/GFA) — Nearly a year
after Cyclone Aila struck Southwestern Bangladesh, survivors have been hit by
another storm and more flooding.
A Gospel for Asia leader working in
the area reported that at least 15,000 homes were destroyed. The official death
toll stands at 80, but that number is expected to rise as families clear away
the rubble of their destroyed homes.
Gospel for Asia President Dr. KP
Yohannan says they don't have a clear picture of how bad it is. "We do not know what has happened
because the telephone lines–all communications–are completely destroyed. They
are going to send some people to evaluate how much damage has taken place for the believers, the church
and the work."
Yohannan adds, "We have reports that there
is no more room left in the hospitals to care for the wounded."
GFA has responded quickly. Following the 2004 Asian Tsunami, GFA Compassion Services Teams put a system
into place that will allow them to mobilize response promptly.
Currently, they are assessing, but
they're also taking emergency relief supplies to the people in Bangladesh and
its neighbor, West Bengal, India. "Wherever a crisis takes place, they're
immediately on the move to mobilize people to bring drinking water, food and
shelter and medical help,"says Yohannan.
Once the emergency needs are met,
the teams will turn their attention to helping the people rebuild lives.
"One of the best things we can do is to respond to crises and people's
suffering, and then communicate the Gospel and bring hope through Christ."
The teams assisting with the relief
effort are working out of a Gospel for Asia-supported Bible College in the
heart of the affected area. Amazingly, the school did not sustain any damage.
Bangladesh and West Bengal have a
high concentration of the poorest of the poor. In Bangladesh, more than
half the population–65 million people–live below the poverty line. You can help. Click here for details.