India (MNN) — The death toll in northern India and parts of Nepal has passed 1,000, Gospel for Asia (GFA) said in a recent report. In addition, thousands of Hindus on an annual pilgrimage are running out of strength as they wait to be rescued.
GFA says monsoon rains hit a month early this year, catching the pilgrims and tourists entirely unprepared. Hundreds of thousands of devout Hindus make a pilgrimage known as Char Dham Yatra each year to four temple towns in Uttarakhand.
Pray this disaster shows many the Truth of our one true God.
According to GFA, at least 187 bodies have been uncovered from a popular pilgrimage town where Nabhanyu was visiting when the flooding began on June 16.
“I saw the disaster with my own eyes,” Nabhanyu said. “I had come to pray to my deity, but I never knew this mishap would happen to us.
“While the water was entering into the parking area, I, along with other people, ran and reached a safe place. But I’m sad to say our two buses and drivers were washed away in the floodwaters.”
With tears in his eyes, he said, “I will never come again to this place.”
GFA teams have been providing relief since last week, and what they’re seeing is heartbreaking. Many flood victims they reach haven’t eaten anything for five days or more.
“They were surviving with water and some tea biscuits,” a GFA correspondent said.
Equipped with rations, raincoats, tarps, medicine and other supplies, GFA teams are praying for improved weather and a removal of the road blocks so they can reach the village where they are expected.
“Almost 100 families are waiting for us,” said Pastor Baha Udeen.
Authorities and groups like GFA are in a race against the clock as they try to rescue flood survivors that have been stranded for over a week. Time is ticking for another danger too: disease.
Some bodies have reportedly started decomposing, and aid agencies are advising mass cremations to avoid an outbreak of disease. As GFA’s Dr. Johnson explains, the consumption of contaminated water could easily lead to outbreaks of cholera, dysentery or diarrhea.
The flood damage in Uttarakhand is so extensive that 10 days after it began, there’s no real clarity on the number of people missing or dead. GFA says government officials anticipate three years of rebuilding the state’s destroyed infrastructure.
GFA’s Compassion Services teams are bringing the love of Jesus to flood victims. Click here to see what they’re bringing and how you can help.