Hope of finding landslide survivors was fading as the heavy rains that have pounded the central Sri Lankan region of Kegalla since mid-May continued hampering rescue efforts. Local Nazarenes were undeterred, stepping forward through NCM Lanka in mid-June to help people identified in secondary data collected from local government authorities.
The data confirmed that at least 37 people have been killed and nearly 220,000 displaced by landslides that crashed into at least seven villages in Aranayaka and Bulathkohupitiya, in the central hills of Sri Lanka, following torrential rains. There are places where the mud level is up to 30 feet. About 150 people are still missing.
The Sri Lankan armed forces deployed to respond to the situation rescued 156 people trapped by landslides and housed more than 1,550 people in welfare camps at seven different sites. The Disaster Management Center of Sri Lanka reported more than 350,000 people were affected by the landslides throughout the island.
NCM Lanka has been responding to different types of national disasters since 2004 by volunteering for distribution and conducting follow-up, which consists of counseling, showing the JESUS film, house visits, and praying for the sick.
Members of a local Nazarene church in Sri Lanka traveled with NCM Lanka personnel to visit the flood area. All affected families received travelling mattresses, bed sheets, pillows, pillow cases, baby nets, towels, mosquito nets, dry ration packs, and sanitation and hygiene packs.
The local church will return to visit the area, follow-up with the people, and show the JESUS film.
Prayer is requested for those affected and for local Nazarenes as they respond to the needs around them.