Displaying items by tag: floods
Hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the floods in Pakistan are living in the open, exposed to swarms of mosquitoes and other hazards. Despite the efforts of government and relief organisations, families need more food, shelter, medical assistance, medicines, and clean water. Stagnant floodwaters, covering hundreds of kilometres, may take up to six months to recede. There are widespread cases of skin and eye infections, diarrhoea, malaria, typhoid and dengue fever. On 24 September the Sindh provincial government said makeshift health facilities and mobile camps had treated over 78,000 patients in just 24 hours. Malaria spreads quickly around stagnant waters. The UN said malaria, typhoid and diarrhoea patients in large numbers were entering medical camps and hospitals; more medicine and test kits are needed. Families are forced to drink and cook with unsafe water. They need to drink to stay alive.
On 30 August Pakistan and the UN launched a joint appeal for $160 million to help Pakistan recover from monsoon floods that have put 1/3 of the country under water. On 1 September the UK announced a further £15 million for shelter and essential supplies to over 33 million people. Over 1,100 lives have been lost, whilst roads, crops, homes and bridges have been washed away. Pray for the bereaved to be comforted and the isolated to be rescued. Pray for the immediate needs of water, sanitation, shelter and protection to reach the needy quickly. Pray for help to reach families who must repair their homes and maintain their livelihoods. Pray for communities to be free of diseases carried by polluted water. Pray for the nation to find ways of importing vegetables as it faces serious food shortages in the coming months: it could even consider importing from arch-rival India.
Devastating flash floods have killed 37 people and hundreds are still missing in eastern Kentucky’s worst disaster for decades. The death toll will continue to rise. Hundreds of homes and businesses have been destroyed. People are sitting on their porches, hoping somebody is coming to save them. See In July, Sydney in Australia was hit with a month’s worth of rain in five days; people are still cleaning up three feet of swirling mud. Pakistan has 7,000+ glaciers, but rising global temperatures are causing them to melt rapidly, creating thousands of glacial lakes that might burst and release millions of cubic metres of water and debris, flooding villages in just a few hours. Worsening Indian monsoons cause Mumbai residents to commute on Venetian gondolas and inflatable dinghies. This year residents are being asked to tweet details about floods in their neighbourhoods. The data is then used to issue immediate geographically-specific flood alerts.
India is the most ethnically diverse nation on earth, with over 2,500 people groups, 22 official languages, and thousands of castes. It hosts most of the world’s Hindus and Muslims. The country traditionally maintains free speech and religious freedom, but these are being tested by Hindu nationalism; this mainly targets Muslims, but Christians also face discrimination, persecution and anti-conversion laws. Pray that India’s proud traditions of tolerance and freedom will continue and strengthen. Its churches have sent 100,000 people across India to communicate the gospel, start churches, and relieve suffering and injustice: resulting in tens of thousands of new congregations. Pray that this amazing missionary movement will transform India through Christ. However, this week the most urgent prayer need is for the millions displaced by floods in the north and 25 days of heatwave in densely-populated Delhi, where vast numbers are falling ill from heatstroke. Some have little access to clean water.
A storm battering Australia, described as a rain bomb, began flooding the Brisbane area on 27 February and damaged 15,000 properties before moving south. New South Wales river towns were under water the next day, with Wilsons River rising 14.46 metres. A flotilla of private boats rescued residents trapped in flooded homes. Authorities were overwhelmed by the scale of the rescue operation. On 1 March military helicopters airlifted stranded people from rooftops of flooded neighbourhoods in eastern Australia and then the wild weather slowly moved south. By 3 March half a million people across NSW were under evacuation orders. Warragamba Dam west of Sydney was spilling 225 gigalitres a day, which meant that thousands of households and businesses could avoid damaging flooding from the Hawkesbury and Nepean rivers north-west of Sydney. Pray for threatened communities to be safe as river levels continue rising. Pray for the 11,747 families who have requested help from military and other rescue services since the crisis began.
This year’s rainy season in Chennai is as heavy as 2015, when 200 people died in floods. Fortunately, the death count is lower this time, but heavy rains are still pounding the area, so the danger continues. Uprooted trees block roads, cars are damaged, and people wade through knee-high water. The rains are taxing the infrastructure. To avoid the danger of electrocution, the government shut down the power grid in some areas. If the rains continue, other low-lying areas of Chennai will be in danger. Pray for God's mercy for those who are most vulnerable to flooding, cholera, and electrocution. Illegal building has left Chennai vulnerable to flood damage; pray for God to raise up righteous decision-makers. Pray for those suffering amid days of stagnant waterlogging and no power. ‘Drainage water is mixed with rainwater, causing odour, and a lot of insects and snakes are coming into the house,’ said a local.
There is more flash flooding, partly caused by climate change. Parts of London and the south of England were left under water and roads became impassable this week. Just 30cm of water is enough to move a car. Infrastructure and transport networks were damaged. London hospitals asked patients to stay away after they lost power. Urban areas experience ‘surface water’ flooding because they have a lot of hard surfaces - paved front gardens, car parks, roads and high streets. On 28 July several towns in Scotland were flooded, with more to come. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-57970845 Reading University says urban areas could benefit from permeable pavements and green roofs which can help rainwater to soak away rather than causing floods. Weather and flood forecasting has improved rapidly, and it is now possible to forecast surface water flooding events in advance.
The death toll from flooding in Western Europe keeps climbing as rescue workers dig deeper into debris left by receding waters. Germany’s finance minister has proposed a package of immediate aid, of more than 300 million euros. Pray for the government also to dig deeper into available funds so that suitable rebuilding programs can be set up speedily. From experience with previous flooding, costs will be in the billions of euros. Police fear the number of dead may still rise in many areas. Pope Francis offered a prayer for the flood victims and for the efforts of all to help those who suffered great damage: ‘I express my closeness to the populations of Germany, Belgium and Holland, hit by catastrophic flooding.’ German officials have asked people not to make any more donations, as their generosity has left storage facilities for clothes and food full.
In the USA a powerful storm sent waves crashing into sea walls and caused flooding in coastal communities from New Jersey to Maine. In Australia bushfires have forced thousands to flee Covid-19 lockdowns in an ‘unprecedented situation'. By 3 February the fire had destroyed 71 homes and injured six firefighters. In addition to the dangerous blazes, tropical storms churning off the coast could help to contain fires. Also widespread record-breaking snow pummelled northeast America, shattering centuries-old records, and is expected to spawn another whopper next week. Pray for God to watch over all who have lost their homes and businesses to the Australian fires. May they be able to achieve social distancing in relief shelters. Pray for God to give peace to people experiencing travel disruption, particularly those in stranded vehicles. Pray for aid and help to reach isolated rural communities, particularly those with power cuts.
By 9am on 20 January large parts of England and Wales experienced severe rain disruption on roads and railways. 2,000 properties in Greater Manchester were evacuated overnight. More residents were evacuated in Wales and Merseyside as heavy rain and snow fell. High rivers called for warnings of danger to life at Didsbury, Northenden, and Maghull. Despite the best efforts of all agencies, more evacuations have been necessary, and people advised to evacuate must do so urgently. Pray for all needing rescuing to be reached, and for those ravaged by 2019 floods who are now watching water rise again. Covid-safe emergency centres are in leisure centres. There are 130 flood warnings and 225 flood alerts, and most of England, Wales and NI have yellow weather warnings. The Met Office said Christoph is not a traditional storm; most disruption is by rain, and ‘we are going to see further rain over the next 24 to 36 hours’.