Displaying items by tag: devastation
On 10 May heavy storms caused flash flooding in southern England and a major incident was declared in Somerset. On 11 May yellow warnings of thunderstorms and flash flooding were issued from Kent to Scotland. South and East Anglia has issued 36 ‘expected or possible’ flood alerts. Dozens of homes were evacuated after mudslides. Torrential rain is causing treacherous driving conditions, damage to homes and businesses, blocked roads and disrupted rail services. Teams are checking flood gates and clearing waterway drains’ trash screens. More rain is forecast for 12 May. People are urged to sign up for flood warnings, continue to monitor weather reports, and not attempt to drive through flood water. Pray that people check the road situation before going on a journey. A farm lost 200 chickens, garden walls and outbuildings were demolished, cars floated away, and people living in low-lying properties were stranded. May God give the rescue services stamina and wisdom.
Alberta announced a state of emergency after wildfires forced 30,000 people from their homes and their jobs, leaving behind all they own in an ‘unprecedented’ crisis. Thousands more must be prepared to leave on a moment’s notice as 110 fires, fanned by strong winds, raged. By 7 May over twenty communities had been evacuated and 301,000+ acres burned. Pray for Albertans, living in one of the world’s largest oil-producing regions, as they closely monitor dangers to facilities. Ottawa is providing federal assistance where needed. Pray for those who are trapped and need to be rescued by helicopters and boats. Pray for good communication between the various emergency agencies bringing aid and providing shelter. Pray for the firefighters battling over 25 fires that were still out of control on 11 May. Pray for God to give his peace to those fearfully watching smoke in the distance. Pray for those debating whether to flee or stay and firefight.
Residents across a wide swath of the USA experienced destruction from fierce storms which spawned 52 tornadoes in 11 states, killing at least 32 people, between 2 and 3 April. Storms tore a path through the Arkansas capital, and the roof of a packed Illinois concert venue collapsed. People throughout the region were stunned by the extent of the damage. Pray for families mourning the loss of loved ones, desperately waiting for news of others fighting for their lives, and sorting through the rubble of their homes and businesses. President Biden declared broad areas as major disaster areas. Arkansas declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard for destroyed neighbourhoods. Then on 5 April, a tornado with 130 mph winds tore through Bollinger County, Missouri. It will take days to confirm the number of all the recent tornadoes and deaths.
Mississippi has declared a state of emergency. Rolling Fork has been almost entirely wiped out. Dozens are dead. One man survived after sheltering in his bathtub. The lush farmland surrounding Western Sharkey County is completely untouched, but when you reach Rolling Fork, a rural town with a fifth of the 2,000 families living in poverty, nearly all homes are flattened, and the rest are damaged by the furious tornado. Trucks were lifted onto houses, trees uprooted, and power lines brought down. The next day dazed survivors could be seen walking around in shock. But soon it was a hive of activity, with clean-up operations and volunteers opening stations to distribute sandwiches and water. Pray for the communities grappling with destroyed homes and possessions, for those in damaged buildings without electricity. Pray for those mourning the dead. Pray for adequate government support to provide homes for the homeless and rebuild the infrastructure.
The tallest mountain on Java erupted on 4 December, shooting columns of ash into the sky, blanketing surrounding villages. Pray for the rescue workers who are still digging through thick layers of hot ash and debris even as the volcano continues to erupt ash. Dozens of bodies have been found so far and thousands of people have been evacuated across 19 makeshift centres. Pray for the families who lived in the 3,000 damaged houses. Pray for the farmers who have lost livestock and livelihoods in areas buried in ash. Pray for the hundreds of homeless villagers who lived near a dam that burst due to cold lava and heavy rain, leaving everything submerged under sludge and ashy dust. Pray for those with burns and injuries from the initial eruption. Pray for vulnerable groups coping with highly polluted air, and pray for public kitchens and health facilities serving the displaced people.
Strong winds and hot weather are making it difficult to quell two fires in Aude and Vaucluse, causing the evacuation of 130 people. 300+ hectares have been burnt, in new breakouts injuring 132 firefighters. Forest fires covering 210 hectares have hit the south of France as a 7,000-hectare blaze near Saint-Tropez continues. People have died and others are missing in the blazes. On 17 August a fire restarted overnight in Beaumes-de-Venise, fanned by strong winds. Over 1,000 firefighters tackled a blaze in Var, where a man died in his house. A woman is reported missing after calling her family while surrounded by fire. Blazes have erupted in Bizanet and Narbonne, with 70-80kph wind gusts threatening more outbreaks.
The Dixie Fire is the largest of nearly 100 major wildfires burning across a dozen western US states, including Alaska. Two mountain communities were incinerated, and a utility company blacked out 51,000 customers to prevent new blazes. Two weeks after the fire destroyed Greenville, the Caldor Fire a few miles southeast exploded and ravaged Grizzly Flats, a forest community of around 1,200 people, destroying more than 50 homes. Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency in El Dorado County. Both fires grew by tens of thousands of acres in two days. Numerous resources were put into the Susanville area, with 18,000 people. Residents were warned to be ready to evacuate. By 19 August over 2.4 million acres were burned in 104 large fires and complexes in twelve states, involving over 25,000 wildland firefighters and support personnel.
Days of torrential downpours caused rivers and dams to overflow around Sydney and south-east Queensland. The military helped search and rescue in a ‘one-in-fifty-years event’. By 22 March 18,000 people had been evacuated and 10 million people across Australia were under a weather warning. Dead livestock floated through floodwater and houses were engulfed, causing over 22,000 flood damage claims to be lodged by 25 March. Receding waterlevels have begun to expose the extent of flood devastation to collapsed homes and businesses.Pray for those who have lost homes, farms, cattle, and businesses to have government support. Pray for people ordered to evacuate, still sheltering in centres living in fear and apprehension of what they will find when they return home. Pray for people warned to prepare for flash flooding and landslides as rivers rush in their direction. New South Wales Health is warning residents to be aware of the risk of contamination and water-borne diseases. See
The Philippines is used to powerful storms, but this year preparations are being complicated by Covid-19 which has killed 7,221 people so far. On 1 November, in preparation for Typhoon Goni, 361,000 people were evacuated to tents inside school gymnasiums and government-run evacuation centres. Coronavirus patients are treated in isolation tents. Goni damaged 90% of the buildings in Virac, the first town it struck. Pray for the 70,000 residents who have lost so much, including lives. Pray for those in several other towns still inaccessible on 5 November. Pray for successful relief efforts being complicated by the pandemic. Pray for the 370,000 displaced people not knowing what they will find when they return home. Tens of thousands of homes are completely destroyed. Goni is the worst typhoon to hit the Philippines in seven years. With communication not yet completely restored it is difficult to obtain information. Pray for speedy repairs to electricity, water, and cellular networks.
Super Cyclone Amphan, the strongest storm ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal, has devastated Bangladesh and India with sustained winds of 165 mph - equivalent to a category 5 hurricane. Up to 300,000 people in coastal areas are in immediate danger from deadly storm surges and flooding. Thousands are homeless. India’s worst damage is in West Bengal's coastal districts that were ‘pulverised’. Nearly every coastal district in Bangladesh was damaged. Evacuations across the region were complicated by the pandemic, as authorities tried to maintain social distancing rules. Pray for the thousands left homeless as Amphan heaps misery on coronavirus-hit communities, particularly the 14 million in Kolkata - situated in its direct path. Pray for those in mourning, the injured, and those clearing debris from impassable roads, rescuing flood victims and organising aid as heavy rains continue to fall on hard-hit areas.