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Salvation Army plays key relief role in Sri Lanka flood response

Salvation Army plays key relief role in Sri Lanka flood response

Salvation Army plays key relief role in Sri Lanka flood response

2 June 2017

The Salvation Army church and community centre is Ratnapura, south-western Sri Lanka, has experienced severe flooding and extensive damage.

By Major Peter McGuigan

In the aftermath of severe flooding and mudslides in south-western Sri Lanka, The Salvation Army is providing much-needed practical and spiritual support to hundreds of families and individuals.

As of Wednesday 31 May, more than 200 people had lost their lives as a result of the monsoonal deluge and 96 were still missing. More than 1500 homes had been destroyed and many thousands more damaged. According to statistics provided by Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management Committee, 77,432 people were being sheltered in 366 safe locations.

Relief work mounted by local Salvation Army officers and their teams was initially hindered because of inundation in Salvation Army properties and the associated dangers. As floodwaters subsided, however, relief operations went into full swing.

Truckloads of supplies (pictured above) organised from the capital Colombo have been shared with survivors, and Salvation Army teams from Colombo have bolstered on-the-ground support and are also working in low-lying areas of the capital itself.

“Because of the damage to our own properties, The Salvation Army’s response was totally dependent upon our own capacity in any one town or village to address the impact of the flood upon ourselves and to support the community at the same time,” said the Army’s Sri Lanka Territory Secretary for Business Administration, Captain Felix Kumaravel.

“We are now in full response mode, being able to mobilise people and supplies from other parts of the island that had been cut off from the south. The Salvation Army will also be assisting in the clean-up operation, with our teams helping families re-establish reasonable living conditions in their homes.

Salvation Army officers and their teams are providing ongoing material aid and spiritual support to those caught up in the aftermath of the floods and mudslides.

“We are grateful to the Government and other agencies that are helping, including the arrival of international aid. A large-scale humanitarian response is underway and The Salvation Army is glad to be making its contribution.”

The Salvation Army’s International Headquarters has released funds to assist relief work.

Major Peter McGuigan is the Communications and Public Relations Secretary for the Sri Lanka Territory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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