Thousands lose homes as floods devastate Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka floods
Water, water everywhere: People flee a flooded area.

Sri Lanka floods
Water, water everywhere: People flee a flooded area.

THOUSANDS of people have lost their homes in the devastating floods that have hit Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka has borne the brunt of several major flooding events in the last 12 months.

The latest flood is the result of unusually heavy monsoon rains that began in November and continue to fall.

The worst-affected areas are in central and eastern Sri Lanka—with the districts of Batticaloa, Ampara and Trincomalee seeing the most damage.

According to the World Health Organization, more than one million people have been affected by this round of floods—more than half of them in the Batticaloa district alone.

The death toll stands at 18 and includes a 6-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl who were killed in landslides on Sunday.

Gospel for Asia-supported missionary Anthony lost his home and everything in it as floodwaters washed through his village this week in Sri Lanka.

Anthony, who also serves as a pastor in the Batticaloa district, took refuge with relatives. Thankfully, he, his wife and children all escaped injury as the house collapsed due to the flood waters, but they did lose all of their possessions.

Anthony, and hundreds of believers from churches, are reeling from this blow. They have lost their homes, their crops lay ruined and they have nowhere to turn for help.

The people in this region of Sri Lanka were just beginning to emerge from the horrors of a 20-year-old civil war, which ended in 2009. Many had finally made strides in recovering from the 2004 Asian Tsunami, which devastated much of this same coastal region.

The Sri Lankan military has been called out to rescue hundreds of people who were trapped in the flood waters.

At least 5,0000 homes have been washed away and more than 200,000 acres of crops—including the country’s staple rice paddies—are under water.

“The people of Sri Lanka are suffering in a way that is almost unimaginable,” said Gospel for Asia president, K P Yohannan. “The country has not yet recovered from the record rainfalls that brought severe flooding last year, and now they are battling the same thing again. They need relief, and they need our prayers.”

Yohannan shared the following prayer requests for Sri Lanka:

-Pray that the Lord’s mighty hands would be upon this area and that He would cause the weather conditions to change and bring relief to the affected people.

-Finding food and drinking water is a major problem. Pray that the teams would be able to get in with emergency rations and that the Lord would provide for the needs of the people.

-Pray for protection for the people. Many of those who lost homes are now living exposed to the elements or in crowded shelters, sharing space with hundreds of other families.

-Pray for the people who have lost all their crops and are now without their major income source for the year.

-Pray for the people who are helping the flood victims, that the Lord will give them to keep going forward and bring aid.

-Please pray for the Lord to miraculously provide a way to get to the people who are inaccessible due to flooded roads.

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