Gospel For Asia Prepares Relief Efforts Following Cyclone Amphan Devastation

GFA’s Servant Boat

Gospel For Asia (GFA World) is preparing to respond to a ‘super cyclone’ in South Asia — a region also battling a coronavirus surge that’s created a health and hunger crisis.

According to GFA World Cyclone Amphan — a Category 2 hurricane-strength storm with winds over 100 miles per hour — slammed into the densely populated Bay of Bengal delta region with devastating force on Wednesday, causing widespread fear and storm surges up to 17 feet.

“The severity of the cyclone and rains is unimaginable,” said a church leader working alongside Gospel for Asia (GFA World, www.gfa.org). “All our networks seem to have stopped.”

Another church leader in hard-hit West Bengal, India, said a river embankment had collapsed and the locals — mostly fishermen and their families — were fleeing for their lives and taking refuge in schools.

“Coronavirus has already paralyzed the region, and this disaster just makes the whole situation worse,” said GFA founder Dr. K.P. Yohannan. “These are mega-disasters rolling into one — and the result could be catastrophic.”

GFA is preparing to deploy its ‘Servant Boat’ team to the Sundarbans — a cluster of dozens of islands in the cyclone’s direct path, where 4.5 million villagers live in mud houses amid extreme poverty. The islands straddle the border of India and Bangladesh.

The team — that has been stockpiling vital supplies — is on standby to rescue stranded villagers, provide spiritual support to suffering families, and deliver aid, working with local governments to coordinate relief.

In 1991, a super cyclone killed more than 130,000 in Bangladesh.

Cyclone Amphan comes as India and Bangladesh reported a spike in new coronavirus cases after lockdown rules were relaxed. India, with more than 100,000 cases, is now seeing more than 4,000 new cases every day. Bangladesh has also reported a sharp rise.

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SOURCE: Assist News