STORM AFFECTS 9 MILLION; NEEDS PROLIFERATE AS PHAILIN MOVES INLAND
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Taun Cortado at 972-300-3379 or firstname.lastname@example.org
CARROLLTON, Texas – Gospel for Asia disaster relief teams are on the ground in India, assessing damage and providing immediate aid as millions are affected in the aftermath of Phailin, one of the largest cyclones ever generated in the Bay of Bengal.
Wind speeds exceeded 125 mph, according to the India Meteorological Department. While searches continue, at least 17 have been reported dead. Millions have been displaced, their homes, livelihoods, crops, livestock and personal possessions destroyed.
For much of Friday night through Saturday afternoon, Phailin reached category 5 “super typhoon” strength. Following the prayers of people worldwide, including response to a special call to prayer Friday from Gospel for Asia, Phailin made landfall in Gopalpur Saturday evening as a category 4 storm.
“We thank God for answering our prayers to lessen the storm’s strength before landfall,” said Dr. K. P. Yohannan, Gospel for Asia (GFA) founder and president. “Now millions of people need our help to rebuild their lives and to provide hope to those around them.”
Thousands of Christian believers and hundreds of GFA pastors and missionaries are among the approximate one million people currently in relief camps. A total of at least 800,000 houses have been destroyed or severely damaged.
“Homes of thousands of Christian believers and hundreds of churches were destroyed,” said Yohannan. “These brothers and sisters all had to flee for their lives, but within the relief camps they are still ministering to the suffering and needy.”
GFA field leaders report there is no food, drinking water, electricity or medicine. Those who are suffering the most are villagers -- poor people and children, according to their reports this weekend.
Following its crippling storm surge that stripped the land and homes and livelihoods on the coastal areas, Phailin continues to be a life-threatening storm as it moves over a huge swath of northeastern India. Mudslides in higher terrains are an imminent danger.
GFA relief teams are working to meet basic needs by distributing clean water, medical supplies, clothing and family food packs of rice, salt, oil, potatoes and matchsticks, while assessing the long-range needs of helping people reconstruct their lives.
To learn more about the effects of Cyclone Phailin, view the latest video update from Dr. Yohannan and to donate to the relief efforts, visit http://www.gfa.org/cyclone/phailin.
“Please pray for grace and energy for our missionaries and church workers who are ministering day and night to those in need.” said Yohannan. “We must bring hope to many who will find comfort in Jesus for the first time through this crisis.”
Gospel for Asia (www.gfa.org) is a mission organization based in Carrollton, Texas, involved in sharing the love of Jesus across South Asia