Sister Brigid who is actually in the USA…... sent the following message: “Let us unite in prayer for the people in Myanmar, especially our sisters as they begin relief work. Their suffering is profound and touches our hearts with sadness.” Sr. Regina Htoo Htoo, Province Leader of East Asia, sent us the following message asking for solidarity and prayer.
Beginning the last week of July 2015, Myanmar has been badly hit by the recent flood disaster after continuous monsoon rains triggered flash floods and landslides. Heavy and continuous rain caused the sudden rise in the water level of the dams requiring release of water which results in an uncontrollable flood around the regions. This flooding in Myanmar can be regarded as one of the worst disasters in decades.
There was no warning. The people were unprepared, shocked to see their homes/villages/cities under water within a few hours. On 31st July, President U Thein Sein declared the four worst-hit areas in central and western Myanmar: (1) Chin State, (2) Sagaing Region, (3) Magway Region and (4) Rakhine State, as natural disaster zones. According to the report, the landslides in Chin State have destroyed 700 homes in the state capital Haka, while more than 5,000 people in another district are in relief camps.
In some areas of Kalay, northwest Sagaing region, floodwaters had risen as high as the roofs of houses and above the tops of coconut trees.
Up to 200,000 people have been displaced or have had their livelihoods affected due to this terrible flood destroying thousands of houses, farmland, bridges, and roads.
The victims are being sheltered in Buddhist monasteries, Schools and Church compounds
On 3rd August 2015, the state-run media reported at least 47 people dead. The figure is likely to be higher because some flood-hit areas are not accessible to the reporters. Some areas are accessible only by air as the roads and bridges have been washed away by severe flood. At the moment, the rescue teams have not been able to reach out to some flood-hit remote areas. The government and the non-government organizations’ rescue teams have been trying to find ways to overcome this difficulty.
More torrential rain is expected in the coming days according to weather forecast. On Sunday, the UN warned that the Myanmar death toll could rise as the torrential rain continues in the region.
The Good Shepherd Sisters in Myanmar have been joining forces doing relief work for the victims. Our efforts are but a drop in the ocean in the face of this natural disaster. We appeal for emergency help from the international community. Please remember the suffering people of Myanmar in your prayer. Thank you!
Sister Regina Htoo Htoo
Province Leader of East Asia
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