Baptist World Alliance, BWA News Release

BWA sends aid to cyclone victims in India

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Baptist World Alliance (BWA) is sending initial sums of US$10,000 for emergency relief to victims of Cyclone Phailin in India.

Described as a “Very Severe Cyclonic Storm,” Phailin, which attained the equivalent strength of a category five hurricane, slammed into eastern India on October 12, causing more than 20 deaths, widespread wind damage and astronomical loss through flooding.  An estimated 12 million people have been affected in Odisha state alone. The state of Andhra Pradesh was also severely affected, although early evacuation and warning are credited for limiting loss of life.

Hundreds of Baptists lost their homes. Swarupananda Patra of the Orissa Baptist Evangelical Crusade indicated that 175 houses of Baptist families in the districts of Gopalpur and Ganjam in Odisha were destroyed by the hurricane. Another 568 were washed away or otherwise destroyed by the floods that followed. “The state of Odisha in India has been hit severely,”Patra said.

Baptist churches were either washed away or submerged by the heavy flooding. “Baptist churches are under water and accessibility is almost nonexistent,” Patra stated. “The needs are huge, considering the magnitude of this natural disaster. We need your help and support to provide relief material for about 800 families in Balasore district and 350 families in Gopalpur, who belong to Baptist churches.”

Immediate needs include mosquito nets, medicine, water, food and blankets.

Donations may be made online at www.bwanet.org/give or sent to:
Baptist World Aid
c/o Baptist World Alliance
405 North Washington Street
Falls Church, VA 22046
USA