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Baptists respond after earthquake, cyclone in Asiacomment (0)

October 24, 2013

Baptists are responding after a deadly earthquake shook the Philippines and a cyclone swept through two states in India.

On Oct. 15, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake rocked islands in the center of the Philippines, killing at least 144 people, according to BBC News.

The majority of the damage exists in the islands of Cebu and Bohol. All International Mission Board personnel are accounted for and safe.

Though many escaped tragedy in the island of Cebu, many islanders in Bohol were not as fortunate. Many roads and bridges in the area are also heavily damaged.

Pat Melancon, Baptist Global Response’s (BGR) managing director of disaster response, reports that BGR teams are currently on the ground responding to the event through assessment activities and assistance.

“The teams’ activities will focus upon meeting urgent needs in the context of each community for a few days or weeks up to many months, depending upon the local situation,” Melancon said.

In India, tropical cyclone Phailin touched down Oct. 12 in India’s Orissa state, and the storm continued through to Andhra Pradesh state the following day. Of the 27 people who died, all but one were in Orissa state.

Phailin reportedly was the country’s strongest cyclone in 14 years. 

Orissa state is no stranger to deadly cyclones; in 1999, a cyclone claimed the lives of 10,000 people.

Though the cyclone has passed, hundreds of thousands of families are returning to houses crushed by the cyclone’s 125 miles per hour winds. Many have lost their means of providing for their families because of destroyed businesses and farms. Roads are flooded and blocked with debris. Power lines are down in many areas.

The Baptist World Alliance has sent $10,000 for emergency relief to cyclone victims.


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