Beginning on 30 July Cyclone Komen swept from the south to the north of Western Myanmar causing extensive damage in the region and continued bringing torrential rain and flooding for about a week, hampering assessment and relief efforts. On 4 August the Myanmar Government reported that 39 people had lost their lives over the past week and over 200,000 people had been affected by heavy monsoon rains and flooding across the country. They indicated that those figures were likely to rise as more areas became accessible. On the same date the Myanmar authorities formally requested international assistance, although the United Nations and international humanitarian organizations had been working closely with the Myanmar authorities and supporting the humanitarian response since the beginning of the flooding on 30 July.
The rain has now stopped but it will take a very long time for the damage and misery that the storm has left to be ameliorated or forgotten and for life to return to normal for those affected. One relief organisation reported concerning Myanmar “According to UN OCHA (United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs), more than one million people have been affected and over 240,000 households are displaced. Approximately 687,000 acres (1,100 square miles) of farmland have been damaged, and special equipment is needed to remove water, mud and sand from fields so they can be replanted in order to prevent food shortages.”
Relief agency IRC (International Rescue Committee) reported… “Heavy monsoon rains and a tropical cyclone have claimed nearly 500 lives in six Asian countries this August, with Myanmar (also known as Burma) especially hard hit. Widespread flooding and landslides have displaced 240,000 families in 12 states and regions in the country, according to the National Natural Disaster Management Committee, with more than 100 people reported dead. In all, the storms have affected 1.1 million and destroyed well over 15,000 homes.”
The leaders of the Advent Christian Conference of Myanmar (ACCM) advised us that the flooding had affected Yangon where they are based and had also badly affected the western States and divisions of the country where they have branch churches and outreach ministries. Both ACMissioNZ and ACGC have been able to send funds to enable our ACCM folk to assist with relief for the many who have been affected. Some of the funds have been used in and around Yangon and some has been sent to the western States and Divisions to assist their members and others who have been affected.
ACCM President Pastor Joseph reported as follows…
“We [are doing] relief with four leaders together. Thank you for standing for us. Cyclone Komen caused flood waters to sweep through houses, farmland, bridges and roads and affected the lives of over 300,000 people in parts of Myanmar. Still need to help in our Chin people in Chin state. Our family, relatives and friends from Chin State and Rakhine State have had their houses and farmland destroyed. Pray that God will have mercy on them.”
and later …
“This is how we four leaders are doing [relief] through your support to those who are affected by floods.
We preached to 250 over people about the salvation of Jesus to those who are affected through the flood waters. Pray that they may have peace in their lives, so that they may know that Jesus is the Lord
Thank for your love.
“Thank you so much for your 2nd time gift, 195000 kyats for our suffering people. I myself will visit to Sagaing Division and Chin State. I want to see them face to face, want to learn how they are struggling for daily life and real needs. E ticket is in my hand now for on Fri 21 Aug. From Yangon – Naypyidaw- Mandalay – Kalay Myo in the Sagaing Division the worst place. I will continue from Kalay to Hakha by small car or motor cycle. The way is very dangerous from Kalay to Hakha. My people are trying to get rice for daily food like the pictures. We need your continuing prayer help. Please pray for my trip, Chin State way and Hakha city landslide pictures.”