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Even as hope of finding survivors was fading as rescue efforts were hampered by heavy rains that have continued to pound the central Sri Lankan region (Kegalla district), nothing seemed to stop NCM Lanka’s rescue efforts when Nazarenes in Sri Lanka stepped forward in mid June to help the affected people based on the secondary data collected from the local government authorities.

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Secondary data confirmed that at least 37 people have been killed and nearly 220,000 displaced by landslides which crashed into at least 7 villages in Aranayaka and Bulathkohupitiya, in the central hills of Sri Lanka, following torrential rains since mid May. There are places where the mud level is up to 30 feet. About 150 people are still missing.

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The Sri Lankan armed forces who were deployed to respond to the situation by the government of Sri Lanka, rescued 156 people trapped by landslides and housed more than 1,550 people in welfare camps at seven different sites. It was reported by the Disaster Management Center of Sri Lanka that more than 350,000 people were affected by the landslides throughout the Island.

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NCM Lanka has been responding to different types of national disasters since 2004. This disaster represents a significant opportunity to reach out to the people with Christ’s love. NCM Lanka responds through volunteering for distribution and conducting follow up, which consists of counseling, showing the JESUS film, house visits and praying for the sick.

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Members of a local Nazarene church in Sri Lanka traveled with NCM Lanka personnel to visit the flood area. All affected families received the following items:

Travelling mattresses, bed sheets, pillows, pillow cases, baby nets, towels and mosquito nets, dry ration packs, sanitation and hygiene pack.

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The local church will return to visit the area, follow-up on the people, and show the JESUS film.

Please pray for these affected people, and for local Nazarenes, empowered by the love of Christ to respond to the needs they find around them.

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35— Photo story by Oshan Isemonth

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