Current Disaster Response
Monsoon Rains in South Asia
Almost 6 million people are currently affected by rising flood waters as a result of heavy monsoon rains in South Asia. In India, the states of Assam and Bihar were most severely impacted, with more than 1 million people displaced by flooding. Approximately 200 landslides in the area of Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh have likewise caused vast displacement in an area home to 900,000 Rohingya refugees. As of July 17, 2019, 78 people have died and 32 people have been reported missing in Nepal due to landslides and flooding events. Representatives of humanitarian aid organizations are expressing urgent concern about food security and possible disease outbreaks as a result of these events. UMCOR International Disaster Response is in close communication with our partners in South Asia, receiving updates, situation reports and information on disaster response efforts, which are ongoing as a result of continued rains.
Earthquakes in the Philippines
In response to a magnitude 6.1 earthquake on Luzon Island and a magnitude 6.3 earthquake on Samar Island, UMCOR is in close communication with the Disaster Management Offices (DMO) in the Manila and Davao episcopal areas. Disaster Management Coordinators are utilizing pre-established communication channels to share and relay information with local-level volunteers. Disaster Management Officers are preparing to assess the areas most affected by the earthquake to gauge need and capacities for response. UMCOR will continue to support and facilitate the Philippines Central Conference through the Disaster Management Offices as they assess conditions, analyze results, and proceed accordingly to address needs.
Cyclone Kenneth in Mozambique
In preparation for a forecasted landfall of Cyclone Kenneth in Mozambique, the UMCOR-supported Mozambique Disaster Management Coordinator (DMC), Mr. Respeito Chirrinze, has alerted UMC staff and it has been communicated to churches and members to keep doors and windows of buildings closed to minimize effects on infrastructure of the cyclone as well as to look for safe buildings to shelter in.
Additionally, the National Disaster Management Institute of Mozambique will be sending a team to the projected epicenter, Pemba, while the DMC will be following the situation from a safe distance to be close by to go in post-cyclone to implement an assessment of the effects.
UMCOR response to Cyclone Idai
UMCOR approved three $10,000 solidarity grants. The Malawi Provisional Annual Conference, The United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe and The United Methodist Church in Mozambique will each receive a grant in response to Cyclone Idai’s devastating rains and flooding.
The grants will provide immediate emergency funding for basic human needs including food distribution, hygiene supplies/clothing distribution, safe water access and temporary shelter.
The Mozambique Episcopal Area disaster management coordinator is conducting assessments in two provinces and is in communication with district superintendents.
Read more about UMCOR’s immediate response through the stories below.
Earthquakes and Tsunami in Indonesia
UMCOR is fortunate to consistently work with many partners in Indonesia. We are currently coordinating with partners on the ground to address immediate needs of vulnerable people affected by the earthquakes and tsunami.
We have been in contact with Methodist Church leadership to support assessment, initial relief work and further evaluation and prioritization of needs as we reach recovery phases.
Since 2017, UMCOR has trained and funded Disaster Management teams in order to empower communities to proactively alleviate suffering caused by the effects of disasters. Their work allows for communities' advance awareness and preparedness, aligning with the efforts of other conference teams and ecumenical councils from across the region.
At a national level, this initiative ensures that the maximum number of people are prepared for a storm’s impact. Moreover, the Manilla, Davao and Baguio Episcopal Area offices continue to distribute daily weather advisories to community leaders.
UMCOR IDR has authorized a 10,000 USD Solidarity grant to address immediate needs in the most hard hit provinces of Baguio while the Disaster Management Coordinators in the Philippines continue to work with their communities after Typhoon Mangkhut and maintain their assessment of damages and analysis of needs.