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"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
- Matthew 7:7-8

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SYNOD - NEWS And Events

Massive Rescue Operations in Kerala; but Worries Increase  Communication

The flood caused havoc across Kerala, the Southern state in India, has been undergoing a terrible situation for more than a week. Places such as Ranni, Maramon, Aranmula, Chengannur, Alwaye, Paravur, Alwaye and all are inundated. Both the hill stations and the coastal areas are equally affected. Even though the rain is gradually reducing, the news of the dead bodies recovered, stranded people beyond reach, and the unimaginable number of people who need shelter, medicinal care, and food make the state shiver in fear. But there is a bleak ray of because of the peoples fighting spirit, keeping aside any forms of differences and the support they give each other. The matured approach of the state government and the political leaders, the active involvement of the people, especially the fisherfolk from the coastal areas of Kerala, and various organisations in the rescue operations, and the support of the churches and other religious organisations for the relief work are helping millions of people in this time of grave disaster. The Indian Army along with the state machinery is continuing their relentless and dangerous rescue operations. It was heartening to hear that the pregnant woman, who was airlifted by the Indian Airforce from the sinking house, gave birth to a baby boy at the navy hospital (Video is attached). 

The youngsters and others who are techno-savvy are widely using social media to share the details of the stranded people and their locations and to spread the need for the essentials in various relief camps. But the absence of electricity because the distribution system is badly affected by the flood and the low internet connectivity are posing challenges. 

According to the official reports, 2,23,000 members of 52,856 families have been rescued from different parts. They have been sheltered in 1568 camps. The death toll crossed 400 and the news that it may increase beyond anybody can predict is really worrisome. Flooding has forced the main airports to close, complicating relief efforts. Helicopters and boats have been made available for rescuing the stranded ones. More boats have been sent to Thrissur, Chalakkudi, Aluva, and Chengannur. More than 150 boats reached today morning. Some stranded in a few places at Chenganoor and Chalakkudy were airlifted to safer places.

16 wings of the Army are fully engaged in rescue measures. 13 teams of the Navy at Thrissur, 10 teams at Wayanad, 4 teams at Chenganoor, 12 teams at Aluva and 3 teams at Pathanamthitta have intensified their measures. 3 Helicopters, owned by the navy, join the operations. Coast Guard personnel are engaged in 28 centres. 2 helicopters of the Coast Guard are also in the front. 39 teams of the NDRF are also there. In addition to these, 14 teams will also join them soon. NDRF have saved 4000 people and 550 have been saved by the Navy so far.

Most Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, the Moderator of the Church of South India (CSI) expressed his satisfaction that the colleges, schools, churches and parish halls of the Madhya Kerala Diocese are open as the relief camps following his call to help the flood- victims. He lauded the tremendous relief works, which are being carried out by the Kerala Dioceses of the CSI and thanked other dioceses outside of Kerala who extend their support and show their solidarity with the Keralites in this time of suffering. He pointed out the need for working together with the government machinery. He visited the camps in Madhuravely and other places, which are low- lying areas in Kerala and as an expression of solidarity with the suffering people, distributed the relief kits. 

New relief centres are opened such as Changanassery Youth centre and Baker Memorial Higher Secondary school in Kottayam under the leadership of the Diocesan Youth Movement. The relief centre in the CMS College is active. Various organisations of the Diocese are actively involved in collecting food, dresses, and medicines and distributing them in the needed areas. Pallom Palliative Care unit of the Dioceses continued with their medical camps with the help of the BJM hospital. CSI Churches in Mumbai actively took part in collecting relief materials and sending to Kerala, which was organised by the Malayalee Samajam (Association of People of Kerala).