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Coastal El Niño Flood Restoration in Peru

  • Disaster Relief
  • Nation | Peru
  • Date | April 23, 2017
ⓒ 2017 WATV
The members repaired damage caused by the flood.

The abnormal climate caused by El Niño brought about the worst flood in twenty years in Peru. Since the end of last year, there had been frequent torrential rains, and to make matters worse, many cities in Peru were flooded shortly after two weeks of heavy rain in early March.

A massive landslide mixed with overflowing river and rainwater covered downtown places. More than 100 people died and over 600,000 people were affected by floods, and about 120,000 houses were flooded. The wounded appeared one after another. A state of emergency was declared in 811 cities, the half of Peru’s territory.

In April, the heavy rain stopped, but the flood victims still suffered. Especially in the northern region where damage was severe, many of the residents are still living in the tents.

In order to help the victims with the love of Mother, the Church of God members in Peru volunteered for flood recovery. Piura is nineteen hours away from Lima, the capital city, Trujillo is nine hours away, and Huarmey and Chincha are six hours away by car.

The members in Lima gathered in the Lima Church and the Faucett Church after the Sabbath evening service and went straight to Huarmey and Chincha to help the victims on April 23. They conducted the recovery work in Piura and Trujillo for five days and four nights (April 23–27) along with the nearby church members.

On the 26th, they car-ried out the restoration work in Huachipa andCarapongo, Lurigancho-Chosica District, Lima. The number of the members who took their time off and participated in the relief efforts by preparing expenses for themselves was over 2,000 man-days for five days.

ⓒ 2017 WATV

The flood site was so miserable. The streets were tangled with fallen trees, electric poles, and broken building debris. Walls of houses fell down and roofs collapsed. The water mark on the wall that was up to the height of a man showed how much people must have feared that day. Earth and sand in the houses were left for over a month; they were hardened so much that scraping or shaking them off was no use making them come off.

The members, who arrived at the flood site, started the recovery work without even having a moment to catch their breath. They restored a kindergarten, a primary school, and a hospital that had been closed due to floods, and removed dirt and sand covering the streets. In the residential area, they first helped those who could not even think about recovery, such as the elderly living alone and female-headed households. They also delivered water, rice, clothes, and other relief items to the residents suffering from the contaminated water sources.

The members also cared for the residents’ mental injuries with devotional service; they gave them hope, relieved the conflict between the government and the residents, and became a link among the residents. The residents were just watching at first, but gradually began to participate in the restoration work. On the 27th, the last day of the relief efforts, the members went to the primary school in the village of Santa Rosa, in Piura, at the request of the residents and the relevant authorities. Although the damage was serious, it was completely restored in two hours with the active participation of the residents.

The flood victims didn’t stop appreciating the members’ efforts for the recovery and giving thanks to God Elohim who sent them. In Huarmey, the mayor visited the recovery site; in Piura, the Minister of Women and Vulnerable Populations and the mayor visited them one after another to thank them. The local governments that had been devastated were encouraged to see the church volunteers striving to restore their cities and began to actively participate in the work as well, providing the church members with food or vehicles.

On the 28th, the day after the volunteer service, the blood drive was held at the Faucett Church to help the flood victims. Among the 1,100 volunteers, 550 members successfully donated blood. On the 30th, about 2,000 members gathered in Lima to clean up the Agua Dulce Beach, sending a wake-up call for coastal El Niño to people. On May 7, the orchestra charity concert to raise funds for flood victims was held at the Faucett Church. The members’ volunteer service will continue through the donation of relief goods and so on.

ⓒ 2017 WATV

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