Right on the heels of Japan’s earthquake and the resulting tsunami, it is hard to believe that another nearly 7.0 quake struck the region close to several of our children’s homes in Burma (Myanmar) on Thursday.
Concerned about the safety of our children, I tried phoning our field staff quickly after I heard what had happened, but the phone lines were on overload. I first got through to my parents, who live in Northern Thailand near the border, and they said the quake had literally shaken them out of their beds from a dead sleep. Later my Father later told me that in one village alone, 400 houses were destroyed and locals were reporting over 300 confirmed deaths in their area. The only serviceable road in and out was destroyed in the area close to the epicenter. Now a lack of drinkable water has become an acute issue, since the wells have collapsed.
Thankfully, I received word a couple days ago that the children at all five of our homes in that region were okay, which is amazing and a huge relief! We do have some building and property damage, however, that is going to take a while to assess. For example, last night I was informed an electric pole snapped at one home causing outages they had just finally resolved. One of our field staff said,
“I believe all of you have heard about the earthquake from TV. We are all safe here and are letting the children sleep in tents in font of the house. We know all of you worry about us and pray for us all the time. Thank you for your compassion. During this time, there are still earthquakes everyday but not very strong ones…much better than the first day!”
We have the opportunity to send aid into some of the worst affected areas through our active teams and partners on the ground. If you have a heart for Burma, this is a good time to act. You can join our relief efforts to provide urgent essentials such as water filtration systems, temporary shelters, housing repairs and food. To donate, please click here and memo “Relief” during checkout.
Thank you for staying engaged with us!
P.S. Here is a decent article on the situation, but bear in mind that it does not accurately reflect local knowledge of the extent of damage: http://tinyurl.com/4vofjp6.