Monday, August 9, 2010

Offer prayers for Ladakh flood victims

Dear friends of the Ngari Khangtsen.

On the 6th of August 2010, a terrible tragedy occurred in Ladakh. Due to a sudden rainstorm, huge floods have affected 30% of Ladakh’s villages, endangering people with rising waters and mudslides. Over 150 people are known to have died, and 600 are still missing. Roads and communications have been damaged, and it is 4th day running that most villagers have been without power. Reports are coming in of people trapped in homes, of dead bodies that cannot be attended to, and of people feeling helpless. We are contacting you to ask if you can help us reach out to these people.

Perhaps because communications have been cut so completely, the world is not receiving much information about the devastation. The famous river “Singey Tsangpo” is now being called “Sad Tsangpo,” and reports of the dead, of ruined houses and vehicles, and of animals that have been killed or are also still in danger are beginning to reach us. Some of the stories are too painful to repeat in a message like this.

The long-term effects are also going to be extremely painful. This is high-tourist season in Ladakh, but no tourists will be going there now. In addition to the reduced income, the loss of visitors also means that very few people will come to know how painful conditions are right now. Visitors tend to help get the word out, but that won’t happen now. We are very worried about how conditions are developing. Hospitals have been damaged by the rising waters, and rescue efforts have been only partially successful. Some clinics and other medical facilities have been completely washed away.Your support and help could be very much appreciated.

BACKGROUND: Ladakh is part of the Jammu & Kashmir states in northern India, and the two main districts comprising the state are Leh and Kargil. Leh has an area of 45110 Sq Km, which makes it geographically the largest district in India. The district is bounded by Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir in the West, China in the north and east, and Himachal Pradesh to the southeast. It is at a distance of 434 Kms from Srinagar, the closest Indian city. In addition to the town of Leh, Ladakh is comprised of 112 villages. The total population of Ladakh is just over a quarter-million people.

Here are some links, if you want to start informing yourself about this issue:

We are praying for the safety of that person and all others. Until power and communications can be restored, we won’t really know. Here in Sera, we are arranging the prayer every day during our evening sessions for the people of Ladakh.

Please contact us @ for more information.

With best wishes and prayer,

Sera Jey Ngari Education Society.