On July 30, 2015 Cyclone ‘Komen’ made landfall in Bangladesh, bordering Northern Rakhine in Burma. Sadly this is the area where hundreds of thousands Rohingya are isolated by the army and trapped. One of the many human disasters going on in the country. The continued heavy rains have caused floods and landslides in many parts of the country during the last two weeks of July. Especially in the Northern state of Kachin, where massive illegal logging by the Chinese has caused erosion and devastating landslides. As of August 6, the Ministry of Social Welfare reported that over 217,000 people have been affected and 46 people have been killed across 12 states and regions. Due to many parts in Northern Rakhine and Chin States being totally isolated, the counts of affected victims and the death count may dramatically increase, once rescue teams will have reached these parts. Flooding is moving further south with the states of Rakhine, Western Sagaing and Chin now officially declared disaster areas. Flood waters in the mountainous Northern State of Kachin appear to be drying for the moment, but new rains are expected. There are serious threats that the swollen rivers will carry the floodwaters downstream to the Ayerwaddy Delta, where preventive evacuations are currently going on. The Delta is the very same region where Cyclone Nargis caused havoc back in 2008.
At the time hat disaster prompted Flying Teachers to initiate the construction of schools, after over 900 school buildings had been destroyed.
Flying Teachers has made a donation of € 10,000.00 to the Sitagu Organization of the Senior abbot monk Sitagu Sayadaw, the spiritual leader of Burma, to help immediate relief efforts. Same as in 2008, it again are the Buddhist monks who are the first on the disaster scene to act, to give shelter and feed the population. Sitagu Sayadaw presently is in Austin Texas, the U.S. base of the Sitagu Buddha Vihara Temple, to raise donations from his large Buddhist constituency there. The reverent Sitagu Sayadaw is returning to his country later this week. As Burma’s spiritual leader he is organizing all the domestic relief efforts through the thousands of monks all over the country. Flying Teachers’ Charlie Hilm and Sitagu are calling each other almost daily.