The HBI campus has crippling damage. Many trees have fallen, damaging walls and roofs all over campus. The roofs on the school and the dining hall are damaged. The wind blew nearly the entire roof off the economic development center. The boys home also lost much of its roof, and the sub-roof was also torn so that rain damaged all the boys’ rooms. The boys have been moved, but there is no power and no way to pump the water out. There is no phone network or internet connection. The mosquitoes are swarming. Bus service is disrupted, streets are clogged with fallen trees and power lines.
But, people are joining together to clean up the campus. Our Senior VP reports: “The situation is pretty tough at HBI for everyone. We gathered all the students, staff and children and cleared quite a lot of leaves, broken branches and could cut a few trees that were fallen and hanging on the walls causing damage to buildings.
The city is estimating more than 4000 trees in the roadsides fallen or uprooted, and many electrical posts are down. Thus far 15 casualties have been reported.
One of the cafeteria staff told me this morning with tears, “Amma (lit – mother, but means ma’am) our house is a tiled roof and many of the tiles flew and got broken. Adding to the agony the neighbor’s water tank – plastic water storage – fell on their roof and brought heavy damage. The whole night she was clearing the rain water that came through the roof and did not sleep. But I was so blessed to hear her say, “I know many won’t come for work & since I am living nearby I thought I should come to work to help in the cooking for children and students.”
Will you take a moment right now to pray for our staff, students, families, and resident children? After the historic floods of last December, it must be so discouraging to once again face the job of cleaning up the damage from winds and rain. They would so much rather be focused on their schooling, jobs and ministry responsibilities. Thank you for your loving concern for your brothers and sisters in Chennai. We appreciate you so much.
Please give as generously as you are able to help repair and restore the campus, economic development center and boys home. We are estimating at least $50,000 of damage, but we will keep you, our partners, updated as a more complete assessment is made after power is restored and buildings can be entered.