Staff, students, and graduates of a Sri Lankan evangelical Bible college have rushed to help victims and survivors of the devastating tsunamis that killed at least 140,000 across South Asia December 26.

Mihirukshi Perera, donor relations coordinator at Lanka Bible College in the southern inland city of Peradeniya, Kandy, is helping coordinate a local relief effort while Principal Ben Manickam directs teams to affected families and churches across the island nation.

"Lots of children and women are among those killed and there are massive loads of dead bodies in these areas," Perera reported. "The government has declared days of national mourning and we see white flags all over the cities. It is indeed a very sad situation for the entire country."

Sri Lanka was one of the worst hit of the Asian and African nations falling victim to devastating waves on December 26—the result of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. Latest figures from the Sri Lankan government put that island nation's death toll at 30,196. As January 2, the Sri Lankan government was estimating a further 16,665 people injured and 5,240 missing.

The government estimates that 1 million residents have been displaced by the disaster, occupying many of the 798 refugee camps that have sprung up.

Sri Lanka is an island nation of about 20 million people, southeast of India, and equivalent to half the size of New York state.

"We hear of total villages in the east and the south being washed out with no survivors," Perera said. "We know of pastors who have lost wives, mothers, and sisters due to the tidal waves. Several of our pastors have been busy burying the dead for the last two days.

Perera said the stench of decomposing bodies and lack ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.