Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association relief news update from Thailand.
Nearly three weeks of flooding across 38 of Thailand’s 76 provinces has claimed at least 94 lives, with an estimated 4.2 million people affected. Some 1.6 million acres of farmland have been recently destroyed as torrential rains caused more rivers to burst their banks.
Upon hearing of the devastating situation earlier this month, Supreme Master Ching Hai donated US$5,000 for emergency aid, conveying her deep condolences and prayers as she asked that our Association members please go to help the afflicted. This amount could acquire US$29,000 in urgent necessities if purchased in the United States, based on the cost of living in Thailand.
As soon as conditions permitted, our nearby Association members began relief work. They traveled to the most severely afflicted Amphur Pak Thong Chai in northeastern Nakhon Ratchasima Province. Despite many other agencies also providing emergency assistance, the victims were still in desperate need of aid, as officials said it was the worst flooding the region had faced in over a hundred years.
Relief team member (F): Now, we are at Amphur Pak Thong Chai. The villagers here are suffering tremendously. They can’t find food. So, our Association members cooked approximately 500 lunchboxes to be distributed to the people in the area. The deepest part [of the floodwaters] is about 3 meters deep.
Relief team member (F): How are you affected by the floods?
Mr. Sakkasem Satayanuchit, Member of Parliament, Amphur Pak Thong Chai, Thailand (M): Right now, there are people still caught on the roof. We are trying to check if they have any meals because even if they receive dried foods, they cannot cook. The electricity was out. This is a tremendous suffering for the Pak Thong Chai people. The farmers on the outskirts are affected, losing everything. This will be difficult.
VOICE: Our Association’s relief team has prepared 500 Loving Hut vegan lunchboxes to be distributed as the primary relief effort. The recipients were deeply touched by Master’s love and care.
Flood victim (F): You’re really helping out the people, because you really go to the farthest end of the street. Thank you very much. Supreme Master Ching Hai, thank you so much.
Flood victims (F): Thank you, Master Ching Hai. Thank you so much. I don’t know what to say. I’m so touched. I thought that we wouldn’t have anything to eat tonight. Thank you so much.
Mr. Sakkasem Satayanuchit, Member of Parliament, Amphur Pak Thong Chai, Thailand (M): We must thank Master Ching Hai and the team and everyone for helping the Pak Thong Chai people. Thank you so much.
VOICE: Our appreciation, officials and personnel as well as all other organizations, and individuals working to ease the situation. We are also thankful to Supreme Master Ching Hai for her unconditional support of the flood-stricken Thai people, and for the assistance of our Association’s relief team. With Buddha’s blessings, may they smoothly recover the regularity of their daily lives as our gentler regard for the ecosphere helps restore Earth’s equilibrium.