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Christian Groups Respond to Kansas Tornado Wreck

Christian groups are on ground and responding to last week’s devastating Kansas twister that demolished nearly the entire farming town of Greensburg, Kan.
( [email protected] ) May 07, 2007 05:52 PM EDT

Christian groups are on ground and responding to last week’s devastating Kansas twister that demolished nearly the entire farming town of Greensburg, Kan.

Two Salvation Army canteens – emergency disaster mobile feeding units – were deployed immediately following the disaster, the organization reported Monday. The canteens are capable of feeding up to 2,000 people a day and were deployed along with the group’s emergency disaster services teams.

“Basically we’re out there doing an assessment of the needs and will provide basic services making sure people have shelter, food, medicines and anything else they might need,” said Dee Smith, emergency disaster services director for The Salvation Army in Kansas and Western Missouri, in a statement.

“We will be in place to assist the community for as long as we are needed,” Smith added.

In addition to food and other basic physical needs, Salvation Army officers are also on ground providing emotional and spiritual care to residents.

A killer mile-wide tornado with 205-mph winds killed nine people in and around Greensburg late Friday, according to CNN. More than 50 people were injured according to authorities and the Red Cross reports that about 90 percent of Greensburg was destroyed or heavily damaged.

The tornado struck in an area in central United States known as tornado alley, which is prone to destructive funnel clouds that kill an average of 70 Americans each year, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee reported that its disaster response director, Bill Adams, will participate in the Kansas State Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) gathering on Tuesday. He will help plan emergency response efforts for the survivors.

“This town is completely flattened,” Adams said, in a report, “so it’s unlikely we’ll be sending our Rapid Response Teams, which often can provide survivors with clean up and short-term repair assistance.

“Sadly, in Greensburg, there doesn’t appear to be much left to repair,” he noted.

The coordination meetings this week will assess the ongoing emergency response and the feasibility of long-term reconstruction and rebuilding in Greensburg.