By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor
A Blackburn based muslim charity that usually deal with victims of natural catastrophes in countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan has arrived in Cumbria to help flood victims.
The Al-Imdaad Foundation is usually on the other side of the world, but felt it was necessary to drive only a couple of hours north to help out with the relief effort.
Four volunteers have arrived in the flood hit area with another 60 expected to join the relief effort over the weekend. They plan to help with a wider rescue effort, which already involves local people, players from Carlisle United, soldiers from 2nd Battalion and Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.
Sufyaan Valimulla, 23, part of the team, said: “We’re liaising with the Cumbria fire and rescue service. This morning we were told that a lot of people, especially the elderly, are going back from rescue centres to their homes, and are seeing the devastation there. We’ve been providing hot food, fresh water, and helping people clear their homes. A lot of people have been decorating their homes for Christmas and have been literally crying on our shoulders because they are heartbroken and distraught.”
As the rain continues, the area needs as much help as possible, and the Environment Agency has told locals to expect “potential for further disruption.” Seven flood warnings and 22 flood alerts have remained in place across northern England.
Storm Desmond has devastated an area that’s struggling to cope with the worst floods in living memory. More than 6,400 homes may have been flooded in total, according to Cumbria Police. The largest school in the county, Trinity School in Carlisle, will stay closed until the New Year because of flood damage. It is estimated the damage, in total, to Cumbria may cost £500m.