Photos, Harvey Relief Update: Over 6000 meals delivered to shelters from Faizul Mawaid al-Burhaniyah Kitchen

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Houston FMB prepares the first of 5000 meals for evacuees

Update 31st August, 2017

Mr Abizer Tyebji reports from Houston

Today 3200 meals plus supplies were sent to evacuees of Hurricane Harvey in one day in co-ordination with Mr Hasmit Popat. Mr Popat sent 1200 and the Dawoodi Bohra Community cooked and sent 2000 meals plus supplies in a National Guard/US Marines 18-wheeler truck.

Of these, 1500 meals and supplies were sent to Port Arthur.

In the last 4 days over 6000 hot meals have been delivered. This is in addition to the uninterrupted daily delivery of over 700 tiffins to Bohra community households.

Update 29th August 2017, Houston, 07.00 UT

The National Guard delivered meals prepared in the FMB kitchen to the George Brown Convention centre where over 5000 evacuees from the floods have taken refuge. Here distribution was taken up by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and American Red Cross volunteers.

(Donations towards this effort can be made to Mr Taher Ezzi (713) 478 9475.)

Update 28th August 2017, Houston, 18.00 UT

Community leaders have passed on warnings as dams are opened to release water with flooding expected as a consequence in the path of the water.

The community is preparing and supplying upto 5000 meals to the evacuees at Houston's George R Brown Convention Center at the request of Hon Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. Saifee Guard Volunteers are providing relief efforts under the leadership of Indian Consul General Dr Anupam Ray.

Photos added to the gallery below:

Sandbags, which are not available in stores, are prepared from sand dug from the masjid grounds.

In the community kitchen, work gets underway to prepare thousands of meals for evacuees from around the city as they arrive in shelters.

Kayaks are being brought in for potential rescue and aid efforts.

Update 28th August 2017, Houston, 12.30 UT

From a Houston resident:

"In the aftermath of widespread flooding over the weekend the situation in the Houston area has become very tense.

Hurricane Harvey (a category 4 hurricane at over 130miles/hour) made landfall in Corpus Christi (~120 miles south of Houston) on Friday night and then was downgraded to tropical storm. However it caused widespread rain, flash floods and tornadoes in the Houston area.

Several areas are flooded now. Rain is continuous. The storm may stall along the coast and then surge and again gain hurricane level intensity with a second landfall in Galveston (~45 miles southeast of Houston masjid) on Tuesday or Wednesday. This means we may have over 50 inches of rain in some areas. This is unprecedented in the Houston area. Bohra homes are among those that have been flooded but - in keeping with the community as a whole - they report no major damage, casualties or injuries at this time.

40 members of Saifee Guards Houston along with madrasah and Mahad-al-Quran students gathered to fill sand bags which were delivered to homes and neighbours including the Lifepath Church.

Saifee guards are coordinating with city authorities and the George Brown Convention center (shelter) and have committed to provide over 8000 meals (so far) to anyone affected by the disaster.

Saifee guards, along with physicians from the community are preparing a team of around 100 volunteers to help at area shelters in the next few days, as more and more evacuees are brought into these centers.

Saifee Guards Houston have sent out a message to prepare for the storm:

Anyone who needs help or if you learn of someone who is in need of help contact Saifee Guards Houston. We have volunteers who will assist with any emergency related issues. Donations are also welcomed for the relief effort.

Contact persons:

Mr Habil Khambati (713) 252-8159

Mr Abbas Kakasweet (281) 701-2181

Mr Ali Asghar Najmi (832) 863-2121

Mr Mustafa Raja (281) 798-3993

Mr Zohair Kapadia (832) 607-4954

Mr Huzaifa Yamani (713) 240-3361

SGH will do our best to provide any kind of assistance feasible."

27th August, 2017, Houston

Dawoodi Bohras, mainly resident in NW Harris County, have reported damage to property from tornadoes as Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas on Saturday.

Residents in the county has so far remained relatively safe as the brunt of the storm was bourne by areas south of the city such as Corpus Christi and Galveston.

Harris County residents have not been evacuated with County Judge Ed Emmet - the senior most elected official - reassuring residents about the storm's fears describing it as, 'not so much a hurricane as a rain event'. His primary fears are for flooding with several days of heavy rain expected and some places already affected by fatal flooding.

Members of the Bohra community are largely concentrated in the Barker Cypress area where the community's masjid is located.

Shabbir Bootwala Saifee, local resident, reported the following,

"In our area (masjid and surrounding) there has been rain and flooding with some light tornadoes.

In Galveston, some medical students live but those students also have their parents' homes in Houston... so they are already here.

The rain is falling like crazy... but masjid and our home are at a little height... so right now we are safe... but don't know what's in store for us in the days to come."

Mr Bootwala also told us that Syedna's Shahzada, Taha bhaisaheb, had called the previous day to keep Syedna up to date with events. He conveyed Syedna's prayers for the safety and well-being of Houston's residents.

TV news reports show damage occurring to property in the Barker Cypress area where the community masjid is located.