CBCI expresses solidarity for flood victims
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) has expressed its deep anguish over the loss of lives and properties caused by the devastating floods in Jammu and Kashmir State, India and appealed to his people to support the affected with generous contribution. Flash floods, which began on September 3, have triggered landslides, putting at least half a million people in immediate danger. Thousands of homes have been destroyed in the neighbouring countries, along with vital infrastructure, communication equipment and crops.
“While condoling the death of many victims, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India wishes to express its sympathy and solidarity with those thousands of people who lost their homes, shelters and other establishments due to the unprecedented deluge,” Fr. Joseph Chinnayyan Spokesperson of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India wrote in a statement.
On Friday, rescuers raced to help communities hit by landslides in Kashmir on Friday while thousands were stranded, homeless and hungry in the city of Srinagar, most of which was submerged by the region's worst flooding in 50 years. Both the Indian and Pakistan sides of the disputed Kashmir region have been hit by extensive flooding since the Jhelum river, swollen by unusually heavy rain, surged last week. India home ministry said about 200 had been killed and around 130,000 rescued.
In an appeal to the bishops and other leaders of the Catholic Church in India, CBCI president, Cardinal Baselios Cleemis has exhorted the community of faithful, institutions and people of good will to contribute generously to rebuild the lives of the people and communities with rehabilitation and restoration of livelihoods. He has urged the faithful to mobilize the resources and send them to Caritas India, New Delhi, which is coordinating the rehabilitation works on behalf of the Church in India, in collaboration with the Diocese of Jammu-Srinagar and the Jammu and Kashmir Catholic Social Service Society.
Meanwhile on the Pakistani side, officials put the death toll at 264 on Friday and said that more than one million people had been affected by floodwaters now cresting in the densely populated province of Punjab.
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