Deadly floods – Pope calls for solidarity and help

Deadly floods in Kerala, India, have seen Pope Francis call for solidarity and help from the international community.

Incessant rains this month have caused the state’s worst floods in a century. At least 186 people have died, over 200,000 families have taken refuge at relief camps and about 800,000 have been displaced.

Kerala is home to about 34.8 million people of whom about 10 per cent are Catholic.

Francis said the Church is working to bring help to the people of Kerala and urged the international community to offer concrete help to those affected by the floods.

Authorities fear an outbreak of disease among people crammed into relief camps.

In a statement, the Catholic bishops’ conference of India said the Church was “already out in the field” through Caritas India.

All the 41 Catholic dioceses in Kerala have opened schools and other institutions to accommodate flood victims and are sending food, clothes and other relief materials to affected areas. Finding safe drinking water is a problem in many areas.

Bishops, sisters and lay volunteers are involved in relief operations. Regardless of religion or class, the bishops conference is appealing to all people of good will from across the country to help those affected by the floods.

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News category: World.

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