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Storms in North India, Caritas at forefront of relief efforts

New Delhi (AsiaNews) – Caritas India is bringing relief to the Indian population affected by the violent wind, dust and rain storms that have been raging for a week in the northern part of the country.

A note issued by the Indian Bishops’ Conference (CBCI) sent to AsiaNews, says the bishops offer “condolences for the death of our brothers and sisters, caught unaware as nature’s fury took hold”.

The Catholic association is operating in Agra and Jayour, the most affected districts. The CBCI reports that volunteers ” trying to help people without discrimination of faith, or class, wherever it is possible for us to reach out”. In detail, they are trying to restore the sanitary conditions of the areas affected by the storm.

Today the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) reports that rainfall has resumed in Chandigarh and in the coming hours is also expected in Punjab and Haryana. In the meantime, the authorities of the latter state have arranged for the schools to remain closed until tomorrow.

The bishops pray for the victims and the wounded. In the note they express ” profound grief and sorrow at the terrible and unimaginable havoc wrecked by the severe dust storm”. The leaders of the Catholic Church in India express concern for “the worst destruction of the last 20 years” and for the “warnings about further worsening of the weather conditions”.

The Ministry of the Interior of the Union informs that storms should break over 13 states of the northern part of the country, flagellated by winds over 100 km / h. The updated toll of the devastation that hit five states in particular is 124 dead and more than 300 wounded. The authorities report that Uttar Pradesh has paid the highest number of lives, with 73 victims and 91 injured, followed by Rajasthan, with 35 dead and 206 injured.

According to the bishops, the devastation in India “is an opportunity for all of us to think and reflect seriously on the theme of climate change, just as Pope Francis has invited us to do in ‘Laudato sì’.” Finally, the CBCI invites “men and women of good will to unite everywhere in providing relief and assistance to those in need”.

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