12/07/2015, 00.00
INDIA
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Affected by the flood, missionaries help neighbours in Tamil Nadu

Although the city of Chennai is still under water, the airport has reopened and power has been restored to homes. At its peak, the water was neck deep. Nuns handed out bread, milk, biscuits and clothes donated by friends and their local parish priest. The authorities “promised to contribute to the efforts. But no decision has been made about how to use government funds.”

Chennai (AsiaNews) – Although heavy rains have stopped in Chennai, "the situation in the city is catastrophic. It is hard to go out and we cannot buy anything to eat. There is no milk, bread and basic necessities. Everything is under water. People have lost everything,” said a nun from the Mission of the Immaculate (a female congregation associated with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions).

Speaking to AsiaNews about the current situation in the Indian city hit by its worst flooding in 25 years, she said, "During the most critical days of the flood we prayed so much for ourselves and the community. We distributed food in the neighbourhood that the pastor and friends gave us.”

The missionaries live in Virugambakkam residential area, not far from the coast where heavy rains were concentrated. In recent weeks, the storm flooded the entire coastal area, forcing the authorities to suspend flights and trains, and block power supplies.

Since "Friday (4 December) we have had no rain, but the city is in a panic."

Some 50 families live near the parish church. "We were able to hand out some bread, milk, biscuits and clothes," said another missionary, "but we do not know what happened in other areas."

At its peak, the water was neck deep, the nun said. "No one expected such an event,” she explained. “Now the streets are empty of cars, shops are closed and trains are not running.”

Power to residential areas was restored and the city’s airport reopened yesterday.

One missionary said that their home was flooded, "but compared to what happened to neighbouring houses, we can consider ourselves lucky. We did not suffer a lot, unlike our neighbours who lost everything."

She confirmed "that state authorities are distributing aid, and even India’s prime minister promised to contribute to the efforts. But no decision has been made about how to use government funds.”

Power to residential areas was restored and the city’s airport reopened yesterday.

One missionary said that their home was flooded, "but compared to what happened to neighbouring houses, we can consider ourselves lucky. We did not suffer a lot, unlike our neighbours who lost everything."

She confirmed "that state authorities are distributing aid, and even India’s prime minister promised to contribute to the efforts. But no decision has been made about how to use government funds.”

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