At least 136 people have died from monsoon rains that ravaged the state for more than a week. The tribal missions of the Archdiocese of Bombay in Raigad district are among the most affected areas. Cardinal Gracias has urged the religious to mobilise and stay close to those who have lost everything.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) – More than 136 people have died in floods and landslides in Konkan, along the coast of the Indian states of Maharashtra and Goa.
Due to strong monsoons, a landslide killed 49 people among tribal Katkari in the mission area of the Archdiocese of Mumbai in Raigad, one of the most affected districts.
“I express my profound grief and sorrow for the floods,” said Archbishop Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, speaking to AsiaNews. This, he added, has caused “heavy loss of lives and damage to crops, houses, cattle and property”.
As a result, “I share the anguish of the people affected and wish to express our closeness to them. The Catholic Church will be intensely involved with the relief work.”
Fr Pravin D'Souza, diocesan priest in charge of the Jan Kalyan Trust, the charity of the Archdiocese of Bombay, said that aid, emergency medical teams, and religious staff are being sent to the most affected areas.
“As soon as I informed Card Oswald of the disaster, His Eminence requested that all religious personnel rush to the aid of these people, to give comfort to the elderly, children, and vulnerable people, as well as open shelters for the thousands of people who have been left homeless.”
“The Sindhudurg district was battered by heavy rain for more than a week,” Fr Melvin Pais, from the Diocese of Sindhudurg (Maharashtra), told AsiaNews.
“The low-lying regions of Sindhudurg were suddenly flooded in the early morning hours and people had to face a lot of hardship and loss”. Many villages “were flooded affecting the lives of thousands of people and displacing many more” who have sought refuge.