08/30/2017, 11.17
INDIA
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Mumbai archdiocese opens schools and parishes after floods (Photo)

by Nirmala Carvalho

The 20 million inhabitants of the megalopolis are submerged by water. The schools are closed; Flights canceled airplane flights; Locked transport. In all diocesan structures offered hot meals, dry clothes, blankets and bed linen.

 

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The archdiocese of Mumbai (Maharashtra) has decided to open schools and parishes to give shelter and welcome to citizens displaced by the flood. The decision was taken yesterday by Card. Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop, to respond to the humanitarian emergency caused by the heavy monsoon rains that have been battering all over South Asia for months.

Through his office, the cardinal has outlined a list of structures that will remain open day and night, scattered around every corner of the megalopolis with 20 million inhabitants. Speaking to AsiaNews he reports that "heavy rainfall and extreme climatic conditions in Mumbai have disrupted road and rail transport and local traffic. People are blocked. That is why I have asked all the churches, schools and institutes of the Archdiocese to offer shelter to everyone, regardless of caste or faith. "

After the Cardinal's appeal, the reception machine was activated in every facility. At the Holy Name School, next to the Archbishop, more than 45 people were accommodated, exhausted after days outdoors. The diocesan pastoral center of Bandra opened the doors at nine in the evening, and already 17 people were waiting. Fr. Fitzgerald Fernandes reported that "people continued to arrive all night. A couple came from Gujarat and sought shelter here. " At the basilica of Our Lady of Mount, always in Bandra, some workers found a place to lodge in the presbytery. At the church of St. Joseph, another 170 displaced were accommodated. The archdiocese reports that hot meals, breakfast, dry clothes, blankets and bed sheets, bath towels for washing are provided to all.

Mumbai, India's main industrial hub located on the west coast, is completely submerged by water. This flooding is due to heavy rainfall, but also to its geographic position and the obsolete drainage network. The whole city is blocked, schools are closed, flights canceled. The King Edward Memorial Hospital's medical staff was forced to evacuate the pediatric ward, flooded with water. On social media, the authorities have also appealed for prudence, inviting residents not to go out on the street.

The monsoon is causing a real humanitarian crisis across the southern part of Asia. The most affected countries are India, Bangladesh and Nepal, where the most up-to-date data speak of at least 1000 deaths. According to the United Nations, approximately 41 million people are affected by the natural disaster that is hitting the region.

Monsoon rains are a natural phenomenon that occurs every year. But on this occasion, perhaps due to the effects of climate change, the precipitation was much more abundant. In just a few days 100 millimeters of rain fell in the city of India. According to experts, this is an alarming level, which fears the recurrence of the 2005 disaster, when more than 1,000 deaths were counted.

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