Bishop visits central Vietnam where floods left at least 37 people dead
Over several days, strong winds and torrential rains caused huge damage, submerging homes, wiping out farmland, killing and sweeping away cattle. The Diocese of Hà Tĩnh, along with Caritas and the Catholic Business Association brought donations.
Hanoi (AsiaNews) - Strong winds and torrential rain over several days have caused flooding in central Vietnam, killing at least 37 so far. Quảng Trị, Thừa Thiên Huế and Quảng Nam are the most affected provinces.
Heavy rains from 10 to 13 October inundated residential areas, farmland and roads, causing huge damages to people and property.
The General Department of Disaster Prevention reported that, in addition to the 37 deaths, at least 50,000 houses were flooded or wrecked whilst 250 hectares of rice fields and 2,500 hectares planted with vegetables were wiped out. Some 900 hectares dedicated to aquaculture were also damaged; at least 60,000 animals, mainly cows and poultry, were killed or swept away by the raging waters.
Bishop Phaolô (Paul) Nguyễn Thái Hợp of Hà Tĩnh (about 340 km south of the capital, near the coast), decided to visit the flooded areas to bring some help. On Saturday, he led a delegation from his diocese to Trung Quán parish.
The prelate tried to visit every family, one by one, to encourage them and leave them with some small gifts. For those who met him, “He is a true pastor. He did not just give us some gifts; he brought us God.”
Trung Quán parish, one of the hardest hit, saw homes submerged and streets turned into rivers.
Thanks Caritas and the Hà Tĩnh Catholic Business Association, the bishop was able to leave a package containing instant noodles, a bottle of oil and two packs of condiments for each family he visited.
He also brought more than 200 million dong (about US$ 8,600). The diocese donated 100 million; Caritas 50 million and the Catholic Business Association, another 50 million. Although not huge, the money will help with the emergency.
Bishop Nguyễn Thái Hợp encouraged the faithful to recite the rosary and pray for all the people living in the flooded area.