11/07/2006, 00.00
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Church helping rescue flood victims

by Col Memara
Heavy rains began on October 27 killing 23 people and forcing 75,000 from their homes. Caritas and local parishes give out food to the fleeing population now sheltering in churches and Buddhist temples.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – Sri Lanka's Catholic Church has called on the faithful to provide their support and full co-operation to bring aid to 75,000 people affected by flooding in the last few days. Heavy rains badly hit the country in late October and early November, killing 23 people in one of the worst-affected district, Gampaha, and causing major damages in another, Kalutara.

Through Caritas and local parishes, the Sri Lankan Church has allocated funds and provided food for the displaced people. Caritas director Father Edward told AsiaNews that "for now we have been able to help 2,000 families in the Chilaw area. We have given out hot food and dry rations. So far we have spent about US$ 10,000, but much more is needed."

Colombo parishes, to help meet the demand, have called on all the faithful to give all donations raised on All Souls to the displaced. And Caritas was able to give rescue operations more money to set emergency shelters and buy food.

The emergency began on October 27 when heavy rains fell uninterruptedly for a few days. Thousands were forced to flee flooded areas and seek refuge in churches and Buddhist temples.

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