Monday, October 11, 2010
ASIA: VIETNAM: CHURCH APPEALS FOR AID FOR FLOOD VICTIMS
UCAN REPORT: Vietnamese Church leaders have appealed to local Catholics to provide support for thousands of flood victims in central Vietnam.
Dozens of villages were flooded by torrential rain which struck the four central provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue from Sept. 29 to Oct. 3.
According to Vietnam’s Central Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and Control, the floods have claimed 52 lives with 21 still missing.
Quang Binh province alone suffered huge losses with 42 dead, 17 missing, 45 injured, 30 villages inundated with damage of crops, houses and public facilities costing 1.3 billion dong (US$65 million).
Dominican Bishop Paul Nguyen Thai Hop of Vinh whose diocese serves the provinces of Quang Binh and Nghe An, said that the flood water has now receded but local people are struggling with thick mud and are facing hunger. Many have lost their homes and crops with nothing left for the coming months, he added.
Caritas Vietnam and local Church organizations have offered emergency aid of clothes and food to victims, Bishop Hop said.
“All local priests, Religious and Catholics are asked to pray for victims on Oct. 24 at all local churches and congregations,” said the bishop, who called for urgent donations of money, clothes, food and other supplies.
“It is time we expressed our love to our brothers and sisters,” he said.
Cardinal Jean Baptiste Pham Minh Man of Ho Chi Minh City also asked local Catholics to donate generously to assist victims to return to their normal lives.
Archbishop Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon of Ha Noi, president of the Vietnam Bishops’ Conference, appealed to Catholics throughout the country to offer spiritual and material support.
The conference has already sent emergency aid, he added.