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Saturday, October 22, 2016
Caritas president visits hurricane zone
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 Denis Viénot, President of Caritas Internationalis, is travelling to Baton Rouge, Louisiana this week to survey the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, nearly one month ago. He is being accompanied by a delegation of US Caritas officials led by John Keightley from Catholic Charities USA, Thomas Chabolla from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, and Fr Bill Headley from Catholic Relief Services. Heavy winds, rain, and flooding brought on by Hurricane Katrina ­ one of the worst natural disasters in US history ­ unleashed widespread destruction throughout the Gulf Coast states and forced millions of people from their homes. Officials from the hard hit state of Louisiana have confirmed nearly 800 deaths, bringing the overall death toll from Hurricane Katrina to over 1,000. Catholic Charities of New Orleans is currently operating out of the Catholic Charities office in Baton Rouge. The Caritas delegation will meet with the staff and leadership from both agencies, and visit several programmes run by Catholic Charities in the area. The authorities are still assessing the damage wrought by Hurricane Rita, which swept through the region over the weekend.
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