Thai Catholics rush to help flood victims

Mopping up after the floods

Mopping up after the floods

The Thai Catholic Church has given homeless flood victims shelter while other charities continue the relief efforts to distribute supplies in the disaster-hit northeast of the country.

“Local people are in despair as floods submerged their homes and disrupted their lives,” said Father Somchai Phongsiriphat, of the emergency shelter.

“We used the army’s trucks to move about 1,000 victims to the shelter, where water, food and medical checkups are provided,” the priest said.

He said that St Vincent de Paul Society members are looking after the displaced people at St Mary Witthaya School temporary shelter, opened on Oct. 18, in Nakhon Ratchasima province.

Bishop Banchong Chaiyara of Ubon Ratchathani, president of the Episcopal Commission for Social Ministries and other bishops, have asked Catholics nationwide for their prayers, donations and support.

Sacred Heart Sister Kalaya Trisopha, from Sacred Heart in Bangkok has distributed sticky rice, meat and vegetables to St. Mary Witthaya School and other inundated areas.

“Our congregation prepared an initial donation of around 800,000 baht to support the victims,” the nun said.

Father Anucha Chaoprakenoi, from the Catholic Office for Emergency Relief and Refugees (COERR), said its volunteer group has asked every member to prepare for transportation of basic necessities to the flood-struck areas.

Bishop Chusak Sirisuk of Nakhon Ratchasima told that “This is the worst flood in 20 years. Many of our dioceses are affected. At our intermediate seminary, water level rose to 2.5 meters and water and electricity were cut.”

According to the province’s initial estimates, 24 out of 32 districts had been flooded leaving over 200,000 residents dislocated and about 470,000 rai (188,000 acres) land damaged.

The Thai Children's Trust supports a number of projects in the area. We are still waiting for a report from them. For more information see:

Source: UCAN/ICN

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