Pray for Kerala
Jesuits in Kerala are among those impacted by the recent floods in South India that have had a devastating impact on the whole state, leading to hundreds of people losing their lives and thousands more left isolated from their homes.
Jesuit Missions received an update from Fr Deepak George SJ, one of our local Jesuit partners that said, “We are in danger. Many people have died and still things are getting worse. Please can I request that you keep us all in your prayers.” Over 9000 kilometres of roads have been damaged and the main airport and railways stations have been closed, shutting off important transport links in and out of the state. One of the Jesuit communities has been evacuated by the army after their community was flooded and they were forced to be rescued from their roof terrace. More than 223, 000 people are living in 1500 emergency relief camps which have been set up to support local people.
Kerala, an Indian state known for its lush green vegetation, is used to receiving high rainfall at this time of year; however, the torrential rains this year have brought on the worst flooding in over one hundred years, according to the region’s chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Since June, over three hundred people have died with the situation taking a turn for the worse in the last week. All fourteen districts of Kerala are still on red alert for rainfall, causing schools to be closed across the state and many areas also suffering from landslides, which has been the main cause of deaths. Forty-four rivers in the state, as well as eighty of its dams, are overflowing with water flowing uncontrollably.
All forty-one catholic dioceses in Kerala have opened schools to accommodate flood victims and cooperating by sending food, clothes and other relief materials to affected areas. (Union of Catholic Asian News: 16/08/18)
Pope Francis yesterday prayed for victims of the flooding in Kerala. He said: “In recent days the inhabitants of Kerala have been harshly struck by intense rains, which have caused flooding and landslides, with heavy loss of human life, with many people missing and displaced, with extensive damage to crops and homes.” The Holy Father said he hoped that “these brothers and sisters” would always be supported by our solidarity, and by concrete support from the international community, and he expressed his closeness to the Church in Kerala, “which is at the forefront of efforts to bring aid to the population.” (Independent Catholic News: 19/08/18)
Shannon Philip, Jesuit Missions International Programmes Officer, says, “We are trying to keep in touch with our Jesuit partners in the region, but it is difficult at this time due to the loss of connectivity.” Jesuit Missions asks that you keep the people of Kerala and all those affected by the floods in your prayers at this critical time.