Christians Support Flood Victims in Northeast India

Floods in northeastern India have damaged over 50,000 homes and at least 350 people been reported dead. Church agencies and Christian NGO's have meanwhile mobilized for the initiation of the gathering and distribution of relief supplies to the victims.

The worst hit states were northern Uttar Pradesh, where 61 people died since Friday. Ten deaths were reported from eastern West Bengal and one from Orissa. Most of the deaths were caused by incidents of house collapse and flooding.

In Assam, Catholic Relief Services and other Christian organizations flung into action, providing emergency relief to over 16,000 families, with the help of government agencies.

"Reaching families who have been cut off by washed out roads is critical," notes Father Celestine, Assistant Country Representative for CRS India. "In some instances, families have lost their immediate food supplies in addition to their homes and livelihoods."

CRS has urged the government to deliver food, household items, and hygiene supplies to the victims of the flood, after it has caused serious health issues to the people.

Father Celestine adds, "In preparation for the floods, CRS and Caritas have purchased 5,000 kits with water treatment tablets, buckets, soap and other items, and have trained community groups in how to use the water treatment tablets. CRS is using small boats to reach families who do not have access to safe water with these life-saving supplies."

The seasonal rains in 2007 were the most shocking and devastating in recent history, after more than 3,200 people were killed.

The Indian Meteorological Department predicted more heavy rain in eastern, northern and parts of central India over the next two weeks.