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Church collects for flood victims

Catholics among thousands evacuated as torrents damage houses and communications

Buildings collapsed during the flood in Wangmo Buildings collapsed during the flood in Wangmo
  • ucanews.com reporter, Guiyang
  • China
  • June 15, 2011
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Church workers at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Guizhou city collected more than 10,000 yuan (US$1,542) for emergency relief during Masses on June 12.

Heavy rain last week caused serious floods in Wangmo, in southwest Guizhou province, isolating the county from the outside world.

Overflowing river waters and mountain torrents have killed 21 people and left 31 missing in the county. More than 40,000 people were forced to evacuate.

The donations will be sent to the victims as soon as local transportation recovers, a Church worker said.

Guizhou diocese, which is based in the provincial capital Guiyang city, could not reach the pastor of Wangmo parish, Father Zhang Yiyong, for two days after the rainstorm.

“Electric power, water supply and telecommunication there were interrupted. But luckily, the church was unaffected as it is located far from the flooded river,” reported the priest.

He paid visits to all parishioners in the county town last weekend and found out some 55 people in 13 families were affected.

Some victims stayed in the church or went to relatives. They urgently need food and clothes. The parish will offer them free accommodation and meals despite its straitened circumstances, the priest promised.

The diocese has called on Catholics to make donations to help the flood victims. Some people have brought rice, oil, bedding and clothes to their parishes.

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