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Flood victims receive relief aid

Church distributes cooking oil, rice, bedding to villagers with smashed homes

Flood victims receive relief aid
The wife of Wang Zhixiao stands in front of her flood-ravaged home reporters, Fufueng and Quxian

September 27, 2011

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The after-effects of flooding in central and southern provinces are “unimaginable and shocking,” a Church run charity said, with many houses either destroyed or seriously damaged. Father John Ren Dahai, secretary general of Hebei Jinde Charities Foundation, said staff visited victims on September 25. Some elderly villagers told the Church workers that floodwaters submerged the second floor of their homes and they had no strength to clear up the mess after floodwaters receded. They had a plentiful harvest earlier this month, but all sweetcorn and rice in their granaries have rotted or sprouted after being soaked in floodwater. Church-run charitable organizations in mainland China have reacted swiftly after severe rainstorms and floods hit poor rural villages in Shaanxi and Sichuan in the past two weeks. The Catholic Social Service Center (CSSC) of Xi’an diocese in Shaanxi sent its staff to visit Fufeng county on September 23. Accompanied by the parish priest and a local official, they visited and comforted affected villagers. In Fufeng, about 100 km west of Xi’an city, dozens of rural poor families said they despaired of their livelihoods after their houses collapsed. The CSSC offered allowances of 3,000 and 5,000 yuan (US$469-781) to two poorer families whose houses totally collapsed. “We are unable to rebuild houses for them but the small sum of money is an expression of the Church’s spirit of charity,” said a CSSC worker surnamed Tong. Wang Zhixiao, 73, one of the two beneficiaries, said he is grateful to the Church’s charitable act as the relief workers came here to inspect the condition quickly and gave him help. As the local government has provided food, quilts and other emergency aid to the victims, the CSSC will assess their needs and make further plans such as rebuilding schools and houses. In Sichuan’s Quxian county, workers of Jinde Charities said they will deliver cooking oil, rice and quilts worth 110,000 yuan to 420 families, or two-thirds of households in Liduba village, once the relief aid arrives in a couple of days. The storms have abated but electricity and clean water are yet to be restored in the village, Father Ren said. Related reports: Severe floods strike southwest

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