Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Flooding death toll rises
Authorities warn of disease outbreaksThe flooding has brought devastation to tens of thousands
- Ryan Dagur, Jakarta
- January 21, 2013
A provincial health agency today warned that flooding in Jakarta, which has so far killed 20 people since last week, now poses a severe risk of disease for tens of thousands of people taking refuge in emergency shelters.
Drowning, electrocution and water-borne illnesses were among the chief causes of death in the flood, said Dien Emmawati, head of Jakarta’s provincial health agency.
Dozens of medical students from the state-run University of Indonesia and the private University of Trisakti, along with hundreds of nurses and students from hospitals and nursing schools have joined the agency’s 400 medical workers at more than 60 emergency health outposts.
Many of the flood victims are suffering from water-borne diseases and skin rashes, Emmawati said, adding that the spread of malaria and other insect- and animal-borne illnesses was also a concern for health workers.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged the provincial administration of Jakarta to monitor the incidence of disease closely and ensure that flood victims have access to clean water.
“Floods do not necessarily lead to an immediate major increase in mosquito numbers, but it is important to track weekly case numbers and provide laboratory-based diagnoses to pick up the early stages of an epidemic,” said Khanchit Limpakarnjanarat, WHO representative to Indonesia, in an interview with the Jakarta Globe.
The WHO has also urged the distribution of fact sheets informing victims about how to avoid the most common ailments associated with flooding, including diarrhea, skin infections, influenza, conjunctivitis and leptospirosis.
Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo said that about 43,000 people across the capital have taken refuge in emergency shelters.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono promised the allocation of two trillion rupiah (US$208 million) to an emergency fund to combat flooding in the province during a visit with Governor Widodo to a shelter in East Jakarta yesterday.
Provincial officials said flood waters have begun to recede, but areas of north Jakarta remain under water.