A man makes repairs to his roof in Quang Binh Province on Sept. 16 a day after it was hit by a typhoon. (Photo courtesy of Father Peter Than Van Chinh)
The Catholic Church is preparing to assist people affected by a powerful tropical storm that hit Vietnam's central provinces on Sept. 15.
Typhoon Doksuri hit six provinces from Thanh Hoa to Thua Thien Hue, killing eight people and injuring just as many in a disaster that has also left tens of thousands homeless and damaged 126,000 houses, according to official reports. The provinces of Ha Tinh and Quang Binh were the areas most affected.
Auxiliary Bishop Peter Nguyen Van Vien of Vinh and some priests visited three parishes in Quang Binh Provinces on Sept. 16. Bishop Vien consoled those suffering from the typhoon and prayed that they overcome their difficulties soon.
The prelate also asked local priests to make account of the damages in the province. Bishop Vien promised to call on Caritas Vietnam and other Catholic benefactors to support victims.
Father Peter Than Van Chinh, pastor of Lien Hoa parish, said around 200 households were submerged in flood water and that many of their homeless occupants were staying in the local church for safety.
"We are cleaning and repairing our houses. We have no electricity and lack medicine, drinking water and food," Father Chinh said.
The priest blamed the drastic weather on climate change. "Before the typhoon, this area suffered drought but now it is inundated by water," he said.
St. Paul de Chartres Sister Mary Doan Thi Thu from the Vung An community in Ha Tinh Province, said: "We are taking account of the damage and asking people from other places to give emergency aid to victims who are homeless."
The nun said people need rice, drinking water, medicine, clothes, blankets and building materials to repair and rebuild houses.
This is the fourth storm to hit the area this year, she said.