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Church rushes to help Vietnam flood victims

Food, essentials and shelter are provided for thousands of people in five swamped provinces reporter, Hue reporter, Hue

Updated: September 09, 2019 08:14 AM GMT
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Church rushes to help Vietnam flood victims

Flood victims dry their clothes on a hedge in Vietnam's Thua Thien Hue province on Sept. 4. ( photo)

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Church workers are providing humanitarian relief for thousands of flood victims in central Vietnam.

Heavy and incessant rainfall caused by Tropical Depression Kajiki inundated the five provinces of Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue from Sept. 1-5.

Six people have died and others are missing after floods swamped thousands of houses and public facilities and killed cattle and poultry, according to the government’s rough statistics.

Father John Baptist Nguyen Huy Tuan, head of Caritas in Ha Tinh Diocese, said his group offered instant noodles and drinking water to 4,500 households who were isolated by floods on Sept. 6-7.

He said thousands of houses were destroyed or washed away, many villages are isolated and many people are homeless and lack food and basic essentials.

Ha Tinh province has recorded five deaths and 5,567 households deep in floodwater.

“I would like to call on companies, organizations, individuals and benefactors to generously share food and water with innocent and poor victims and help them overcome this difficult time,” Father Tuan said in a special message on Sept. 6.

Father Francis Xavier Tran Vuong Quoc Minh, pastor of Khe Sanh in Quang Binh province’s Huong Hoa district, said Catholic volunteers used boats to give rice, instant noodles, bottled water and blankets to flood victims, especially ethnic Van Kieu villagers.

He said his parish plans to provide more food and building materials so that people can return to normal life.

John Nguyen Tuan, a Caritas worker from Phuoc Tuyen parish in Cam Lo district, said local people, mostly followers of other faiths, had moved to the local church and other places on higher ground to avoid floodwater and had received food from the parish.

“They will face a severe famine as they had their crops and animals washed away and destroyed by the floods,” Tuan said.

Sister Mary Vu Thi Ngoc, who is in charge of climate change issues for the Daughters of Mary Immaculate congregation in Hue, said the congregation plans to provide 2,000 kilograms of rice and 1,000 packets of instant noodles for victims in worst-hit Ha Tinh province. It is also asking benefactors to donate clothes, blankets, food, medicine and money.

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