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Bishops Discuss Relief For Flood-hit People In North Karnataka

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BELGAUM, OCT. 08: (SAR NEWS): The bishops of all the five dioceses of North Karnataka at a meeting here October 8 discussed relief and rehabilitation measures for the victims of the recent rain havoc that has left thousands in the region homeless and caused severe loss to life, livestock and property. The North Karnataka Flood Relief Strategic Action Plan Meet, which was arranged at Nazareth Hall near the Fatima Cathedral, discussed short-term rescue operations and long-term relief measures. Representatives of different non-governmental organisations from Bangalore and other parts of the State were present. Bishop Gerald Lobo of Shimoga, presiding over the meeting, said that the Church in India was planning to assist 25,000 flood-affected families in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. He recalled the appeal made by Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore October 5 wherein he had urged the Catholic community to support the government machinery in Karnataka in its relief work. “We have an obligation to support humanity,” Bishop Moras had stated in his appeal. Apart from taking up various relief measures, the Church in Karnataka looks forward to constructing 1,000 houses in the State and provide semi-accommodation to at least 750 families, Bishop Lobo said. Bishop Peter Machado of Belgaum, Bishop Derek Fernandes of Karwar, Bishop Henry D’Souza of Bellary and Bishop Robert Miranda of Gulbarga presented the flood scenario in their respective dioceses. Deputy Commissioner of Belgaum, Dr. J. Ravishankar briefed the bishops and heads of NGOs on the devastation caused by floods in Belgaum. Appreciating the initiative taken by the Catholic community, Ravishankar said medicines and manpower were required urgently to assist the relief work. Directors of NGOs like Caritas India, IGSSS, CRS, Habitat, KROSS and other NGOs from North Karnataka were present. Short-term and long-term strategies were formulated in the action plan to assist the government at the district and taluk-levels. The teams of experts and social workers that are already in action in different affected areas would be strengthened while new teams would be formed. Apart from making a survey of the areas that are difficult to reach, the bishops also decided to identify the victims registered with the local administration. The NGOs would be assisting the administration in providing housing to those who have lost their dwellings in the rains.

 
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Loss of Life and Property due to Flash Floods in Bellary Diocese

 Number of people affected : 151,934
Loss of life : 72
Villages affected : 1,296
Houses destroyed/damaged : 118,833
Relief being distributed to : 3,500 families
No. Catholic houses lost: 560
Number of medical camps held : 22