New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) - The flash floodings in Uttarkand are "a national tragedy that affects many of our people. As religious Indians, along with all the Church, we are deeply moved and we respond with prayer and with all possible actions to support the victims": says a message sent to Fides Agency by the Religious Conference in India, which combines orders and religious congregations (both men and women). Because of the anticipated monsoon (see Fides 24/06/2013) in the Uttarkand state (North India) over 2,000 villages in the districts of Uttarkashi, Chamoli and Rudraprayāg have been wholly or partially affected by the devastating floods. More than 100 people in the village of Guptkashi and nearby villages have died, while at least 2,000 are missing.
The area affected by the floods is situated in the Diocese of Bijnor. The local Bishop, Msg. John Vadakel, has sent a coordinated effort for humanitarian aid, together with Caritas India.
According to what local sources say, "the main problems are especially for the large number of pilgrims who were on the spot heading towards a Hindu temple in Kedarnath and are stuck." Even the resident population has been strongly affected: while relief efforts are improving, the attention is being focused on the damage caused in the different villages. The message of the Religious Conference concludes: "We call on all the religious in India to support this cause, with prayers and with other contributions according to their means and possibility." (PA) (Agenzia Fides 27/06/2013)