Freetown (Agenzia Fides) - "Our hearts and prayers go out to the bereaved families, and all those who have been made homeless, as well as those who have been thrown into abject poverty by this disaster", write the Bishops of Sierra Leone, in a message of condolences for the tragedy that took place in the night between 13 and 14 August, when floods and mudslides hit the village of Regent (see Fides 21/8/2017).
The message sent to Agenzia Fides, underlines man’s responsibility in preventing these disasters, often caused by neglect, wild deforestation, and illegal construction: "The encyclical of Pope Francis, Laudato Sì, compels our collective consciences to foster true ecological conversion and to live at peace with nature. Sierra Leoneans have the responsibility to care for 'our common home".
"The Catholic Church, through her charity arm, Caritas, in collaboration with the Catholic Development Agencies, will collaborate and support Government in her efforts to curtail the sufferings of our compatriots", continues the message that concludes promising to "continue to pray for the peaceful repose of the souls of all victims".
The death toll is now approaching 600 deaths, of which about 450 have been recovered. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 22/8/2017)