Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "At a time when we are worried about the COVID-19 pandemic, it is with great pain that we received the sad news of the disasters caused by the torrential rains of recent days in the provinces of South Kivu, Tanganyika, Maniema and Haut-Lomami, causing loss of life and significant material damage. This misfortune is added to the suffering of the populations already impoverished and traumatized by the adverse social and security conditions of these areas", write the Bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo in a message signed by the President of the Episcopal Conference, His Exc. Mgr. Marcel Utembi Tapa, Archbishop of Kisangani, in which they express "spiritual closeness and solidarity" to the Bishops of Uvira, Kalemie-Kirungu, Manono, Kongolo, Kamina and Goma, whose dioceses were hit hard by the torrential rains that poured over these regions from 16 to 19 April. A first death toll speaks of at least 52 deaths in addition to very serious material damage to homes and crops.
"We appeal to the help of the Congolese government and humanitarian organizations, as well as the solidarity of all people of good will, for the victims of these disasters", writes Mgr. Utembi Tapa. "Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, may the Risen Lord heal the wounded and restore courage and hope to all those who have lost their belongings. May He console the grieving families and grant the victims eternal piece", concludes the message. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 24/4/2020)