07 September 2010

Update from Columban Fr Tomás King on floods in Pakistan

Pakistan: A brief update on the situation in Thata Area

by Columban Fr Tomás King, 5 September 2010
Father King is the Columban Mission Unit Coordinator in Pakistan. He is from Ireland.
The attached photos of the relief work being carried out in Kotri area are from Fr Mohan Victor OFM .

Children and the elderly are the most vulnerable

Greetings to All,

There is still serious flooding in Sindh (where Columbans are working), as you probably see from from TV pictures. The good news is that the water level though still very high is receding near the Kotri barrage on the opposite side of the river from Hyderabad city. (Columbans are working in the Diocese of Hyderabad). Hyderabad is safe and is out of danger. But further south, waters continue to flood from the river near Thatha. This has flooded the towns of Sajawal which is in Badin parish. Waters have reached to within 50 kms of Badin city and thankfully at this stage it looks like it will escape. The government has set up relief camps around Badin city.
Preparing a simple meal

Nearby is Jati, a small parish which is administrated from Hyderabad parish. It is where Columban Fr Robert McCulloch (an Australian) does some of his ministry and Fr Sabir Sadiq, a diocesan priest based in the Cathedral parish in Hyderabad. For the past week before the flood waters arrived to engulf the town of Jati and the surrounding lands, Father Sabir has being helping with the evacuation. The crops and homes of his family and all Christian and Muslim neighbours have been lost. They did manage to get their animals out. Tragically, when people were evacuating through the flood waters, four young children of one family were drowned when they fell into deep waters. So far their bodies have not been found. Jati people estimate that ti will be at least two weeks before they can begin to move back, as the flood waters are expected to linger that long. Most of the Christian community in Jati have evacuated to relatives in Karachi.
He lost everything, home, land and crops
Emergency relief and medical help are being provided from many sources. These include the parish team in Kotri parish led by Fr Mohan Victor OFM and staff of St Mary's Girl's High School in Hyderabad and the students. Columban Sisters and their team, Fr Felisiano Fatu (a Columban from Tonga) and the Badin parish team, Sr Rosey Yaqoob FMCK in Sukkur parish and the outreach team from St Elizabeth's Hospital in Hyderabad with Fr Robert McCulloch are working feverishly in emergency work. All of these have received funding that have come from Columban sources. This relief work will continue for some time. According to the Prime Minister this first phase of relief work will continue until end of October. That is a brief summary of the present situation.
Sincere thanks for your generous help and support.
Fr Tomás King on behalf of all the people you have helped.
Family waiting for help

Loading up relief supplies

Father Mohan OFM planning distribution

So happy to have received assistance

All that remains now

Where to now?

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