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Bishops show solidarity with Ockhi victims 

By Matters India Reporter

New Delhi: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India on December 4 expressed its solidarity with the people of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep and assured prayers for the Ockhi cyclone victims.

Ockhi originated from an area of disturbed weather near Sri Lanka on November 29. It strengthened on December 1. After causing damages to property and life on Sri Lanka, Ockhi headed toward Lakshadweep and mainland India.

By December 4, around 26 people were reported dead and more than 150 fishermen missing. The cyclone also reportedly damaged more than 560 houses totally and around 1,500 houses partially.

“We offer our condolences to the families of all those who have lost their lives and we wish to comfort those who have been afflicted by pain and suffering caused by the devastating hurricane in the past few days,” the conference said in a statement.

The administration in the three states evacuated more than 10,000 people.

Caritas India, the Catholic Church’s wing of mercy, is working along with the government authorities to provide relief to the people, the statement said.

“At this time of grief, loss and suffering, the Catholic Church in India is close to the affected families,” it further says.

The statement issued by CBCI secretary general Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas has requested all dioceses in the country to pray for the victims on Sunday, December 10. The bishop made the appeal on behalf of the CBCI president Cardinal Baselios Cleemis.

The statement also requested those desiring to offer financial and material support to get in touch with the dioceses of the coastal regions of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

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