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Archbishop urges Catholics to help floods victims

Monday, October 22, 2018

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, (CMC) – Members of the Roman Catholic community are being urged to assist those who have been affected by floodwaters with food, water, clothes and shelter.

“As we awake today, the day after the relentless rain and resulting floods, let us thank God for life. We have witnessed rains in our nation the likes of which we have not seen in living memory. Many are affected. Many lost their homes, cars, furniture and clothes. Others are safe, warm and dry,” Roman Catholic Archbishop Jason Gordon said in a statement yesterday.

“Today, as Trinidadians and Tobagonians, let us act with solidarity and share with those who are affected. If you have two bottles of water, let us share one; those with food should do the same .”

The Archbishop said during this national disaster: “We must witness to sharing and solidarity. Let us check our streets, villages, towns and communities to ensure everyone has what they need. If people are homeless because of the flooding let us open our parish halls to them. Let us ensure everyone has food, water, dry clothes and shelter. If we all help, then all will be cared for.”

He also assured the nation that the church will stand by citizens as “we work together to rebuild our nation”.

Meanwhile, regional carrier, Caribbean Airlines (CAL), in a release yesterday, said flights continue to be dis­rupt­ed by the ad­verse weath­er con­di­tions at both Pi­ar­co and Arthur NR Robin­son in­ter­na­tion­al air­ports.

The airline said pas­sen­gers have been un­able to pass through flood­ed routes, adding that all af­fect­ed pas­sen­gers are be­ing ac­com­mo­dat­ed on al­ter­na­tive flights.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said the flooding had left thousands marooned and declared the situation a “national disaster”.

He also told reporters during a joint media conference that he will approach Cabinet for funds to help with flood relief.

“I would speak ahead of the Cabinet here and indicate that I would ask Cabinet to approve and authorise TT$25 million initially to assist persons who may require assistance from the treasury. We will ensure that this money is well spent and is spent as quickly as possible on those persons who have been affected,” he said.

The meteorological service attributed the situation to an active Inter-tropical Convergence Zone which continues to produce periods of showers and thunderstorms which can lead to flash or riverine flooding as well as landslides/landslips in areas so prone.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management said yesterday that the adverse weather situation will continue throughout the day and urged motorists to seek alternative routes where possible and be extremely vigilant of rising flood waters.

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