Indian Catholic News

Cyclone damages Vailankanni Marian shrine

Initial reports said 23 people have lost their lives and a total of 81,948 people are staying in 471 relief centres in six districts.

 
New Delhi: 

Cyclone Gaja has badly affected the areas of Thanjavur diocese and Pondicherry-Cuddalore archdiocese, said an official release from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India.

“The Shrine of Our Lady of Health, Vailankanni, was also affected badly. The ferocious winds have taken off the cross from the tower of the ancient Church and have also severely damaged the statue of Jesus near the Morning Star Church,” said the release.

The cyclone made the land fall in the early hours of Friday in the Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu with heavy rain and strong winds lashing the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu since Thursday evening.

Initial reports said 23 people have lost their lives and a total of 81,948 people are staying in 471 relief centres in six districts.

The natural disaster took its toll despite the preventive measures taken by the Government of Tamil Nadu and by the Church, the release said.

Church social service wings in the area working under the guidance of the Bishop M. Devadass Ambrose of Thanjavur and Archbishop Antony Anandarayar of Pondicherry-Cuddalore to help the affected people, it said.

“The Catholic Church stands in solidarity with all people suffering from this calamity and desires to help all people irrespective of their religion, community or provenience,” said the release singed by Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary general of the conference.

END

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