CNA Staff, May 19, 2020 / 22:01 pm
Numerous Catholics organizations have volunteered to help evacuate millions, as a cyclone prepares to hit Bangladesh and India this week.
“Our Catholic volunteers have joined the government agencies and other social workers in this massive evacuation mission,” said Father Franklin Menezes, social work director of the Archdiocese of Calcutta.
“The top priority is to protect the lives of people,” he said, according to UCA News.
Cyclone Amphan, which is equivalent to a class 5 hurricane, formed in the Bay of Bengal May 16. It is expected to make landfall May 20.
It became the strongest storm ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal when it sustained wind speeds of nearly 168 mph, according to the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
In India’s coastal region, West Bengal has started to evacuate nearly 1.5 million people, and Odisha has begun to evacuate over 1 million people.
Enamur Rahman, a Bangladeshiminister for disaster management and relief, said the government is in the process of evacuating 5 million people in the coastal area. He said that in addition to the 4,000 cyclone shelters, they have prepared another 12,780 shelters.
The Bangladeshi government has stocked up 42,000 packs of dried food, 3,100 tons of rice, and issued around $98,000 for those affected by the storm. The Bangladeshi authorities have also initiated a disaster preparedness plan.