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Mumbai Catholics open churches for thousands stranded by flooding

Catholic churches and institutions in flood-hit Mumbai opened their doors to accommodate thousands of people stranded in the city by heavy rain and flooded streets.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India, and Syro-Malabar Bishop Thomas Elavanal of Kalyan, India, asked their parish priests on 5th August to help stranded and homeless people as heavy rain continued in western India, ucanews.com reported.

Thousands of train passengers were stranded in different areas of the city, Indian’s financial capital, and in other suburbs and towns of Maharashtra state as two days of continuous rain began to submerge rail tracks, forcing authorities to cancel or divert services.

“Several churches and other institutions in Mumbai and its surroundings have been partially submerged in the flood water following incessant rain in the past couple of days in the city,” said Fr Nigel Barett, spokesperson for the Mumbai Archdiocese.

“People have been advised to move to safer places or to our churches and schools on higher ground,” he said.

The region’s three major three rivers – Godavari, Krishna and Tapi – plus their 10 tributaries flooded after authorities released water from overflowing dams as the region has received from 6 inches to 8 inches of rain since 1st August.

Since the rains began in July, 41 people have died, according to media reports.

Picture: A family wades through a flooded street during heavy rains in New Delhi, India, on 6th August. Catholic churches and other institutions opened their doors to people stranded in Mumbai and surrounding areas because transportation routes were blocked by high water and debris. (CNS photo/Adnan Abidi, Reuters).