Thursday, July 21, 2011

ASIA: INDONESIA: CATHOLICS HELP 5,000 DISPLACED DUE TO VOLCANIC ERUPTION

ASIA NEWS REPORT: by Mathias Hariyadi
Manado diocese sends dozens of volunteers to hand out basic necessities and masks for people in affected areas, which are still under a state of alert. Christians open their homes to displaced people, most of whom are Muslim.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The possibility of another eruption by Mount Lukon has not stopped Catholics in North Sulawesi from helping 5,000 displaced people.

Dozens of volunteers from the Diocese of Manado, including seminarians, are involved in the aid operation, handing out basic necessities, blankets and more than 5,000 masks against the thick cloud of ash caused by the 15 July eruption.

Donations sent to Caritas Indonesia are being managed by the Bishops’ Conference aid agency.

Lucky Lorong, a member of the volunteer staff, told AsiaNews that relief was brought to the three hardest-hit areas, where thousands of residents have still not left despite the authorities’ warning.

Following an appeal, Christians in Manado opened their doors to displaced people, mostly Muslims. Displaced children have also been accommodated in local schools so that they would not lose the school year.

Manado is the centre of the Christian community in North Sulawesi Province. More than 70 per cent of the population is either Protestant or Catholic.

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