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CURRENT ISSUE:  October 17, 20055VOL. 43, NO. 18Oakland, CA

Church responds to devastation in Pakistan, India, Guatemala

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) assessment teams and its local partners have been dispensing food, water, medicine and blankets in Pakistan and other parts of south Asia since the Oct. 8 deadly 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck.

At least 20,000 people have been killed, hundreds of thousands are homeless and tens of thousands are injured. Officials said the death toll could top 40,000.

CRS is also seeing to the immediate needs of survivors of Hurricane Stan which caused flooding and mudslides in Guatemala, El Salvador, and southern Mexico.

In El Salvador alone, over 63,000 people are in shelters and tens of thousands more are living with neighbors due to flooding. Whole villages in Guatemala are believed to be buried under several feet of mud. At least 2,000 villagers have died.

In quake-stricken Pakistan, the president of the Catholic bishops’ conference urged all Pakistani Christians to contribute one day’s wages for relief aid.

“This was the greatest natural disaster in our country’s history,” he said.

Caritas India, the social service agency of the Indian bishops, rushed a team from its headquarters in New Delhi to the Kashmir valley where several villages reportedly were flattened.

To contribute to CRS’s response to both disasters, send contributions to:
Catholic Relief Services
P.O. Box 17090
Baltimore, Maryland, 21203-7090

Kashmiri survivors sit near their collapsed house three days after a massive earthquake devastated the Kashmir region of Indian and Pakistan, killing more than 20,000.


A Guatemalan rescue worker carries a baby out of the Mayan village Panabaj after mudslides caused by Hurricane Stan killed at least 1,400 villagers there.

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