For Archbishop William D’souza, the tragedy compounds “burdens, problems, difficulties and sufferings” people have had to face in recent months because of the pandemic.
Patna (AsiaNews) – At least 92 people were killed yesterday by lightning in Bihar, state authorities reported.
The Bihar Disaster Management Department said that Gopalganj district suffered the most casualties, 13, with additional deaths reported in 22 other areas in the state.
The families of the victims will receive the standard compensation of US$ 5,300, said Sandeep Kumar, an official with the Bihar State Disaster Management Authority.
“I am shocked and alarmed at the unexpected deaths of 92 people in various districts of Bihar due to lightning and thunderstorms,” said Archbishop William D'Souza SJ of Patna speaking to AsiaNews.
For the prelate, this tragedy comes on top of “the burdens, problems, difficulties and sufferings” people have had to face in the past four months of pandemic. “This is added misery.”
Extending his “condolences to survivors, victims and affected families,” Card D'Souza noted that, in light of the situation, “The Catholic Church will reach out to the families with relief and rehabilitation, food and shelter”.
In an appeal to the government, he said that that the authorities must reach “out on compassionate grounds,” and offer “immediate relief measures” with “adequate compensation for loss of lives and property”.
Finally, he called on the faithful “pray for the bereaved families, that God may give them strength and consolation".