Pope asks for prayers for those affected by flooding in Kazakhstan

During his General Audience, Pope Francis requests prayers for those affected by massive flooding in Kazakhstan, which has impacted many regions of the Central Asian country and forced thousands of people to evacuate. He also asks for prayers for those suffering from conflicts in the Holy Land, Ukraine and Myanmar.

Apr 11, 2024

Flooding in Kazakhstan (AFP or licensors)

By Deborah Castellano Lubov & Stefan Bos
"I wish to convey to the people of Kazakhstan my spiritual closeness at this time," Pope Francis stressed during his Wednesday General Audience, as he recalled the massive flooding that has affected numerous regions of the country, which he visited in September 2022. 

"I invite everyone to pray for all who are suffering the effects of this natural disaster," he said.

“I invite everyone to pray for all who are suffering the effects of this natural disaster”

The Pope's comments came during his greetings to English pilgrims.

"Even in times of difficulty, we recall the joy of the Risen Christ," the Holy Father affirmed.

110,00 evacuated in Kazakhstan and Russia
Massive meltwater has overwhelmed scores of settlements in Russia's Ural Mountains, Siberia, Volga and areas of Kazakhstan.

The troubles come after major rivers such as the Ural, which flows into the Caspian Sea rose more 70 cm beyond their bursting point to over 10 metres.

In Orenburg, a Russian city with a population of 550,000 about 1,200 km east of Moscow, hundreds of homes were flooded. Authorities said at least 7,700 people were evacuated as the Ural River rose swiftly beyond the critical level of 9.3 metres.

Residents in Orenburg said it was the worst flooding in living memory while Russian officials described it as the worst flooding in the area since the record began.

In Kurgan, a Russian region which straddles the Tobol River, 4,500 people were evacuated and fears grew that thousands - or even tens of thousands - more would need to be evacuated.

The flood situation was acute in parts of Russia’s Western Siberia region, the largest hydrocarbon basin in the world, where the peak is expected in three to five days, and some areas around the Volga, Europe's largest river.

Kazakhstan suffering
Russia said 10,500 houses were flooded across 37 regions, mostly in the Orenburg region. Upstream on the Ural, which flows into Kazakhstan, floodwaters earlier burst through an embankment dam in the Russian city of Orsk.

But most suffering became clear in neighboring Kazakhstan prompting the pope to express his spiritual closeness to the struggling population.

In Kazakhstan, officials said 96,000 people had been evacuated. People worked through the night to build up dykes and strengthen embankments.

A state of emergency remained in effect in 8 of the country's 17 provinces, down from 10 at the end of last week, but dangers remained.

Tensions have emerged with Moscow officials suggesting that Kazakhstan was to blame for not coordinating the discharge of water more effectively.

President Vladimir Putin spoke to Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev as both nations struggled to cope with the massive flooding.

Appeals for Holy Land, Ukraine, Myanmar
In his greetings in Italian, Pope Francis once again prayed for all those suffering from the ongoing wars plaguing the world.

"My thoughts," the Pope said, "go to the tormented Ukraine, Palestine and Israel," as he prayed, "May the Lord give us peace!"

"War is everywhere - let us not forget Myanmar," he continued, "Let us ask the Lord for peace, and not forget these brothers and sisters of ours who suffer so much in these places of war."

With this reflection, the Holy Father concluded by urging the faithful to join him in praying together for peace.--Vatican News

Total Comments:0