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Call for mutual support after typhoon

MACAU (SE): In the aftermath of Typhoon Hato which ravaged Hong Kong on August 23 and inflicted worse damage on neighbouring Macau, Bishop Stephen Lee Bun-sung has opened the arms of his diocese in the former Portuguese colony to those who are affected and the Church has begun distributing some relief to those in need.
Bishop Lee said that as a Hong Kong person he has experienced typhoons before, but the recent one in Macau is by far the worst that he has ever seen.
In extending his sympathies to the general population, he said that his heart goes out to those who have lost the precious lives of their relatives, as well as those who were injured, in addition to those who suffered losses in the form of business resources, property or water damage in their homes.
He added that he knows that many schools that are about to open for the new academic year this in September have suffered damage from flooding, which is creating hygiene problems and in addition the loss of electricity around many parts of the city for several days has caused great inconvenience and anxiety, especially for elderly people and those who live alone or are sick.
Nevertheless, he said that although the government has had to apologise to the people for its lack of preparation to deal with a storm of that magnitude, there are signs of hope as evidenced by the swift responses of many people who have volunteered to assist those in need.
The widespread damage was hard to escape and the library at the Jesuit-run research centre on China, the Ricci Institute, was also hit causing water damage to its precious library.
However, the weather had not yet had its complete say in the lives of the people and on the following Sunday, August 27, Typhoon Pakhar hit Hong Kong and Macau in the early hours of the morning causing the cancellation of all morning Masses.
Although both cities suffered immense damage to property, the loss of human life and extent of injuries in Macau is something that Bishop Lee says should prompt us to pray that God’s consoling spirit will keep people strong in their support for one another.
Bishop Lee offered a special Mass on August 28 to pray for the welfare of the people of the battered city of Macau and for solidarity among those who are suffering from great difficulties.

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