(ANS - Maputo) - The passage of Cyclone Idai across Mozambique has caused enormous loss of life, the destruction of the city of Beira and the disappearance of entire villages. More than 450 victims have already been established and more than 1,500 are injured in the country, not counting those in Malawi and Zimbabwe, other nations affected by this calamity. The Salesians of Mozambique, contacted by ANS, confirm that they have not suffered direct damage and are active in various ways to help relief operations and reconstruction.
The Salesian houses are many kilometers from the area hit by the cyclone - the so-called "Beira corridor", about 130 km long and inhabited by one million people. The Provincial House is located 1,100 km further south and the nearest presence, that of Tete, is however over 500 km away.
This explains both why the centers of the Sons of Don Bosco have not suffered direct damage, apart from some small problems caused by persistent rain throughout the country; and why at this time they cannot participate personally in aid efforts, due also to access routes to the city of Beira and the province of Sofala are compromised and that communications with those areas have been interrupted for days.
There is, however, great concern for several pupils of the Salesian centers who usually reside in the boarding schools of the institutes and who have families of origin in the areas hit by the cyclone.
Meanwhile, as part of the Conference of Religious of Mozambique, the Spiritual Sons of Don Bosco are working to encourage the collection of money in favor of Caritas and NGOs such as "Doctors Without Borders" - both for first aid operations and in view of the reconstruction.
Furthermore, within the educational centers they are promoting the collection of all those basic necessities (food, medicines, clothes, drinking water) to convey them to the rescuers present at the sites hit by Cyclone Idai.
"We thank everyone for the prayers and solidarity shown so far. Do continue to help us," said the Superior of the Vice Province of Mozambique, Fr Marco Biaggi.