Pope Francis has enquired about the
hardships and sufferings caused to
fishermen community in the Ockhi cyclone that ravaged the coastal belt
on November 30, the Archbishop of the Latin Catholic Church said .
Archbishop Soosai Pakiam said he received a phone call last Saturday from
the Vatican stating that the Pope wanted to know the details of the cyclone
that hit the state’s coast and a brief to broadcast it through the Vatican
“They also recorded a five minute long message through telephone,” the
Archbishop said at a march of fishermen, organised by the Latin Catholic Church
It was under these circumstances, Pope Francis on Sunday remembered and
prayed for the victims of the cyclone, he said.
During his speech, the Archbishop said it was a grave negligence on the
part of authorities, whoever they may be, not to take seriously information
passed by central agencies on the impending cyclone and issue proper warning
I strongly condemn this apathy
towards the fishermen community,” the Archbishop said. “Knowingly or
unknowingly lapse had occurred. Loss of life and damage could have been less if
timely action had been taken,” he added.
The Archbishop wanted the state government to review the relief package
announced by it, taking the views of the Church also. The Centre and state
governments should come out with a long-term comprehensive development scheme
for the coastal people, he said.
fishermen are demanding a coordinated search operation to trace missing
fishermen and a visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Ockhi-hit areas.