By Devin Watkins
Heavy rains hit parts of central Mexico early Tuesday morning, with the worst-affected area centered on the city of Tula, which lies 100 kilometers north of Mexico City.
Flood waters rushed into a public hospital, resulting in the deaths of 16 patients. The national Social Security Institute said the victims likely died after oxygen equipment ceased to function as the power went out.
Tula’s central market was completely flooded, along with dozens of residential homes.
Turn to God in our pain
In response to the disaster, Bishops in Hidalgo State sent their condolences to the victims’ families on Wednesday.
Bishop Juan Pedro Juárez Melendez of Tula said the Church is praying for those affected by the flooding, and encouraged them to turn to God in their pain, “since we know that He never leaves nor abandons us.”
God, he added, “always cares about what happens to us.”
Opportunity for cheerful giving
At the same time, the Bishops have organized a collection of household items to assist people whose homes have been flooded, and called on local Catholics to donate generously.
They are urging the faithful to give items such as blankets, mattresses, and household cleaning supplies like soap, bleach, brooms, buckets, and shovels.
“Our brothers and sisters need our help!” said Archbishop Domingo Diaz Martinez of Tulancingo. “Never forget that Sacred Scripture says ‘God loves a cheerful giver’. We have an opportunity to receive God’s blessing… Be generous!”
The Bishops of Hidalgo state also called on civil authorities and corporations to band together to help those in need.
Painfully complex situation
Bishops in the neighboring Ecatepec municipality, which lies in the State of Mexico, also expressed their solidarity with the victims of Tuesday’s floods.
In the face of the “painful complexity” of the situation, the Bishops urge people to remain united in “our faith which comforts”, “hope which lightens the load”, and “charity which moves us to solidarity”.
Mexican Bishops have also called for special days of prayer this Thursday and Sunday for the flood victims and all those affected.