(Vatican Radio) The Italian Bishops Conference (CEI) has sanctioned €1 million for assistance to thousands of Sri Lankans left homeless and without food, following devastating floods triggered by days of torrential rains. The office of Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the president of CEI, is in direct contact with the Archdiocese of Colombo for the aid to the flood victims. The floods forced more than 350,000 people from their homes, though many were returning on Monday. The cost of Sri Lanka's landslides and floods will be between $1.5 billion and $2 billion at the minimum, the government said on Monday, as the Indian Ocean island struggles to recover from its worst natural disaster since the 2004 Asia tsunami. The official death toll has risen to 92 but 109 people are feared to have been buried in landslides.
The Italian bishops have also sanctioned another €500,000 for survivors of the April 17 earthquake in Ecuador that has destroyed more than 1,100 buildings and damaged 800 others, including 560 school buildings that cannot be used.