Warsaw (Apr. 25)
A terrible catastrophe is feared in the entire Vilna district as a result of the heavy floods. The city of Vilna itself and practically all the towns standing on the banks of the Rivers Vilja, Vilejka, Niemen, and Dzwina, are menaced.
Such high floods have not been known since 1888, and the water still continues to rise. The Red Cross is organising an extensive rescue campaign. The Minister of the Interior has sent 20,000 zlotys to be used for sanitary purposes and to put a stop to looting. M. Hubicki, the Minister of Social Welfare, has gone to Vilna to take change of the rescue activities.
A Relief Committee for the victims of the floods in the Vilna District has been formed in Warsaw, headed by the President of the Warsaw City Council, M. Slominski. The Warsaw Jewish Community has made a grant of 1,000 zlotys for the relief of the victims. An appeal for help is being sent to the Joint Distribution Committee of America.
The electric station in the city of Vilna has been flooded and the entire town is in darkness. The historic Vilna cathedral is menaced. The Archbishop of Vilna has ordered prayers to be said in all the churches of the diocese.
An official statement says that 372 families, consisting of 1,550 souls, have already been evacuated, and five houses in Vilna have been swept away.
In the township of Drujz, in the Vilna district, 140 houses have been flooded, and the entire population has been evacuated. In the township of Leonpol, the River Dzwina has broken its bounds over an area of two kilometres. The bathing resort of Druskieniki is flooded out. At Oszmiany the electric station is submerged.
The township of Dzisna, near Vilna, is completely submerged by the overflowing of the Riva Dzwina. The population, the grea t majority of them Jews, have been evacuated. The houses are completely flooded. The furniture and household goods are wrecked and the waters still continue rising.
The Jewish population of the area, for long impoverished and suffering great distress, has now been reduced to complete ruin and destitution. The Rabbis and the Jewish Communities of the district are begging urgently for aid to be sent to succour the victims.