A Catholic prelate appealed for help after severe flooding hit the northeastern Indian state of Assam since last week.
Authorities in Assam said 32 of its 35 districts have been affected, killing at least 45 people and displacing more than 4.7 million others.
Eighteen people had died in flood waters or landslides around the state since Thursday, said authorities.
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told reporters he had instructed district officials to provide “all necessary help and relief” to those caught in the flooding.
“Apart from the precious lives, [the flooding] has also caused widespread damages to houses, crops, property,” said Archbishop John Moolachira of Guwahati in a statement.
“As the Catholic Church has always stood by the victims of any such disaster, I would exhort you to extend all possible humanitarian help to the people affected by such a disastrous natural calamity irrespective of caste, creed and religion,” he added.
A report on Crux quoted Father Maya Martin, director of the Guwahati Gana Seva Society, saying that the damage caused by the pre-monsoon flood “was so tremendous that many families were displaced.”
Flooding is a common occurrence in Assam, but this year’s disaster is considered to be the worst in local memory, said the report.
In neighboring Bangladesh, the Catholic Church has started to extend help to flood victims through its social action arm Caritas.
In the Diocese of Mymensingh, up to 20,000 Catholic families have already received help from the agency.
Floods are a regular menace to millions of people in low-lying Bangladesh, but experts say climate change is increasing their frequency, ferocity and unpredictability.
Relentless downpours over the past week have inundated vast stretches of Bangladesh’s northeast, with troops deployed to evacuate households cut off from neighboring communities.
Schools have been turned into relief shelters to house entire villages inundated in a matter of hours by rivers that suddenly burst their banks.