Washington D.C., May 28, 2019 / 05:19 pm (CNA) – While hazardous weather continues to affect the Midwest, the US bishops have mourned for those killed by the storms.

Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, chairman of the US bishops’ domestic justice committee, issued a statement May 24 encouraging people to help the victims by prayer and donations.

“I am profoundly saddened by the loss of life and the damage caused by the tornadoes and storms throughout the Midwest and related regions these past few days,” he said.

“A call is made to all for prayers for the victims and their grieving families and communities. Further, now is the time to offer assistance to those facing this great loss,” he further added.

In the past week, tornadoes and heavy storms have hit several Midwest states, including Ohio, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Illinois, and Iowa. According to the Dewane, the storm has affected millions of residents and killed several people.

“As of this writing, millions of people in at least seven states have been affected by the powerful winds, rainfall and rising water levels caused by these conditions. Seven people have been killed in Missouri, Iowa and Oklahoma,” he said.

One of the heavily damaged areas was Missouri, where a tornado touched down in Golden City last Wednesday. It has killed three people, injured nearly two dozen, and cut power to thousands. Missouri’s capital, Jackson City, was badly affected. The tornado damaged several buildings, including a school.

“There was a lot of devastation throughout the state,” Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, according to NPR. “We were very fortunate last night that we didn’t have more injuries than what we had, and we didn’t have more fatalities across the state.”

The New York Times reported that over the past 11 days, eight tornadoes have occurred in Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana. In Ohio alone, at least 40 houses were damaged or destroyed, and one death has been reported.

Catholic Charities in Central and Northern Missouri has launched a 2019 tornado and flood relief fund to help support those affected by the weather. Dewane encouraged families to donate to the organization.

“Further, now is the time to offer assistance to those facing this great loss. We are grateful that Catholic Charities and other organizations are in place working to provide for emergency needs and to help rebuild,” he said.