NICOSIA (Reuters) - Cyprus’s ancient Orthodox Church called on Monday for prayers to end a crippling drought threatening to sap reservoirs dry of water by the end of the year.
Cyprus, which is heavily reliant on rainfall for water supplies, is suffering one of the worst droughts of the past 100 years. The Mediterranean island’s reservoirs are only 8.1 percent full, according to the most recent data.
Authorities say Cyprus’s largest dam will run dry in the next 30 days, and they will soon start emergency drilling to tap underground water deposits.
Prayers for rain are rare, and the last occurred in 1998, when there was a comparably critical water shortage.
“We are sure that if we all pray with deep faith the Almighty will heed our prayers; ‘Ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full’,” Church leader Archbishop Chrysostomos said in a circular on Monday, quoting from the Gospel of John.
The liturgy will be held on December 2 in churches across Cyprus.
Cyprus’s church is an independent branch of the eastern Orthodox communion and traces its lineage back to some of Jesus Christ’s earliest followers.
Reporting by Michele Kambas; Editing by Sarah Marsh