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Catholic aid groups head to Mindanao

More than 200,000 people affected by Typhoon Bopha

Catholic aid groups head to Mindanao
Rescuers carry a rubber boat on their way to help stranded residents in a village in Cagayan de Oro City reporters, Manila

December 6, 2012

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Five teams from the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) have gone to Mindanao to assess damage caused by Typhoon Bopha, which left at least 325 people dead and hundreds more missing as of today.
Rescuers continue to struggle to reach areas cut off by floods and mudslides brought about by heavy rains in the wake of the typhoon.
CRS will prioritize the provinces of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental, which were among the areas worst hit by the disaster, the relief agency said in a statement. 
"There is no electricity and poor communications in those provinces, and while some families have taken shelter in evacuation centers, others are sleeping outside," the organization said in an update today.
"Hardest hit were the coastal, farming and mining towns in the southern region of Mindanao, where Bopha caused severe flash flooding and landslides. Raging waters and mud from the mountains swept through school buildings, covered courts, town halls and health centers," it said. 
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said the typhoon affected 231,630 people in 513 villages in 25 provinces. Of these, 179,169 people have sought shelter in 417 evacuation centers.
The government has already called for donations for victims. 
"Filipino solidarity is at its most potent amidst testing times. We call on our countrymen to give generously for the relief and well-being of our brethren in the Visayas and Mindanao," a statement from the presidential palace said.

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