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Caritas Philippines appeals for typhoon aid

Tens of thousands forced to flee strongest storm this year still in emergency shelters

Caritas Philippines appeals for typhoon aid

Houses buried by boulders and lahar washed from the slopes of nearby Mayon Volcano in Guinobatan town, Albay province, after Super Typhoon Goni made landfall in the Philippines on Nov. 1. (Photo: Charism Sayat/AFP)

The Catholic Church’s social arm, together with a Jesuit university, has appealed for aid to help in recovery efforts following Super Typhoon Goni that struck the Philippines earlier this week.

Caritas Philippines and the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Naga University are appealing for aid from home and abroad in response to the world’s strongest storm this year that killed at least 20 people and sparked mudslides that buried hundreds of homes.

Many of the homes were near Mayon Volcano in Albay province.

The typhoon also forced around 390,000 people to seek shelter at evacuation centers, many of whom are yet to return to their homes.

As well as appealing for help from local donors, Caritas Philippines was also seeking aid from Caritas Internationalis in Rome headed by Manila's former archbishop, Cardinal Luis Tagle.   

“Initial help would be to provide food, water and emergency shelter to people in the evacuation centers,” Caritas chief Bishop Colin Bagaforo said in a statement.

He said the typhoon had brought “greater poverty” to communities that were suffering from job retrenchments in Metro Manila caused by the coronavirus.

“We appeal for everyone’s sincere acts of kindness, generosity and compassion,” Bishop Bagaforo added.

Father Anton Pascual, also from Caritas, said Virac, Daet and Legazpi dioceses in the Bicol region of Luzon island would receive 200,000 pesos (US$4,000) each from the Church’s social arm.

Jesuit Father Roberto Rivera also appealed for donations from alumni and friends of Ateneo de Naga University.

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He said the university sustained damage caused by flooding and the typhoon’s strong winds that destroyed the doors and panels of the university church.

“The big wooden doors of our university church were torn off their hinges, windows in several buildings were totally smashed in, metal gutters and solar panels were blown off. Several of the oldest and biggest trees on campus were uprooted, but miraculously none of them hit adjacent buildings,” Father Rivera added.

Aside from material donations, Father Rivera said they needed prayers to help their lives get back to normal.

“We realize the resources of all are strained given the pandemic crisis, but a number of you [alumni and friends of the Ateneo] are already thoughtfully asking how to send help ... Please be assured that whatever resources we collect will be channeled to the neediest,” he said.

Bishop Jose Alan Dialogo of Sorsogon said his office was open to receive donations for typhoon victims in nearby provinces.

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