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Philippines

Typhoon Vamco lashes Philippine capital

Jesuits call for relief aid for victims of storm that has brought widespread flooding to Manila

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Typhoon Vamco lashes Philippine capital

Rescuers pull a rubber boat carrying residents through a flooded street after Typhoon Vamco hit Marikina City in suburban Manila on Nov. 12. (Photo: Ted Aljibe/AFP)

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The Society of Jesus in the Philippines has appealed for relief aid for victims of Typhoon Vamco that slammed into the country on Nov. 12, forcing tens of thousands from their homes.

At least one person was reported killed by the storm, which hit Manila hard and brought floods to many areas, especially in the Marikina City area of the capital.

Water levels in the Marikina River rose to almost 22 meters — the highest since deadly Typhoon Ketsana left 671 dead in 2009.

Jesuits in the Philippines have appealed for support for victims of Vamco’s onslaught, which saw many residents in Marikina City take refuge on the rooftops of their homes to await rescue.

A resident whose house was submerged by flooding posted a picture of his family on their rooftop crying for help in a social media plea to be rescued.

“Badly need help! Need to rescue my family in Provident Village [in Marikina City]. Our second floor is neck-high already and my 86-year-old grandmother is here,” resident Anne Celeste said in the post.

Marikina City mayor Marcelino Teodoro also issued an appeal for help.

“Local authorities in Marikina City cannot conduct rescue efforts alone. Given the weather, we need air support. People are on their rooftops waiting to be rescued,” Teodoro told reporters.

He said many buildings had been submerged and that Marikina City required aid from the national government.

“We are overwhelmed by the amount of need and rescue operations to be conducted ... The water current on the main roads was just too strong for rescue boats. Our city hall, where we stock our resources and supplied, is also flooded,” Teodoro added.

Typhoon Vamco also brought misery to other areas on the main Philippine island of Luzon still trying to recover from Super Typhoon Goni that struck earlier in November.

At least 50,000 families or 180,000 residents were forced to flee their homes.

The Jesuits called on Filipino churchgoers to respond with prayer and generosity for all the victims.

“Help us to respond with generosity in prayer, in assistance and in aid to the best of our abilities. Keep our hearts focused on the needs of those affected, even after the crisis is over,” they said in a social media post.

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