Manila (Agenzia Fides) - Churches in the Philippines opened their doors to offer help to the populations hit by the tropical storm Goni, that struck the Bicol region and other parts of the island of Luzon. The Super Typhoon, which started on November 1, caused torrential rains, heavy flooding and landslides from the slopes of the Mayon volcano in the Bicol region.
The National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines is the humanitarian, development and advocacy arm of the Catholic Church in the Philippines - noted that "the typhoon will surely bring greater poverty to our communities, as they have also been battling against the effects of COVID-19", inviting Filipinos, and the faithful abroad, to act "with generosity and compassion", as Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, National Director of NASSA said.
Addressing the affected populations, Father Tony Labiao, former executive secretary of Caritas, said: "In these most trying times, we lift up everything to our God. We also know that everyone around the world will be able to listen to our prayers and send help". Catholic volunteers and diocesan emergency response teams continue to assist people, especially displaced people, who have found shelter in churches, Father Labiao told Fides. "The typhoon will surely bring greater poverty to our communities. But with our sharing we can overcome it".
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, at least more than two million individuals from 12 regions were hit by the Super Typhoon on November 2. Some of the coastal towns and villages have been inundated by floods and river floods.
In addition to hitting the Bicol region, Goni also touched the provinces of Quezon and Batangas before heading to the South China Sea. As a precautionary measure, more than 390,000 people from their homes, with about 345,000 have taken refuge in various evacuation centers that include churches, government schools and other locations. (SD-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 6/11/2020)