Church rallies diocesan social centers to aid typhoon victims

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Borongan diocese

MANILA, Nov. 12, 2013—The Catholic Church’s social arm has tapped its vast network of social action centers in various dioceses to help the areas devastated by typhoon Yolanda.

NASSA-Caritas Philippines of the Catholic Bishops Conference is linking with diocesan social action centers for a more coordinated and organized relief efforts.

Dioceses spared from the typhoon are providing relief efforts to help typhoon victims in the spirit of ‘Alay kapwa’, it said.

“In the past 3 weeks, we have had 1 major earthquake and 3 typhoons affecting every island in the archipelago, and yet help has been pouring in since the communication lines have opened. Even the Diocese of Talibon in Bohol, still reeling from the 7.2 magnitude earthquake, has been calling to ask where to send their donations for Leyte! This is the true spirit of Alay-Kapwa!” Miss Jo Ignacio, NASSA Emergency Coordinator noted.

In the Diocese of Antique, Diocesan Social Action director Fr. Edione reported that 60% of houses in the area have been either totally or partially damaged by the typhoon.

But the southern-part of Antique was spared and is providing relief to the affected areas, he said.

The local government is also doing its best to provide food rations while the Church is looking at transitional shelters, and shelter support materials for roof.

NASSA also said the Diocese of Maasin in Southern Leyte is providing rice supplies for 2,000 families in Tacloban.

Church organizations like the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP) also called in to provide relief goods like rice and canned goods to the affected dioceses.

Affected provinces

The strongest typhoon this year to batter the country, Yolanda packed with sustained winds of 215 kph and gustiness up to 250kph, made six landfalls on November 8 and totally devastated the towns of Guiuan, Samar; Tolosa, Leyte; Bantayan Island and Daanbantayan in Cebu; Concepcion, Iloilo; and Coron, Palawan.

In Tacloban City alone, an 18 foot-high storm surge totally destroyed the city and killed unconfirmed number of people.

A total of 4.5M individuals were reportedly affected in 1,741 barangays in 343 municipalities and 39 cities in 36 provinces.

As of November 12, the government’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported 1,774 deaths, 2487 injured and 82 still missing. (CBCPNews)

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