Home Equality & Justice Philippine dioceses deploy teams to assess impact of typhoon

Philippine dioceses deploy teams to assess impact of typhoon

Several Catholic dioceses in the Philippines have deployed rapid assessment teams to identify areas affected by Typhoon Molave.

As of morning of Oct. 26, the typhoon crossed the province of Mindoro on Luzon Island.

In the Bicol region, south of Manila, the Diocese of Albay opened churches as “temporary evacuation centers” in low-lying areas.

Father Rex Paul Arjona, social action director of the diocese, said a team has been mobilized to conduct an assessment on the extent of damage.

“We already asked our parish commissions to conduct rapid field assessment, so we may know what to do next,” the priest told LiCAS.news.

“Let us keep everyone safe and secure. Let us pray for all of us,” he said.

The provincial government of Albay reported that over 44,000 people were evacuated in different towns on Oct. 25, as the typhoon hit the province.

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In the Archdiocese of Caceres, also in the Bicol region, Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona ordered the clergy to open all parishes and church facilities as temporary sanctuaries.

The prelate also instructed the social action ministry to “coordinate with the local government units to assist our affect evacuees.”

Caritas Caceres already activated its emergency humanitarian response and all staff members and volunteers to affected areas.

The agency reported that the entire province of Camarines Sur has no electricity, affecting lines of communication.

“That is standard procedure in the archdiocese,” said Archbishop Tirona.

“I am going to release a communication today for all Bicol dioceses on how we can help those affected,” he added.

The Camarines Sur Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office reported that at least 17,268 families or 71,165 individuals sought shelter in evacuation centers as of Oct. 26.

The National Secretariat for Social Action of the Catholic bishops’ conference has instructed the social action networks in affected dioceses to maintain the alert status.

Father Antonio Labiao, executive secretary of Caritas Philippines, said the social action network has been in emergency alert status since Typhoon Saudel hit the country last week.

“We haven’t lowered the alert yet because we are anticipating Typhoon Molave will affect a wider area and more dioceses,” said the priest.

Father Labiao said Caritas Philippines is in close coordination with the dioceses and other church institutions for “real-time monitoring and reporting.”

The priest appealed to dioceses and religious institutions not affected by the typhoon to send aid and manpower to those jurisdictions “badly-hit by the natural calamity.”

“We also appeal to the public to share your blessings to those who are in need, especially to the communities that suffered the devastation of the typhoon,” he said.

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