Pope Francis offered prayers for Filipinos who have been affected by the disasters that hit the country in recent weeks during Angelus in the Vatican on Sunday, November 15.
“I express my solidarity with the poorest families who are are also the most vulnerable to this calamity,” said the pontiff in Italian.
He also offered his support to “all those who are doing all they can to help them.”
On November 13, a day after typhoon “Ulysses” (international name: Vamco), the pontiff met with Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, who heads Caritas Internationalis, in a private audience.
Caritas Philippines has earlier launched a global appeal to help those affected by the disaster.
The death toll from the typhoon has risen to 69, with 12 people still missing, as of Sunday evening.
Many areas remain submerged in the northern province of Cagayan, which was worst hit by the floods
As of November 15, the government’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported 173 incidents of flooding and 38 incidents of landslides.
Over 1.7 million people have been affected across the regions of Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Cordillera Administrative Region and National Capital Region.
Flooding has caused massive damage, including 236 sections of road and 98 bridges. Power supply has been interrupted to 312 municipalities and cities, and water supply to around 50.
At least 22,756 houses have been damaged and 3,096 totally destroyed.
As many as 324,617 people have been displaced from their homes and moved to 2,991 evacuation centres.
Six cyclones hit the Philippines in a span of just four weeks, including “Ulysses” and super typhoon “Rolly (Goni),” the world’s most powerful this year.