The Diocese of Tagbilaran in the central Philippine province of Bohol appealed for prayers and help in the wake of the devastation brought about by the onslaught of super typhoon Rai (local name: Odette) on Friday, December 17.
“Let us all pray for the victims and survivors of Rai. Everyone must lend a helping hand,” said Bishop Alberto Uy of Tagbilaran as he urged the people of Bohol “to set aside intrigues and politics” and help each other.
Authorities estimated that Rai has caused up to PhP5 billion (about US$100 million) in damages in Bohol province alone.
“I think, for Bohol, this is going to be five billion,” said Bohol Governor Arthur Yap in an interview over CNN Philippines.
He said that with the number of families that were evacuated and the amount of assistance needed to cushion the impact of the disaster, “the tab is already running from three to four billion.”
“We need to marshal all support from our multilateral partners and the national government — whatever [they] can do at this point in time,” said the governor.
He appealed to the national government for assistance, saying that the scale of devastation was “really unprecedented.”
Meanwhile, Caritas Philippines, the social action arm of the Catholic Church, said it has been coordinating with its local counterparts even before the typhoon’s landfall on Wednesday.
“We are coordinating and monitoring with the dioceses along the [typhoon’s path] in the last three days,” said Jeanie Curiano in an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas 846.
She said they have since encountered difficulties in communication because of power and communication lines have been down.
The strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, Rai uprooted trees, toppled power lines and flooded villages as it barreled across the archipelago, leaving at least one person dead.
More than 300,000 people fled their homes and beachfront resorts as Rai pummeled the southern and central regions of the country, knocking out communication and power lines in some areas and tearing roofs off buildings.
Rai was a super typhoon when it slammed into Siargao Island on Thursday, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometers an hour (120 miles). By Friday, wind speeds had eased to 155 kilometers an hour, the state weather forecaster said.
Leave a Reply