Pope Francis has offered prayers for the victims of tropical storm “Agaton (Megi),” their families, and the thousands of people who were affected by the flooding and landslides in the central Philippines.
In a telegram on April 14 telegram, the pope conveyed his solidarity “with all those suffering” in the wake of tropical storm “Agaton”.
Signed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the telegram was addressed to Archbishop Charles Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines.
The message was relayed by Archbishop Brown to Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
“He (pope) also offers the assurance of prayers for the dead, injured, and displaced as well as those engaged in recovery efforts,” Cardinal Parolin wrote.
“As a sign of spiritual closeness, His Holiness willingly invokes upon all the Filipino people God’s blessings of strength and peace,” he added.
On Saturday, April 16, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that at least 167 lives have been lost due to the weather disturbance.
Of the recorded fatalities, 151 were from Leyte and Samar provinces of Eastern Visayas, 11 were from Western Visayas, three from Davao region, and two from Central Visayas.
A report on CNN Philippines said the agency’s figures on deaths in Leyte were lower than the tally reported by local authorities, which has reached at least 162.
Meanwhile, the NDRRMC said 110 individuals have been declared missing. Of the number, 104 were from Eastern Visayas, five from Western Visayas and one from Davao region.
Eight persons were recorded injured, according to the report.
A total of 562,548 families or over 1.9 million individuals have been affected by the calamity, the NDRRMC added.
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