Let us remember and pray for those who perished in the disaster that was brought about by super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) nine years ago.
This was the call of Bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio of the Philippines’ Military Ordinariate ahead of the ninth anniversary of Haiyan’s landfall in the central Philippines on Nov. 8, 2013.
“It’s the ninth year this year, and it is very important because … we have to remember all of them … and pray for them,” the prelate said in an interview over Radio Veritas 846.
He said what happened in 2013 is a “reminder” for everyone to that what happened was also “a cry of creation, of the environment.”
“It’s also a cry of our environment, so let us see what we can do because if we do not do something … our environment, nature will get back to us,” said Bishop Florencio.
He said he too witnessed the devastation of the super typhoon as a priest in the province of Leyte.
“I am also a survivor of Yolanda, firsthand survivor. I saw it coming, I saw it happen and we were able to survive but on top of that, we were afraid but we could not do anything,” he said.
“But we can always prepare,” added the bishop, saying that “we can mitigate the impact of disasters.
Earlier, Bishop Crispin Varquez of Borongan called for an end to “environmental abuse” and urged the faithful to “hear the poor cry of our planet for common action to save our common home.”
He also reiterated Pope Francis’ call for “ecological conversion,” stressing the need to “move away from the sins of environmental abuse and neglect.”
More than 6,000 people were killed by Haiyan, one of the world’s deadliest natural disasters that wiped out practically everything in its path.
The super typhoon inflicted serious damage to several central Philippine provinces, with Leyte and Samar appearing to bear the brunt of the storm.
It was “a story of grief and sorrow for those who have lost their loved ones, of acceptance, of humility and redemption,” said Bishop Varquez.
He said that while threats and challenges remain, everyone should have learned the “lessons of the past” and “continue educating ourselves, our young ones especially for they will be the ones who will bear the consequences of our decisions and actions of today.”
“Let us continue with binding hopefulness and solidarity in the face of so many challenges coming our way and be thankful to the Lord that we have risen from the horrible destruction that super typhoon Yolanda had brought,” said the prelate.
He also asked for continued prayers for people who died from the typhoon and for the survivors “that they may find comfort and strength in God to rebuild and move forward in their lives.”
“As we face an uncertain future let us continue to pray for deliverance from all calamities, both natural and man-made, and other vagaries of weather,” he said.
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