Ten years on, a Catholic bishop said that many people are still struggling to move on from the deadly typhoon Yolanda that ripped through central Philippines.
Bishop Crispin Varquez of the Borongan diocese in Eastern Samar province said that it may have been a long way since the tragic day, “but the journey towards full recovery is not yet complete”.
“Many are still struggling to rebuild their homes, livelihoods, and lives,” Varquez said in a statement.
The bishop called on his flock to “redouble our efforts” to help those who are still recovering from the killer storm.
“Let us offer our time, resources, and skills to help our brothers and sisters stand on their feet again,” he said.
Yolanda smashed into Eastern Visayas and nearby provinces ten years ago, killing more than 6,000 people and leaving millions homeless.
Violent winds ravaged homes as storm surges triggered by Yolanda devastated mostly poor coastal towns and villages on Nov. 8, 2013.
While it was a moment of “great sorrow, loss, and devastation,” the bishop said that “it was also a time when our bonds of solidarity and faith were tested and strengthened.”
“We recall the countless acts of heroism and selflessness that emerged in the midst of the chaos,” Varquez said.
“We have witnessed the power of prayer and the resilience of the human spirit,” he added. We have experienced the generosity of our brothers and sisters from around the world who reached out to us in our time of need.”
As people commemorate Yolanda’s 10th anniversary, the bishop called on the faithful to “hold each other in prayer and support”.
“May our collective memory of super typhoon Yolanda inspire us to be agents of healing, reconciliation, and hope in our diocese and beyond,” he said.
Yolanda made its first landfall in Guiuan, a parish in the southern-most tip of the Borongan diocese, where the church was totally wrecked.
Internationally called Haiyan, the super typhoon with the highest wind speed of 315 km/h was reckoned as the most powerful tropical cyclone ever recorded.