Caritas Assisting Storm Victims in Philippines

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 3, 2004 ( Caritas-Philippines has launched a funding appeal to assist the victims of three recent storms that struck the islands of Luzon and Visayas, causing hundreds of deaths and considerable material damage.

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Although 400 bodies have already been recovered, officials fear the death toll will rise when the waters recede.

Directors of Caritas-Philippines reported that when many areas had yet to recover from the devastating effects of hurricanes Unding and Violet, when typhoon Winnie struck. Winnie left many towns on Luzon, such as Infanta, Cabanatuan, Bulacan and Rizal buried under mud.

Also severely affected are the dioceses of Nueva Caceres, Gumaca, Legazpi, Calapan and Romblon.

Victims, lodged temporarily in schools and prefabricated homes, are in urgent need of essentials, such as non-perishable foods, sleeping mats, medicines, clothes, blankets, mosquito nets, kitchen utensils and household goods.

Caritas-Philippines has already distributed rice, dried fish, and other goods to nine of the affected dioceses, but is seeking further financial assistance.

Caritas Internationalis has appealed to all its local branches for funds to assist an estimated 3,000 families.

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