Catholic Organizations Assist Relief Efforts in the Philippines

Landslides and Aftershocks Leave Thousands of Families Homeless

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Catholic Relief Organizations are working round the clock to aid those affected by the recent earthquakes that have struck the Philippines. According to Fides News Agency, the provinces of Cebu and Bohol have reported 13 landslides and 1,391 aftershocks.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported that 1,285 small villages of 52 municipalities are seriously damaged and a total of about 3,426,718 people affected. Of these, 20,034 families are living in 85 evacuation centers, forced to abandon approximately 19,309 homes, of which 2,938 are completely destroyed and 16,371 are partially damaged.

Roads, hospitals, schools and historic sites have collapsed or are partially damaged. However, the main ports and airports have begun to function in spite of the serious damage, while 21 bridges and four roads remain impassable. Many municipalities, especially in Bohol, are still without electricity and drinking water. Food reserves are also scarce and many markets are no longer accessible.

Fr. Yking de la Pena and Fr. Warli Salise, priests from the Diocese of Tagbilaran, say that the main focus areas of interventions remain Maribojoc and Loon where there are almost 5,000 families affected by the earthquake. Further assessments are being made of the damage suffered by the Archdiocese of Cebu.

Together with the local Episcopal Conference and the Camillian Task Force, other Catholic agencies such as Caritas New Zealand, Catholic Agency For Overseas Development (CAFOD) of England and Wales and the Catholic Relief Services are involved in helping these people

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