Local authorities respond to the site of a damaged hotel after a powerful earthquake in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato on Oct. 31. PHOTO FROM THE KIDAPAWAN CITY POLICE STATION FACEBOOK PAGE

Bishops Appeal for Earthquake Victims in Philippines

An Estimated 3.2 Million Children Affected

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The Catholic hierarchy has appealed for help for the victims of a massive earthquake that struck parts of Mindanao on October 31, 2019, reported CBCP News.

An estimated 3.2 million children have been affected by at least five powerful earthquakes in the southern Philippines over the past three weeks, with two strong quakes recorded on the 31st, according to Save the Children. More than 180 classrooms have been completely destroyed, according to the government. Thousands of people have been made homeless.

Archbishop Romulo Valles, president of the country’s bishops’ conference, urged the public to aid those in quake-stricken areas.

“Please, again, let us show our spirit of charity and solidarity. As soon as we get more data and information, it is possible that we will issue another appeal for help,” he said.

A magnitude 6.5 earthquake rocked central and eastern Mindanao on Oct. 31, just two days after a powerful tremor that killed eight people and hurt hundreds of others in the region.

Thursday’s earthquake claimed at least five lives in North Cotabato and severely damaged buildings already rattled by two previous tremors.

In the Diocese of Kidapawan, some churches were reported damaged particularly in the parishes of Makilala and Magpet.

The diocese has also established an emergency quick response team and launched relief efforts for those affected by the earthquake.

The tremor, which was tectonic, struck Tulanan, Cotabato at 9:15 am, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

Archbishop Valles also called on the public to continue praying for the victims, “especially for people grieving for loved ones who lost their lives in these recent earthquakes”

“Let us pray for the eternal repose of those who died. And let us pray that we continue to be caring and watchful for the safety of everyone,” he said.

Albert Muyot, chief executive officer of Save the Children Philippines said:

«Most of the 3.2 million children affected are in conflict-affected and marginalized parts of the Philippines where access to emergency services is scant. Our team is already on the ground to assess the situation, determine the extent of damage and provide vital support to the affected communities.

«Save the Children is ready to set up temporary classrooms so children don’t miss out on school. These learning centers provide much-needed respite for children, some of whom may have lost everything, and provide a safe space for them to play and receive support. We recognize the specific vulnerabilities of children in the face of natural disasters and we are doing everything we can to help them resume classes to establish normalcy in their routine and overcome their shock and emotional distress.»

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Jim Fair

Jim Fair is a husband, father, grandfather, writer, and communications consultant. He also likes playing the piano and fishing. He writes from the Chicago area.

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