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Catastrophe in Philippines after killer storm
Caritas Philippines says that the powerful storm that swept across the Philippines on Friday has left a trail of massive destruction.
Fr. Edwin Gariguez, Executive Secretary of Caritas Philippines-NASSA, said, “It’s a great catastrophe, but our emergency planning is underway.”
Typhoon Haiyan – known locally as Yolanda – struck the central Philippines on Friday with winds of up to 235 kph, forcing millions of people to take refuge in emergency shelters.
It was one of the strongest storms ever to make landfall and cut a path of destruction through several central islands. Unconfirmed early estimates are of as many as 10,000 dead in one province alone.
The typhoon has hit some of the same areas that were devastated by a 7.3-magnitude earthquake last month.
Fr. Edwin Gariguez said, “It’s the strongest and biggest storm that has hit the country. It’s hit an area already devastated by an earthquake. We are in great need. It’s a really big calamity.”
He said that power lines, phone lines and mobile towers have all been hit, making communication with the worst hit areas very difficult.
Caritas Philippines teams are deploying staff with Caritas member Catholic Relief Services to some of the worst affected areas.
Greg Auberry, the regional director of CRS, said: “The pain of another disaster is devastating. We’re currently moving tarpaulins to Cebu City so that we can provide 8,000 families with inevitable shelter needs.”
Suomen Caritas / Caritas Finland
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