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» 10/03/2009
PHILIPPINES
Typhoon Parma graces the population already hit by Ketsana
by Santosh Digal
The intensity of the super typhoon Parma decreases and its path deflects toward Taiwan. Meanwhile, the devastation of the tropical storm Ketsana amounts to nearly two million displaced, 280 deaths and damage amounting to 74 million Euros. An avoidable tragedy with adequate prevention and relief preparations. The bishops call on the population and government to reflect on mistakes.

Manila (AsiaNews) - The super typhoon Parma expected to hit the eastern coast of the country early this morning has decreased in intensity and its path has deflected, reports the National Meteorological Service. Yesterday more than 4 thousand people were evacuated to safety from coastal villages. Meanwhile the island of Luzon, where on September 26, the tropical storm Ketsana caused 288 deaths and about two million displaced, damages amount to 74 million Euro. The tragedy generated by Typhoon Ketsana "is a call for all of us to help our brothers who are now homeless, but also an occasion to reflect on the mistakes made so far." This is the message of Card. Gaudenzio Rosales, archbishop of Manila, while on the streets hundreds of volunteers are working together with police to help the over 370 thousand displaced people, housing them in parishes and shelters.

Fr. Fernando Caprio, a priest of the Archdiocese of Manila, points out that the flooding was caused not only by the rain, but also the total "lack of prevention and lack of environmental awareness in the population." In fact, he asserts that "in the capital, roads, canals and streams are used as landfills." This prevents water from draining and causes continual flooding. "Floods are a natural fact, there is no man or institution that can control them - says the priest - what we can do is prevent the effects of human behaviour, by educating and empowering people."

Meanwhile, the new super typhoon Parma could hit the eastern part of the country today, putting at risk the lives of 2 million people. To prevent further tragedy, the authorities have so far evacuated about 4 thousand people from villages in the provinces of North Camarines and Albay.

The toll from Ketsana that poured about 40 feet of water in a few hours September 26, amounted to 280 deaths and 1.8 million homeless. Apart from the capital 50 provinces are reporting damage to infrastructure and housing for 108 million dollars (74 million Euros).

For many, the tragedy could have been avoided. People of the poorest districts complain of having to wait for hours in flooded houses and or on roofs, ignored by rescue helicopters. "The authorities' response has been inadequate to the seriousness of the situation - said Mgr. Angel Lagdameo, president of the Filipino bishops - if there was no corruption in our government we would be better prepared to respond to these situations".

The very day of the disaster Anthony Golez, head of the National Disaster Coordination Council declared inadequacy of relief, denouncing a lack of resources and people. To tackle the problem, the police are relying on the help of the Church, private associations and NGOs. "The private sector is coordinating with groups of armed forces to distribute supplies and provide first aid to the displaced," said National Police spokesman Nicanor Bartolome of the Philippines (Pnp).

 

 


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See also
11/12/2013 PHILIPPINES
Typhoon Haiyan: Manila declares a state of calamity as a new storm hampers relief efforts
10/09/2009 PHILIPPINES
Typhoon in northern Philippines: Landslides and floods, hundreds feared dead
by Santosh Digal
03/25/2014 PHILIPPINES
Philippine Church: Maximum transparency in the management of post-Yolanda funds
11/09/2013 PHILIPPINES
Death toll from Typhoon Haiyan rises to 120. The Church is ready to send aid
10/19/2010 PHILIPPINES
Super-typhoon Megis leaves the Philippines: 10 dead and thousands displaced

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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