Manila (AsiaNews / CBCP) - The Archbishop of Manila has called for more assistance to meet the immediate needs of those affected by tropical storm "Mario" (Fung-Wong) that hit the archipelago and, in particular, the capital, in recent days. Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle stressed that aid Caritas Manila has already been mobilized to extend assistance to the affected communities. "To those who are affected, you are not alone. Just get in touch with our parishes and Caritas Manila".
The storm hit several provinces in Luzon last Friday and has affected a total of 183,188 families or 840,368 individuals, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. Of the total figure, 42, 879 families or 197,509 persons are still staying in the 379 evacuation centers in Region.
The cardinal said recovery efforts will be expedited if Filipinos will unite in helping the victims, especially those displaced by heavy rains and flooding.
Caritas Manila is also preparing food parcels and other relief goods for the affected parishes. Among the food items accepted for donation include canned goods that have at least six month expiration dates, such as sardines, tuna, corned beef etc.. and bottled water. On the other hand, non-food items needed by affected families include bath soap, mosquito repellants, shampoo, combs, toothbrush, toothpaste and school supplies and clothes.
"This is the call to our people, that we help each other after the whiplash of the typhoon" concluded card. Tagle. "Let's help our brethren who were affected".
An average of 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year resulting in hundreds of deaths and worsening the already precarious conditions of the country's millions of poor. In November last year, the super-typhoon Haian (Yolanda in the Philippines),), the strongest ever to hit the archipelago, left behind at least 7,300 dead or missing. Almost 11 million inhabitants suffered damage, scattered among 574 municipalities and cities.