(AsiaNews) - "The situation is tragic. Many areas are isolated and it is hard
to know how many people have died or how many have been evacuated," Fr Giovanni
Vettoretto told AsiaNews. A missionary
with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), the clergyman works
at the mission in the Arakan Valley, one of the areas worst hit by Typhoon
Bopha, which has been causing havoc on the Island of Mindanao (southern Philippines). The authorities currently put the death toll
at 230 with more than 90,000 displaced.
teams are hard pressed to reach the remotest areas, where there could be dozens
of dead," the missionary added. "Water and landslides have hit numerous
evacuation centres in the village of Andap (Campostela Valley) where two
schools used by the displaced for shelter have collapsed."
hardest hit areas include the provinces of Cotabato, Davao
Orientale, Campostela Valley and Cagayan de Oro; this last one had already been
devastated by Typhoon Washi in December 2011, with more than a thousand dead.
Fr Vettoretto said that he is contact with the
dioceses and the parishes in the most affected areas, where Caritas and other organisations
are already working with local authorities.
typhoon battered the southern island of Mindanao starting yesterday, with heavy
rain and winds reaching highs of 210 km/h. This forced the authorities to move
tens of thousands of residents.
present, the typhoon is travelling towards the western island of Palawan. By early
tomorrow morning, it should be out into the South China Sea.
do not exclude the possibility that it might reach China's coastline, sowing
death and destruction. (S.C.)