12/05/2019, 14.46
PHILIPPINES
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Typhoon Tisoy leaves the Philippines after causing at least 13 deaths

The storm made landfall four times, leaving several areas in the North in a state of calamity. Some 413,833 people were affected in 1,788 localities. Caritas is still helping Mindanao earthquake victims. “This time we are afraid that we will not be able to offer adequate financial aid to the population,” says Caritas official.

Manila (AsiaNews) – Filipino authorities downgraded Tisoy (Kammuri), a typhoon at its peak, to a tropical depression as it moved out of the Philippine Responsibility Area (PAR) this morning, after sowing death and destruction – at least 13 dead, 34 injured and 413,000 people affected – in northern Philippines.

Filipino authorities said they expect the final toll to be worse. In a 11 am briefing Thursday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Tisoy is already 705 kilometres west northwest of Coron, Palawan, outside PAR.

As Tisoy made its exit, its maximum winds were down to 55 km/h, whilst its gustiness was 70 km/h. At the time of its first landfall as a typhoon, Tisoy had maximum winds of 175 km/h and gustiness of up to 240 km/h.

It made landfall in Luzon four times, leaving several areas under a state of calamity. Fatalities were reported in Mimaropa, Eastern Visayas, and Calabarzon, this according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

The latter said that Tisoy affected a total of 95,385 families or 413,833 persons in 1,788 barangays (localities) in Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, and Eastern Visayas. Of those affected, 83,848 families or 364,003 persons are staying in evacuation centres.

About 8,749 houses were damaged, about 1,200 completed destroyed, mostly in Bicol and Mimaropa. Some 135 schools were equally damaged.  Tisoy also destroyed crops in Bicol and Oriental Mindoro. The initial damage estimate totals P811.5 million (US million).

The damage caused by typhoon Tisoy "is really extensive, but the government is doing its job and on this occasion was quick off the mark,” said Fr Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of Nassa/Caritas Philippines, the main charity of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

“Our organisation is responding to the emergency by coordinating with the dioceses of the areas most affected,” the clergyman told AsiaNews. “Members and local units are trained to deal with crises effectively. In the Archdiocese of Cáceres and the Diocese of Legazpi (both in Bicol) we have a programme to manage volunteers, thanks to whom these communities can now provide first aid to people and do some damage assessment.”

“Other dioceses in Luzon and in the Visayas have also been affected by the emergency.” Caritas has released about US$ 10,000 reserve fund for dioceses that need assistance.

Yesterday, the humanitarian branch of the Filipino Church made public the bank details (picture 2) for anyone who wants to make donations in favour of Tisoy emergency relief initiatives.

"At present, most of our resources are concentrated on earthquake victims in Mindanao,” Fr Gariguez explained. “This time we are afraid that we will not be able to offer adequate financial aid to the population, because there is another problem. Since we are coming to the end of the year, many of our partners are closing their books. Plus, some say they were hit by a recent sexual abuse scandal in the Central African Republic.”

Over the past few years, Caritas Philippines established a presence across the country. "For this reason and through our training programmes, we try to help each community respond to disasters. The Church’s ministry and mission includes preparing and empowering people.” (PF)

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