01/02/2018, 15.54
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Catholic Church helping typhoon victims in Mindanao

by Santosh Digal

Locals thank Caritas and NASSA for the assistance they provide. The Marawi reconstruction programme was redirected to help affected communities. More bad weather threatens the country.

Manila (AsiaNews) – Caritas Philippines and the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA) of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) are continuing their concerted efforts to ease the plight of the people affected by the recent storms that have hit the country.

The Catholic Church’s humanitarian commitment in Mindanao, the southern Filipino island where the country’s Muslims are concentrated, is known thanks to initiatives like Duyog Marawi.

The latter provides assistance to people displaced by the recent conflict that engulfed the mostly Muslim city of Marawi, especially 13 coastal communities near the city, all heavily affected by the ongoing emergency as a result of the loss of earnings and basic services following the isolation of the city.

A woman from Iligan City (picture 2), in the province of Lanao del Norte (Mindanao), just received aid distributed by the two Catholic organisations.

"We are very grateful to Caritas Philippines, which has always helped us since the [start of the] Marawi crisis,” she told AsiaNews. “This is the first time that we receive assistance from Christians."

Umpia M Dura (pictures 3 and 4), a resident of Dangerampian, a suburb of Ditsaan Ramain, has a rice mill that was badly damaged by typhoon Vinta. Duyog Marawi volunteers visited him when they met with local residents.

"I thank you for coming here to check my rice mill. With that, I thank you with infinite gratitude," he said to express his appreciation.

"Duyog Marawi is one of the two on-going programmes of the Catholic Church aiding Marawi siege survivors,” said Jing Rey Henderson, head of communications and development of the partnerships of Caritas Philippines.

“We have converted it for the meantime to help Tropical Storm Tembin (Vinta) survivors. More than 100 Caritas staff are working there," he told AsiaNews.

Meanwhile, a week after tropical storm Urduja and typhoon Vinta wreaked havoc on Visayas and Mindanao, with landslides and flooding that killed nearly 300 people, more bad weather threatens the country.

The authorities have announced that tropical depression Agaton should crash on Puerto Princesa City (eastern province of Palawan) this evening. They have warned residents of possible landslides following heavy rains, from moderate to intense according to the areas.

The Bicol region (Samar province), Panay Island (south of Quezon), and in the provinces of Mindoro, Marinduque and Romblon should also be affected.

As a result of Agaton and a monsoon wave from the northeast (amihan), navigation is risky along the coasts of Palawan and Cuyo islands, as well as along the northern and southern coasts of Luzon, the east coast of Central Luzon, the eastern and western coasts of the Visayas, and the east coast of Mindanao.

Agaton is expected to leave the Philippines tomorrow.

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