10/31/2009, 00.00
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Typhoon Mirinae hits Quezon. Devastated Filipinos getting poorer

by Santosh Digal
The new typhoon, the fourth in a month, has already left one person dead and two missing. Over 70% of the population lives below the poverty line. In Manila alone over 1.4 million people at risk of epidemics and infections.

Manila (AsiaNews) - Typhoon Mirinae, the fourth in October, made landfall last night on the east coast of the province of Quezon. A man was found dead after attempting to cross a torrent formed on the outskirts of the capital, already flooded from previous rains. His child is missing. Another man is missing from a slum in Manila. The international flights to and from Manila are blocked and in many areas of the province electricity is lacking. Power lines are down because of fallen trees and pylons.

This is the fourth typhoon in a month, after the violent Ketsana, Parma and weaker Liput.

Because the typhoon poverty is growing in the country: 7 in 10 Filipino live in a state of extreme poverty. The Ibon Foundation, an organization for research and development interviewed a sample of 1,496 people in various areas of the country in October. The objective was to assess the economic conditions of the population after the passage of storms Ketsana and Parma in early October that caused over 700 deaths and millions of displaced.

Their research reveals an alarming situation: approximately 71.4% of respondents live below the poverty line while 57% do not have sufficient income to support their family. 4% more than the figure for the month of July which amounted to 53%. Regarding general health conditions of the population, research conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) said that this month alone 175 people died in Manila because of infections and epidemics, and that around 1.4 million would be at risk contagion. Of these 163 thousand are still refugees in shelters. The damage to infrastructure amounts to 300 million euros.

"The country is facing a long battle to recover from damage caused by two storms - says Father Tim Cirulajes, a priest of the Archdiocese of Manila – right now people need great faith in God to rebuild their lives and move forward. " 

For its part, through Caritas, the Church has donated 800 thousand euros for aid to 122 thousand families in over 23 flood affected dioceses.


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See also
Torrential rains flood Manila. Tens of thousands of displaced
Typhoons: 300 thousand Filipino families still need help
Thousands of Catholic students assist flood victims
Church aid for Manila flood victims
Manila, Card. Tagle calls for more aid to victims of natural disasters


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