Devastation in the Philippines
In an interview earlier today with Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Fr. Edwin Gariguez, Executive Secretary of CBCP Caritas Filipinas Foundation, described the devastation in the Philippines after the typhoon.
How is the current situation after this destructive Typhoon?
Fr. Edwin Gariguez: “The damages are truly devastating and the situation is frightening, particularly in the island of Leyte, the province which is very much badly affected. This was in the media. But there are much more provinces and small islands also badly hit. We will be arriving tonight and Caritas International will be joining us in visiting the area tomorrow afternoon.”
What are the most important needs?
Fr. Edwin Gariguez: “Of course the most important needs by the affected communities are food and water. There were reports of looting in the province of Leyte because people are so desperate. There were also reports that the number of dead is increasing. We are trying to reach areas which are not mentioned in the media, and we are receiving information from the ground, particularly from parishes from the affected dioceses. So many people are crying for help but the magnitude of the calamity is so huge that even the government feels the difficulty in reaching out to all those who are affected by this strong Super-Typhoon.”
A lot of churches and church facilities might be also affected …
Fr. Edwin Gariguez: “Yes, yes, I have received a report from a nun from Cebu. She told me that 80 per cent of the communities were flattened practically to the ground including schools, churches and sport halls. Most of the buildings collapsed.”
I can confirm that people in Europe and the whole world are praying for your country …
Fr. Edwin Gariguez: “Please communicate our sincere gratitude to the people of being in solidarity, of being with us during these days of difficulties. We are used to typhoons in our country, they come and go, but this is really a Super-Typhoon, very devastating … People are so desperate. Many are looking for their relatives and so many have lost their lives.”