Vatican sends Aid to the Victims of Philippine Typhoon
As relief efforts are on the way to help survivors of the overwhelming Typhoon Haiyan, which is the second-deadliest Philippine Typhoon on record, believed to have killed over 10,000 people in the Philippines, Vatican has sent an aid contribution of $150,000 to families and victims pleading to the world for help. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council of Philippines said 3,631 people were confirmed dead and the number of injured stood at 12,487, while 1,187 people are officially listed as missing. The council also said more than nine million people had been affected, including 1,871,321 who had been displaced.
Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State
"Deeply saddened by the destruction and loss of life caused by the super Typhoon, His Holiness Pope Francis expresses his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this storm and its aftermath," read a telegram by Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State. "He is especially mindful of those who mourn the loss of their loved ones and of those who have lost their homes. In praying for all the people of the Philippines, the Holy Father likewise offers encouragement to the civil authorities and emergency personnel as they assist the victims of this storm. He invokes divine blessings of strength and consolation for the Nation."
Victims of the disaster are pleading for food, water and other essentials, with close to 9.7 million people in 41 provinces affected by the Typhoon, one of the most powerful ones in recorded history.
The Philippine National Red Cross, one of the main organizations providing relief to the region, reported that the people were not prepared for a storm of such gravity. "Imagine America, which was prepared and very rich, still had a lot of challenges at the time of Hurricane Katrina, but what we had was three times more than what they received," offered Gwendolyn Pang, the Group's Executive Director.
Over 80 percent of the Filipino population is said to be Roman Catholic, making it the biggest Christian country in Asia. Monsignor Pedro Quitorio, Media Director of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines said that between 85 to 95 percent of the homes in the parish of Borongan were destroyed, which was the typhoon's first landfall. "In Borongan, we have no concrete reports because all communication lines are down and all power lines are down and we could not get through to get the exact situation," Quitorio said.
The money donated by the Vatican will be distributed by the local Church in the regions most affected by the disaster, a press release by the Holy See noted, and will be used to support aid work for the assistance of displaced persons from the flooded areas.
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