Dec 23, 2021
The ferocious typhoon that tore through the Philippines last week has left nearly 400 dead. It displaced at least 1 million people. Huge numbers of people have been cut off from rescue workers. The intense storm brought heavy flooding, damaged roads, and severed communication lines. It caused widespread power outages. Officials feared the death toll would grow much higher.
Typhoon Rai made landfall Thursday. It was one of the most powerful storms in recent years to strike the island nation in Southeast Asia. The storm packed heavy rains and winds up to 168 mph. Rai triggered landslides, tore apart homes, hospitals, and schools. It left entire towns submerged. Many drowned in flash floods or were buried in landslides.
Residents pleaded for food, water, and shelter, and officials warned that diseases have begun spreading. Officials worry about the spread of COVID too. The country's president pledged hundreds of millions in aid. Other countries and the United Nations have rushed life-saving aid to the nation.
The storm is all the more sad, coming at the height of the Christmas season in the mostly Roman Catholic country.
In the southern Philippines, Father Dennis Llogon delivered a sermon at San Nicolas de Tolentino Cathedral, its roof partially ripped off. Later, the priest told AFP: "We're in this journey together. We help each other, also inspired by the faith in God. There are a lot of questions around why this happened, why this Christmas season. What is important is our faith – I can see their faith is solid.”
Photo from Reuters.
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