Caritas Manila issues appeal for earthquake victims

People line up for food following the destruction of their homes after a series of strong earthquakes hit Mindanao. Photo: UCAN/courtesy of Kidapawan Diocese

MANILA (CNS): Caritas Manila appealed for donations to aid in its work in the wake of the magnitude earthquakes that struck Mindanao on October 29 and 31 at least 11 people were reported killed while eight others were missing..

A magnitude 4.2 temblor also struck on November 1 in the same general area of Mindanao hit by three more powerful quakes over the past two weeks that have left more than a dozen people dead.

In Makilala in Cotabato province alone, at least 20,000 households have been badly affected. Local officials said 19,000 homes in the town were badly damaged while another 1,700 were partially damaged.

Father Anton Pascual, executive director of Caritas Manila, said the donations will be used for relief efforts and the rehabilitation needs of affected families, especially in Cotabato province and nearby areas.

He said people urgently need clean water, food, clothes and hygiene items.

Luis Cardinal Tagle of Manila, had earlier issued an appeal to the public for help and for prayers.

Most of the affected families are from the towns of Kidapawan, Mlang and Tulunan—the quake’s epicentre—Cotabato.

Of those affected, 3,505 people were in evacuation centres.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported that 394 people had been injured while at least 133 buildings were badly damaged, including 94 schools, 11 health facilities and 20 private establishments.

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The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said it had recorded 294 aftershocks as of October 30.

The institute said the quake and a magnitude 6.3 tremor in the region two weeks ago (Sunday Examiner, October 27) were “part of a sequence of events from interrelated faults in the region.”

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines issued a statement expressing solidarity with those affected by the earthquake.

In the statement, Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao, the conference president, offered prayers and asked people to pray for the safety of people amid the aftershocks.

“Please pray to the Lord that we may remain calm and alert,” Archbishop Valle said. “And pray also that we will continue to care and be watchful and concerned for each other during this time of fear and anxiety.”

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