MANILA (CBCP): Archbishop Gilbert Garcera of Lipa appealed for prayers and help on January 13 for thousands of people displaced by a volcanic eruption near Manila.
The archbishop has asked people to join him in praying for the safety of everyone amidst the Taal volcano eruption.
The volcano spewed massive ash clouds, forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents and the closing of Manila’s airport on January 12.
Dozens of earthquakes followed the eruption and the government issued a warning that tsunami in the lake around the volcano was possible.
The archdiocese’s parishes have opened their doors to evacuees as the volcano continued to increase its volcanic activity.
The Society of the Divine Word (SVD) Seminary and other religious institutions are also accepting evacuees in Tagaytay City.
Ashfall from the explosion also reached Metro Manila and could possibly spread to Central Luzon.
“Aside from prayers, we are appealing for donations in cash or in-kind for the archdiocese’s ongoing relief operations,” Garcera said over Radio Veritas.
At least 15,000 people have fled their homes in Batangas province as of January 13, according to an initial report from the local disaster risk reduction and management office.
Archbishop Garcera said they are currently assisting more than 3,000 evacuees who are in need of food and water.
Thousands more evacuees who sought refuge in dozens of evacuation centres were reported in Batangas and Cavite provinces.
The archbishop said Church workers and volunteers are working round the clock to ensure that the evacuees’ basic needs are met.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila and other bishops also offered prayers.
The Lipa Archdiocesan Social Action Centre also said that more people need face masks, medicine, blankets, towels, flashlights, and fuel.
For inquiries and donations to the Lipa archdiocese, please call (043) 404-8057 or +63 9255595968.