PHILIPPINES: Typhoon Rai causes severe damage
Don Bosco Technical College in Cebu City suffers severe damage from Typhoon Rai
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Technical College in Cebu City, Philippines, suffered severe damage from Typhoon Rai, which hit the region with winds of 121 miles per hour before making landfall on Dec. 16. The typhoon has killed more than 370 and displaced hundreds of thousands of people, damaged homes, and toppled power and communication lines.
“After visiting the city by bicycle, I found that Don Bosco Technical College was the most damaged among the Salesian houses,” explained Father Keith Amodia, delegate for social communication of the Salesian FIS Province. “Our youth center in Pasil, which was close to the sea, also suffered damage from the wind and waves. The structural integrity of the perimeter fence has already been compromised and the whole thing is starting to lean to one side. Should it yield, the Salesians will be exposed to the river and the sea with the risk of also being pillaged.”
Many people are without electricity, and internet access is scarce as power lines have been damaged. Many families have lost their homes, especially those built with lightweight materials. There are also problems with drinking water, as the water district has suspended the supply. The government is using fire trucks to deliver water to communities.
Fr. Amodia added, “Our school has a generator, but it will only last until 8 p.m. and therefore we will spend the night in the dark. It is interesting to note that the direct internet line we are using for the online lessons of the school still works, but it will only last as long as there is electricity. Please pray for us. Many families here are suffering from being exposed to the elements. People are flocking to gas stations and hardware stores. The Cebuans, however, are hardy people. For generations, the Cebuans have lived with this climate, only now the storms are stronger due to climate change.”
Salesian missionaries live in the communities in which they work and are assessing the damage and providing what they can to help support their local communities after this devastating storm.
Since 1950, Salesian Missions has been providing crucial help in the Philippines—working with at-risk youth, impoverished families and disaster victims. Humanitarian agencies warn of the dangers faced by the most disadvantaged children in the Philippines. According to UNICEF, there are at least 1.2 million children between the ages of 5 and 15 who are out of school and are being left behind. In addition, children born into the poorest 20 percent of the population are almost three times more likely to die during their first five years as those from the richest 20 percent.
ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)
Salesian Missions – Philippines
UNICEF – Philippines