(Catholic News Service) Churches in the Philippines opened their doors to offer shelter to some of the hundreds of thousands of people who fled their homes to avoid the wrath of Super Typhoon Goni that struck the Bicol region in southern Luzon. Some of the victims were buried alive by mudslides around a volcano.
Fr. Treb Futol of Sorsogon Diocese said his parish had set up a soup kitchen and was feeding evacuees who fled their homes and who would normally have been marking All Saints’ Day, reported ucanews.com.
Fr. Ranhilio Aquino of Tuguegarao Diocese said in a social media post: “Many … are shivering in the cold, no beds, perhaps even no more home. Many are grieving the loss of loved ones while still laboring to salvage the little they have that is left,” he said in a social media post.
Typhoon Goni, the most powerful typhoon this year, left at least 20 people dead, but the toll could increase as aid workers reach remote coastal areas. Goni, known in Philippines as Rolly, made landfall with sustained winds of 140 miles per hour and gusts up to 174 mph Nov. 1.
Bishop Jose Bagaforo, head of Caritas in the Philippines, said his office had been coordinating with local Caritas offices to distribute relief goods.
In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan hit central Philippines, leaving more than 7,300 people dead or missing and displaced more than 5 million people.