Catholic leaders have appealed for prayers and aid for earthquake victims after two strong earthquakes hit the Philippines in the last week, causing some deaths and damage.
“Please, again, let us show our spirit of charity and solidarity,” Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao, president of the Catholic bishops’ conference of the Philippines, said on 31 October, according to CBCP News.
At least 14 people have died after a series of earthquakes rattled the southern Philippines. A 6.5 magnitude quake struck on Thursday morning, local time, in the Tulunan area of Cotabato province on the southern island of Mindanao.
That jolt came only two days after a deadly 6.6 magnitude quake. Hundreds more were injured.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila offered prayers for those affected. On Radio Veritas, he asked for the public to assist victims of the earthquake and to rebuild damaged structures, including churches.
“If the dioceses and parishes in those areas appeal for help, I hope that you will be open to respond,” he said.
More than 12,700 people from nearly 60 villages had fled to evacuation centres after an earthquake the previous Tuesday.
That earthquake measured 6.6 in magnitude and was centred in Tulanan, Cotabato province about 60 miles southwest of Davao. At least two people were killed and hundreds were injured.
The quake destroyed schools, homes and other buildings on Mindanao. School was cancelled for many students and power has been cut in large parts of the affected regions.
“Please pray to the Lord that we may remain calm and alert,” Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao said in a letter to the dioceses affected by the quake.
“And pray also that we will continue to care and be watchful and concerned for each other during this time of fear and anxiety.”
In Mindanao’s Cotabato province, some parishes in the Diocese of Kidapawan reported damage, particularly the parishes of Makilala and Magpet. The diocese has established an emergency rapid response team and has launched relief efforts for those affected, CBCP News reports.
Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo of Kidapawan said that residents ran out of their homes and were afraid to return for fear of aftershocks. He reported an “up and down and sideways” motion in the structures, CBCP News said.
Archbishop Valles called for prayers, “especially for people grieving for loved ones who lost their lives in these recent earthquakes.”
“Let us pray for the eternal repose of those who died. And let us pray that we continue to be caring and watchful for the safety of everyone,” he said.
Picture: A damaged statue is seen amid debris outside Santa Catalina de Alejandria Church on 22 April 2019, following a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in Porac, Philippines. (CNS photo/Eloisa Lopez, Reuters)