‘More help needed in the Philippines’

The Irish Columban missionary, Fr Shay Cullen has praised the resilience of Filipinos in the wake of super-typhoon Haiyan, but has stressed that much more need to be done to help people to recover from the disaster.

Following a trip with other members of his Preda Foundation to bring relief supplies into the disaster area, Fr Cullen issued a dispatch on the devastation he had witnessed along Haiyan’s path.

“I have been through ferocious typhoons during my 44 years in the Philippines but have never seen or experienced anything like this for the sheer savagery of this destructive force of nature,” Fr Cullen wrote. “The gigantic force of the wind churned and turned everything it could to flying debris, smashing and tearing at everything, ripping roofs apart and carrying the metal sheets, rafters and roofs into the sky with such force that even cinder block walls collapsed before the onslaught.”

Fr Cullen went on to praise those he met for their strength in the face of the tragedy.

“We witnessed the resilience, courage and bravery of the many Filipinos that are rising above the tragedy,” he reported while adding that help is still required and Preda is now working to register all orphans towards protecting them from exploitation in the wake of the typhoon.

“The relief work goes on,” Fr Cullen stated.