Catholic bishops have appealed for prayers and aid for earthquake victims after two strong earthquakes hit the Philippines last month, causing some deaths and damage.
“Please, again, let us show our spirit of charity and solidarity,” Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao, who is president of the Catholic bishops’ conference of the Philippines, said.
An earthquake struck the large southern island of Mindanao about 25 miles southwest of the regional capital of Davao City, a city of about 1.6 million people. The US Geological Survey said the quake was about 6.5 in magnitude.
At least five people were killed, including a village elder in Batasan, a seven-year-old crushed by falling debris, and two adults buried in a landslide, it has been reported. Hundreds more were injured. 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. 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.
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. Laminated tents and mats are needed for those sleeping outside of evacuation centres. Other needed supplies are water or water containers, mosquito nets, food packets and blankets. Medical needs include medicine for hypertension and coughs as well as anti-tetanus shots.
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.