In total, Caritas Switzerland is supporting 9,000 families on Bantayan and neighbouring islands – some of them only reachable by small fishing boats.
In Palo, the diocesan driver told us how he huddled together with his family at the height of the storm as their roof was blown away and watched in fear as three big waves came in succession towards their village
One month since Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, Caritas organisations have been providing aid to affected communities.
“I didn't want to leave my parishioners. But when the roof of my house was blown away and the wind shattered the windows, I had to get away,” said Fr Jose Taz Lasola from the Padre Pio mission in Roxas, on the island of Panay, one of the areas most seriously affected by the violent Typhoon Haiyan.
Caritas and the Church have been working hard to provide aid to the compound in Bossangoa, including blankets and food. But the insecurity and disorder makes that very difficult. Needs are acute and growing.
The Caritas team traveled with their cargo to Tacloban, one the worst hit cities. “The damage to Tacloban is incredible,” said Mark Mitchell. “The tarps that we’re bringing are greatly needed by survivors for temporary shelter.”
Crowds of hundreds of people quickly gather to receive the food packages. Despite the urgent needs, the distributions were peaceful and the aid was warmly welcomed by survivors in San Remegio and Medellin.
“There is devastation everywhere and the victims are in desperate need of everything,” said Fr. Edwin Gariguez, Executive Secretary of Caritas Philippines-NASSA,
Caritas member Catholic Relief Services plans to distribute temporary shelter materials today in Palo, one of the worst hit towns in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan.