More natural disasters continue to afflict different parts of the planet the latest being the landslide and flooding caused by the tropical storm nicknadem “Usman” that hit the Bricol and Visayas regions in the Philippines on Saturday.
Catholic Aid agencies went into action to help the victims of Usman that has claimed at least 85 lives and 20 missing, according to the Daily Telegraph. The death toll is expected to rise further.
The local branch of Caritas – an agency of the Catholic Church – is collecting food, clothes and other emergency material such as blankets to help the thousands of people affected by the storm.
The heavy rains melted and loosened the soil in the mountains and caused a landslide and flooding. The Filippino Disaster Agency said the number of dead could rise since not all areas hit by the storm has been reached and assessed.
People were taken unawares since Usman was not rated as a powerful typhoon under the storm alert system of the country.
The storm destroyed infrastructure and some 40,000 across the nation had to leave their homes and seek shelter elsewhere.
It is estimated that about 20 tropical storms hit the Philippines every year causing deaths, injuries and displaced persons. The deadliest storm recorded in the country was the Typhoon Haiyan which hit the country in 2013 causing more than 7,000 deaths and affected millions of Filippinos.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis on January 2 appointed a new bishop in the Diocese of Daet in the Philippines. He is Father Rex Andrew C. Alarcon of the Archdiocese of Caceres, until now the superintendent of the parish schools of the Archdiocese.
Bishop Alarcon who is 48 years old studied theology in Manila and obtained a licenciate in Chruch History from the Pontifical Gregorian University of Rome. He was ordained priest in 1996. The See of Daet has been vacant since February 2, 2017.