Batanes bishop appeals for ‘immediate’ help after devastating typhoon

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MANILA, Sept. 16, 2016— Batanes is in “immediate” need after typhoon Ferdie (Meranti) devastated the island on Wednesday, a Catholic bishop said.

Batanes Bishop Camilo Gregorio said no casualties had been reported but the storm destroyed many houses, churches, schools and government structures.

“Please pray for us. We are devastated. We are safe but suffering,” Gregorio said.

He said the storm, packing peak winds of 250 kph, felled trees and cut power and communication lines, except the cellphone signal in the town of Uyugan.

“The typhoon also destroyed roofing of the cathedral, washed out rectory, damaged the St. Dominic College, blew roofs of Mahatao Church and damaged Sabtang convent,” Gregorio added.

As of Friday, all flights to Batanes remain cancelled as another terrifying storm is moving towards the island.

“We are still surviving but no government assistance at all yet,” he said.

The prelature is accepting donations from the public to help victims of the calamity.

Cash donations, he said, may be deposited to the BPI (JP Rizal branch) account of the Prelature of Batanes: 3751-0415-69.

He said the public may also contact the nearest Caritas offices or diocesan social action centers.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has already sent a team to Batanes to assess the impact of the typhoon.

The entire province of Batanes was also put under the state of calamity on Thursday to allow local government units access to quick response funds. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)

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