MASBATE City, Dec. 12, 2013 – At least 2,000 families in the island province hit by super typhoon Yolanda received relief goods since efforts to appease survivors’ post-storm condition began, Masbate Caritas Director Monsignor Claro V. Caluya III said on Tuesday.
Commodity assistance that cost no less than P700, 000 was distributed to residents in the municipalities swept by typhoon Yolanda, he said. The relief goods include clothes, rice, canned goods, coffee, milk, detergent soaps, sugar and other grocery items basic to home, he said.
Donations that bankrolled the relief operations did not only come from generous hearts in Masbate, but also from other charitable individuals and institutions outside the island province, Monsignor Caluya said.
Most of the recipients of relief operations are families in the six coastal municipalities that are badly affected by Yolanda’s devastation in the province, he said.
Masbate has 20 coastal municipalities and one component city, which is also bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the east.
The six municipalities include the five interconnected coastal towns of Esperanza, Pio V. Corpus, Cataingan, Placer, and Cawayan at the southeastern tip of mainland Masbate, and Balud sitting at the southwestern end.
None of the six ravaged towns, however, was entirely razed by the typhoon that swept thousands of lives in the nearby island provinces of Leyte and Samar, Monsignor Caluya, said. There are numbers of certain barangays in each of those municipalities that are left damaged by Yolanda.
“Most of the affected communities are in the coastal areas, particularly the small islands,” he said. “There are also affected areas in the upland.”
Homes left totally damaged were accounted at 1, 616, Monsignor Caluya said. And no less than 27, 000 families were evacuated not only from the six coastal municipalities that sustained the worst of typhoon Yolanda, but also the other towns that experienced her tempest.
The number of families in evacuation centers is equivalent to 112, 708 people, he said.
The typhoon also took the lives of eight in the province, Monsignor Caluya said. One of them was a female.
Typhoon Yolanda’s devastations in the province prompted a quick accord of the people in the island in a collective response to bring relief to the affected communities.
“The unity of the people was clearly visible regardless of religious affiliation,” he said. “We are touched by the immediate response of the people. Even the kids have responded to share.”
The Church will embark on another round of relief operations for families whose homes were crushed by typhoon Yolanda, Monsignor Caluya said.
“Meron pa kaming ibibigay para sa mga nawalan ng bahay,” he said. “Nag-conduct na kami ng survey on livelihood.” [We have more to give to the people that were left homeless. We already have conducted a survey for their livelihood.]
Caritas will be distributing piglets, seedlings and farm tools to farmers, and boats to fisherfolks, Monsignor Caluya said. His group is currently in the process of identifying recipients of the livelihood assistance.
Challenged by the sentiment of the locals, the Church also proves false the circling notion that the typhoon that swept across the island was a curse, he said. People should hold on to their faith and not lose hope. (Oliver Samson)