Samar folk keep faith, stay safe

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TACLOBAN City, Dec. 7, 2014 – Even as updates report a considerably weakened typhoon Ruby, residents of Northern Samar continue to pray and take safety precautions against typhoon Ruby.

People are also in deep prayer for safety, with the Catholic faithful constantly reciting the Oratio Imperata and the Holy Rosary, and the doors of local parishes are opened to all — Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

PAGASA track of typhoon Ruby as of 8 a.m., Dec. 7, 2014 (Credit: PAGASA)

“[Bishop Emmanuel C. Trance of the Catarman Diocese] is also continuously encouraging the people to keep on praying, especially the Oratio Imperata,” said Fr. Fred Placa, Social Action Director and head of the Basic Ecclesial Communities of the Diocese of Catarman. He added that with the strong winds and rains now buffeting Northern Samar, holding a procession became impossible though previously planned.

The priest disclosed that as of now there are about 14,000 residents within the diocese of Catarman who are housed in various edifices of the church, including 31 parishes and mission stations in the diocese; the Our Lady of Annunciation Cathedral; and the Diocesan Action Center in Catarman.

Trance, amid the continuing threat of typhoon Ruby even as it heads towards Masbate, continually calls on the people to be prepared especially those along the coastal towns of Palapag, Gamay, Mapanas, Las Navas, Law-ang and Lapinig, which all directly face the Pacific Ocean.

“Bishop Trance urged the people to be open to all possibilities and strengthen their faith in the midst of this calamity,” he added.

The diocese, which is now closely coordinating with the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the various local government units within its jurisdiction, is hoping for zero casualties, as well.

“We are doing our best to secure ourselves from harm, Placa said.

For now, the diocese is working within the Php 200,000 donation from NASSA for the relief operation, distributing rice, sardines, noodles and eggs to the evacuees, which it fears will run out soon.

According to Placa, the diocese is hoping that Caritas-Manila will heed their requests for assistance in the face of the diocese’s meager budget for relief operation.

Placa anticipates that help will become harder to obtain if communication lines conk out.

At 8:00 AM, today, the eye of Typhoon “RUBY” was located based on all available data at 70 km West Northwest of Catbalogan, Samar or 85 km Southeast of Masbate City (12.0°N, 124.3°E). (Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros/CBCPNews)

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