QUEZON City, September 22, 2014—Some 2,735 individuals consisting of 733 families took refuge inside the Santo Domingo Church (National Shrine of the Most Holy Rosary of La Naval de Manila) on Friday, September 19, after tropical storm “Mario” flooded their communities nearby.
In an interview with CBCPNews, Dominican brother Mervin Lomague of the Dominican Students’ Media Center (DSMC) said KADAUPAN, one of the apostolic groups based in Santo Domingo, spearheaded the evacuation operation along with the whole Dominican community.
“The community has always had disaster-related endeavors. But an evacuation operation like this one was only taken up again during typhoon “Ondoy” when people around Santo Domingo fled to safety of the church because they had nowhere else to go to,” shared Lomague.
“Since then, every time a natural disaster threatens the neighborhood of Santo Domingo, people choose to stay inside the church,” he added.
According to Lomague, the Santo Domingo Seminary has five apostolic groups, two of these are KADAUPAN for justice and peace, and DSMC for media.
While KADAUPAN, which stands for “Katarungan ng Diyos ang Ugat ng Payapang Adhikain” (roughly: peace is rooted in God’s justice), started the operation, he explained all brother-members of the apostolic groups, led by Dominican priests, had each taken part to ensure its success.
In behalf of the Dominican community of Santo Domingo, Lomague thanks the many selfless individuals and groups that either volunteered in the operation, or had given donations.
He said most of the evacuees, bringing with them bags of relief goods, were able to return to their homes on Saturday as soon as it was safe for them to do so. (Raymond A. Sebastián)