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Typhoon Yolanda's aftermath

Submitted by: regina
On: 10/11/2013

Super Typhoon Yolanda (international codename- Haiyan) ravaged towns and cities in the Philippines on November 8 and thousands of persons have been feared dead.

Reports of government  agencies on November 9 counted only a hundred dead, but the estimate was  increased to about a thousand on November 10. As of midday November 10, sources said, there could be more than 10, 000 deaths related to the typhoon, the exact figures are not yet available due to the damage in communications facilities and loss of electricity in many affected provinces.

Though precautions were taken by residents in the different provinces and cities that were on the path of typhoon Yolanda, still the people were unprepared at the wrath caused by the typhoon.

Yolanda destroyed Leyte and neighboring provinces with sustained winds of around 315 kilometres (195 miles) on Friday, November 8 and generated waves up to three metres (10 feet) high that surged deep inland.   The storm surge destroyed properties in Tacloban City and swept fishing villages in Leyte.  Yolanda's path included Leyte, Cebu, Iloilo, Negros, Mindoro, Surigao. Typhoon Yolanda is the 25th typhoon in the Philippines this 2013 and had its landfall five times-- in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, Tolosa Leyte, Daanbantayan Cebu, Bantayan Island, Cebu and Concepcion, Iloilo.  Typhoons in the country are named in alphabetical order. 

Map with the two Good Shepherd Convents (Nos. 3 and 7) in Cebu, Central Philippines.

Good Shepherd Sisters in Cebu who just last month, were among those affected by the earthquake that struck on October 15, (Read related article on RGS Cebu) opened the convent doors to neighbors who were living in houses made of light materials.

Sr. Edna Fuentes, local leader, said the evacuees, used the conference hall of the seminar house. Seventeen (17) families evacuated at the convent. She said, "The women and children slept at night at the second floor while the men stayed in the conference hall using tables as their beds. The contemplatives offered their basement rooms as refuge to the families of the staff."  There were no damages to the convent of the apostolic and contemplative sisters. The last of the families who stayed at the convent to seek shelter during the typhoon returned to their homes this morning.

Cebu City remains without electricity this morning, fortunately, the convent has enough water for the needs of the sisters and the evacuees. Many trees around the convent fell because of the strong winds but the sisters are grateful that there was not much damage in Cebu which suffered much during the October 15 earthquake.

Sr. Fe Mendoza who is in Villa Maria community in Cebu recounted that a man asked to be checked out of the hospital where he was being treated for serious liver problem, to join his wife and children who have taken shelter at the Good Shepherd convent. He wanted to be with his family. They were sent home with some food provisions. The man was later readmitted at the hospital to continue his treatment.

Sr. Regina Pil, whose two sisters in their 90s live in Tacloban City has not heard any word from them after the typhoon. Though their nephews wanted to evacuate them before the typhoon, they prevailed on  the family that they preferred to stay in their home.

Sr. Sue Sinense has tried to contact her family but could not reach them by telephone and cellphone because all the communication lines were damaged by the typhoon. Estancia, her hometown, was earlier reported in local television as the heavily damaged town in Iloilo.

Sr. Concepta Bellosillo’s ancestral home was also damaged by typhoon Yolanda but remains standing without roof and windows.

At the Sunday Mass in Quezon City, prayers were offered for the victims and their families. Sr. Cecilia Torres, province leader, has been contacting church personnel in the affected areas regarding aid to the victims.

The messages of concern and assurance of prayers from Good Shepherd Sisters worldwide also came. Sr. Susan Chia, link councilor, who is in Sri Lanka for the Province Chapter, called  Sr. Cecilia assuring us of the prayers of Sr. Brigid Lawlor, Sr.Maria Teresa Pomar of the Congregational Leadership Team, and the sisters gathered in Sri Lanka.

Sr. Jude Ellen, contemplative councilor of CLT wrote an email, “I am sad about the situation in the Philippines… Please be assured that I carry you all in my heart and in my prayer.”

Sr. Roswitha Wanke of the Province of Germany/Albania also wrote, “ To you and your people our compassionate thoughts and prayers! We feel with you and with all the suffering people in your country…”

Sr. Dorothy Khaw of the Province of Singapore-Malaysia, is united in prayers and expressed concern for the people.

Sr. Annunciata Gatt of the Province of Italy/Malta wrote: “We are all with you at this terrible moment! The pictures we are watching are devastating! And the people seem to be so courageous!  Our prayers accompany you feels so helpless in front of such catastrophes .  May the good Lord sustain all those who can help in any way the helpless and confort those who have lost their loved ones.

The Philippine Province of the Good Shepherd is grateful to all, including the Holy Father Pope Francis, for the prayers offered,  as people face this new calamity that affected millions of people and rendered thousands of families homeless and hungry.