Manila, Philippines, Oct 31, 2019 / 13:00 pm
Catholic bishops have appealed for prayers and aid for earthquake victims after two strong earthquakes hit the Philippines in the last week, causing some deaths and damage.
"Please, again, let us show our spirit of charity and solidarity," Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao, who is president of the Catholic bishops' conference of the Philippines, said Oct. 31, according to CBCP News.
On Thursday an earthquake struck the large southern island of Mindanao about 25 miles southwest of the regional capital of Davao City, a city of about 1.6 million people, the New York Times reports. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was about 6.5 in magnitude.
At least five people were killed, including a village elder in Batasan, a seven-year-old crushed by falling debris, and two adults buried in a landslide, the New York Times reports. Hundreds more were injured.
More than 12,700 people from nearly 60 villages had fled to evacuation centers after an earthquake the previous Tuesday
That earthquake, which struck on Tuesday, measured 6.6 in magnitude and was centered in Tulanan, Cotabato province about 60 miles southwest of Davao. At least two people were killed and hundreds were injured. The quake destroyed schools, homes and other buildings on Mindanao.
School was cancelled for many students and power has been cut in large parts of the affected regions.
In Mindanao's Cotabato province, some parishes in the Diocese of Kidapawan reported damage, particularly the parishes of Makilala and Magpet. The diocese has established an emergency rapid response team and has launched relief efforts for those affected, CBCP News reports.
Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo of Kidapawan said that residents ran out of their homes and were afraid to return for fear of aftershocks. He reported an "up and down and sideways" motion in the structures, CBCP News said.
Laminated tents and mats are needed for those sleeping outside of evacuation centers. Other needed supplies are water or water containers, mosquito nets, food packets and blankets. Medical needs include medicine for hypertension and coughs as well as anti-tetanus shots.
Archbishop Valles called for prayers, "especially for people grieving for loved ones who lost their lives in these recent earthquakes."
"Let us pray for the eternal repose of those who died. And let us pray that we continue to be caring and watchful for the safety of everyone," he said.
He said more information could result in another appeal for aid.
After the first major earthquake, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila offered prayers for those affected. On Radio Veritas, he asked for the public to assist victims of the earthquake and to rebuild damaged structures, including churches.
"If the dioceses and parishes in those areas appeal for help, I hope that you will be open to respond," he said Oct. 29.
Controversial President Rodrigo Duterte is a former mayor of Davao and was in the city during Thursday's earthquake. A crack appeared on his bedroom wall but an aide told the New York Times he was safe and there was no need for him to evacuate. His daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio is the current mayor of Davao.