Intl church-based relief group sends teams to Mindanao to assess 'Pablo' damage

An international Church-based relief organization has sent five teams to areas in Mindanao hit hard by Tropical Cyclone Pablo (Bopha) to assess the damage there.

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) indicated it will prioritize Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental, which it said were among the areas hit hardest.

"The provinces of Compostela and Davao Oriental, where CRS will respond with hygiene and sanitation kits, as well as sleeping mats, blankets and tarps, suffered considerable damage. There is no electricity and poor communications in those provinces, and while some families have taken shelter in evacuation centers, others are sleeping outside," it said.

Earlier this week, Pablo—then a typhoon—made landfall over Davao Oriental, and plowed through Mindanao and Visayas before making landfall again over Palawan.

On Thursday, it weakened into a tropical storm

and has started moving away from the Philippines. It is expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility Friday.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said the cyclone left more than 300 dead.

"Hardest hit were the coastal, farming and mining towns in the southern region of Mindanao, where Bopha caused severe flash flooding and landslides. Raging waters and mud from the mountains swept through school buildings, covered courts, town halls and health centers," CRS noted.

It added it has sent five teams into villages and towns to "look at the damage and talk to people about their most immediate needs."

CRS also asked netizens to help by giving donations via online payments. —KG, GMA News

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