Pray but take safety precautions too, Filipinos were told, as the strongest typhoon in the world this year threatens the country, especially central and southern provinces.
In areas along the path typhoon “Yolanda” is expected to take, parishes have offered special masses have been held with special intentions for threatened provinces.
“We pray that the typhoon… will not bring terrible damage to people,” said Juderick Calumpiano, social action center director for the diocese of Borongan, Samar.
But he said people should also take precautionary measures to minimize damages from the typhoon. “We already advised the communities to prepare,” Calumpiano said.
Prayers were also offered in parishes in the Bicol region, which is among the areas in the country which face the most typhoons throughout the year.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma meanwhile urged Filipinos to pray the “Oratio Imperata” for deliverance from calamities, a Philippine Star report said.
Reminders for Pinoys to pray also spread through social networking site Facebook amid news of the storm, which is compared in strength to last year’s killer storm Pablo.
Among the prayers posted online read:
“Father, in the name of Jesus, I now
have full faith and belief that the
Blood of Jesus will now protect ,
my family, friends and dear ones
against super typhoon #yolanda… I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen!”
Public storm warning signals have been raised in several areas as Yolanda entered the Philippine area of responsibility. The typhoon is expected to hit land Friday.
International weather monitoring groups have tagged Yolanda as the “strongest weather system” in the world this year.
Climate change adaptation urged
Climate change campaign group Aksyon Klima, meanwhile, said the threat posed by Yolanda is a reminder for Pinoys to be better prepared for weather disturbances.
“We challenge the Aquino administration to be more proactive in helping local governments and communities protect themselves from storm surges, heavy rains, floods, and more,” the group’s national coordinator Voltaire Alferez said.
Aksyon Klima also hit the government’s conflicting international and domestic climate policies and for failing to put up a national climate fund.
“The People’s Survival Fund (PSF), for which the law has allocated at least P1 billion.. has for the past two years of budget deliberations had only P500 million in unprogrammed funds,” The group said.
This means that the fund, which is supposed to be used for locally-driven climate change adaptation activities, will remain empty in 2014 unless the government earns savings.
“Super typhoon Yolanda… is an example of the stronger typhoons we can expect to see as global warming continues to fuel more extreme weather,” Alferez said.
Travelers from seven more countries can now experience how fun it is in the Philippines without worry, as the government extended them visa-free privileges. …