Ruby evacuation: Thousands flock to churches

Voltaire Tupaz
Ruby evacuation: Thousands flock to churches
At least 10,000 are now in churches in Leyte and Samar provinces

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – About 10,000 evacuees have flocked to churches and other facilities of various parishes in Leyte as of December 5, according to Fr Alcris Badana, who is in charge of disaster response efforts of the Palo archdiocese.

At least 90 people sought refuge in the Sacred Heart Seminary compound in Palo town. In Dagami town, the mayor asked the nuns running the St. Joseph High School to receive evacuees.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) earlier urged Catholic schools and parishes to open their doors to people affected by Typhoon Ruby.

Across affected provinces, millions of people have started to seek refuge in churches, schools, and other evacuation centers.

During the Yolanda crisis, the church served as a source hope and help to many survivors in the predominantly Catholic province. (READ: Ordained by disaster: The priest of Yolanda)

But disaster managers and first responders said there are still people in areas vulnerable to storm surges who refuse to evacuate, placing their fate and safety in the “hands of God.”

Badana stressed that while prayer is the “forte of the church,” it is also the institution’s nature to serve. (READ: Cardinal Tagle issues obligatory prayer vs Ruby)

“We should not only be concerned with ourselves but also with others,” stressing the need to extend help particularly to vulnerable sectors.

PRAY AND RESPOND. In a meeting, Palo Archbishop John Du tells priests and lay volunteers to immediately respond to the needs of their parishes before, during, and after Typhoon Ruby. Photo from the Facebook page of the Palo Archdiocese

Badana encouraged the people not only to pray but also to “prepare and participate.”

“An Dios nabulig han tawo nga nabulig han iya kalugaringon (God helps those who help themselves),” Badana said. –



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