US News: in the Philippines, the survivors of the typhoon Rai wish a roof for Christmas

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  Aux Philippines, les survivants du typhon Rai souhaitent un toit pour Noël © Copyright 2021, the Obs

standing in a puddle, in its church of the southern Philippines devastated by the typhoon Rai, Father Ricardo Virtudazo famous Mass in front of a few tens of faithful who, this year for Christmas, would like to receive a roof, food and good weather.

more than a week after the typhoon passage that ravaged the archipelago on December 16, doing nearly 400 dead and hundreds of thousands of homeless, survivors cling to their family and their faith after Their houses were swept away, and the scheduled festivities canceled.

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" The important thing is that we are all safe, "says Joy Mera, who came to attend the Christmas Mass with her husband at the San Isidro Labrador church in the city of Alegria , at the northern end of the island of Mindanao. A fine rain has sobbed the benches and the white tile of the damaged church, whose ceiling has been pierced with a gaping hole since the typhoon passage.

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damage and hope

The faithful gathered inside, wearing masks, prayed for a better year. "We still have hope," says Father Virtudazo to AFP. "Despite the calamities they undergo, (the Filipinos) always have faith in God," he says.

in the Philippines, a Catholic majority country, families generally meet to share a meal for Christmas. But the extended destruction caused by Rai in the south and the center of the country have limited the celebrations, while many survivors implore help to receive drinking water and food.

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The Islands of Mindanao, Siagao, Dinagat and Bohol are Among the most devastated by the storm, which caused electricity cuts, ripped with roofs, swept from wooden buildings, shot out of concrete and uprooted wooden poles. The magnitude of the damage, the absence of a telephone and Internet network in many regions and the exhaustion of the state funds after the reply to the pandemic has hindered the arrival of aid.

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For Christmas this year, all that Nardel Vicente would like help to buy a new roof for his house in Alegria, destroyed by the typhoon.

A packet of spaghetti

unemployed and with little money, Nardel Vicente recognizes that his family can not afford a party meal. "In previous years, we had spaghetti, pork, chicken, all we could afford," says this 38-year-old man.

But, he adds, "It does not matter, we are alive. Sotis Marries usually serves meat, spring rolls and salad to his family. But not this year.

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"We will not have it because it costs very expensive," explains to the AFP this 53-year-old woman, who lives in the coastal municipality to place where the storm Faught up most of the coconuts of the family. "We will content ourselves with spaghetti," she says. Some survivors in the neighboring town of Superigao City are held on the roads for days, begging money and food to motorists. They did not receive any help from the government.

Inaca Edulzura, 41, hopefully only get a spaghetti package for cooking for his family. Otherwise, they will be content with slices of bread. " "Our only wish is that there is good weather on Christmas Day to give us a little joy," she says to AFP. That and food. »

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