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'Concrete help' asked by pope for Filipino disaster survivors

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 11th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

With hundreds of thousands of people now homeless and destitute in the typhoon-ravaged Philippines, Pope Francis asked Catholics to provide "concrete help" to the nation as well to include the survivors in their prayers. Tweeting his solidarity with the Catholic Asian nation this past weekend, more than 60,000 people joined in Francis' own prayer at his traditional Sunday mass in St Peter's Square.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The death toll from Typhoon Haiyan or Typhoon Yolanda could soar well over 10,000. Entire towns were wiped out in the storm. Authorities say the typhoon could swiftly become the country's worst recorded natural disaster.

"Sadly, there are many, many victims and the damage is huge," Pope Francis said, speaking from a third-floor window of the papal palace. "Let's try to provide concrete help."

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Pope Francis was "deeply saddened by the destruction and loss of life caused by the super typhoon (and) expresses his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this storm and its aftermath," Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, the pope's right-hand man, said in a message to the Philippines' President Benigno Aquino.

"He is especially mindful of those who mourn the loss of their loved ones and of those who have lost their homes," the message said.

"In praying for all the people of the Philippines, the Holy Father likewise offers encouragement to the civil authorities and emergency personnel as they assist the victims of this storm."

It's just the latest in a series of natural disasters to the Philippines. A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Bohol province last month. Nearly two hundred people were killed in the quake. Displacing 380,000 people, a representative for the International Committee for the Red Cross in Philippines has said the impact on the earthquake survivors could be "colossal."

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