Pray and prepare, clergy urges public as ‘Ompong’ threatens PH

MANILA Members of the clergy on Wednesday urged Filipinos to pray and be prepared as Typhoon Ompong threatens the country.

With this coming typhoon, let us first of all resort to prayers. Prayer is our strength. Prayer is our assurance. Let us pray as one country begging God to keep us safe, protect us from calamities, and deliver us from sufferings, Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos said in a statement.

Also, let us be prepared with necessary things and equipment. Provide what we really need and be a brother's keeper to one another, he added.

The Catholic prelate asked the public to obey the orders of authorities for their safety.

On the other hand, the social action arm of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has activated its calamity response team.

NASSA/Caritas Philippines has officially convened its Surge Team to 1) monitor the typhoon and provide updates to the dioceses that would be affected, 2) coordinate with the dioceses as to preparedness and possible response needs, and 3) pre-position staff and resources for possible on-ground assessment, relief procurement and distribution, Fr. Edu Gariguez, executive secretary of NASSA/Caritas Philippines, said in a separate statement.

He noted that they are also looking at the actions to be taken by the government for them to know what action to take in helping calamity victims.

We are also coordinating with UN-OCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), DRRNet, StartNetwork and other networks for updates, Gariguez added.

On Wednesday, "Ompong" entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility.

The typhoon, packing winds of up to 205 km. per hour and gustiness of up to 255 km. per hour, is expected to affect parts of Luzon beginning Thursday. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency