More Haiyan Aftermath

NPR’s Morning Edition had a feature on survival and coping in the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.

The images from the inside of churches–images with roofs torn off–are unsettling. Terasita Mazeda, churchgoer:

We just go to church and say prayer for thanksgiving that we were still alive. Without our material things it’s not important. Most important is we are still alive.

Psalm 124 struck me as I heard this report and as I read other news of this disaster, especially verses 4 through 8:

Then the waters would have engulfed us,
the torrent overwhelmed us
then seething water would have drowned us.
 Blessed is the Lord,
who did not leave us
to be torn by their teeth.
We escaped with our lives like a bird
from the fowler’s snare;
the snare was broken,
and we escaped.

Our help is in the name of the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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One Response to More Haiyan Aftermath

  1. FrMichael says:

    I’m horrified by what Haiyan/Yolanda has wrought, but the roofs of the churches being torn off in most cases is a design feature. With the large amount of rain the tropical Philippines gets, along with the recurrent earthquakes, many older and rural churches (at least in the Visayas) have stoutly-built stone walls but very light roofs made of corrugated metal. The latter corrodes with the rainfall and is periodically (and cheaply) replaced. In an earthquake, falling roof materials do not imperil the stability of the building itself. The dangers of this system are to those in the church during an earthquake and of course the flying debris of the typhoon itself. Corrugated metalwork is a danger of a typhoon: it can easily kill a person in high winds. One of the ironic tragedies here is that people went into shelter to avoid the flying debris, but the greater danger was the water. Nobody expected a 17 foot storm surge. An utter nightmare.

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