Relief operations of the Camillian Disasters Service International (CADIS) in the Philippines after a super typhoon Rai (local name: Odette) are ongoing in the provinces of Bohol and Negros Occidental, among the worst-hit provinces in the southern part of the Philippines. The relief efforts are facilitated by our two local partners: the Society of ex-Camillian Seminarians Inc. (SeCSI Bohol) and the Negros Ex-Camillian CTF Unit Team.

Super typhoon Rai (Odette) hit the southern islands of the Philippines on December 16, 2021, eight days before Christmas which made nine landfalls over seven provinces across the Philippines, causing widespread damage to lives (407) houses (598,151), public infrastructure, and power and telecommunications services. It affected approximately 7.3 million people across the country, with an estimated 2.4 million individuals in need of emergency food, health care, shelter, and WASH assistance. It has maximum sustained winds of 165 km/h near the center, gustiness of up to 205 km/h, and a central pressure of 950 hPa.

The target areas of CADIS are the island and coastal communities of Ubay, Calape, and Tubigon (Bohol) and island communities of the Diocese of Kabankalan. Initially, the teams are targetting to reach out over 5,000 families.

A week ago, the Bohol team had distributed relief packs to 680 families in the municipalities of Ubay (communities of Tapon and Calangaman), Calape (islands of Pangangan and Matabao), and Tubigon. A family pack contained 3 kilos of rice, 3 cans of sardines, 7 packs of noodles, and hygiene kits. A pack is enough to supply for a family for at least one week. Though insignificant compared to their current needs, it will help the families affected to start focussing on recovering damaged properties and livelihood rather than worrying about food.

In Ubay, the team organized CTF Operation Kabalaka (concern) serving relief goods to the fisherfolks. The CTF is currently aiding these residents who have spent their Christmas holidays homeless and without provisions. 230 families were reached but CTF is targeting to reach another 1,350 families in the barangays of Tapon and Calangaman.

The CTF Negros team is conducting an assessment in one of the worst-hit municipalities of Cauayan Negros Occidental particularly in the barangay of Elihan. The group was formed during the aftermath of the typhoon Odette. It was the disaster that bought them together to plan for a coordinated and organized response. Among the team members is an Italian ex-Camillian who had been living in the Negros island for more than a decade. As the saying goes, truly a fruit can be known by its tree and roots. A Camillian heart always beats whenever there is suffering.

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