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Floods in Manila - News Update - September 30, 2009

The Faithful Companions of Jesus have communities in the Philippines. The recent devastating floods have affected many areas of the city of Manila;  the following gives news of the FCJ communities. 

Images of the flood at the Kamias house.
Left hand image shows high water mark; chapel and front entrance after the water receded

Sister Barbara Brown-Graham fcJ,  Provincial Leader,  writes:

Our Sisters in the Philippines wish to thank each one for your prayer and support, and for the messages they are receiving.   They hope you understand that they are not able to respond personally to the messages.

Together with this update, I am sending you a small selection of the photographs of the post flood damage at Kamias (one of the FCJ community houses).  Only just yesterday morning did they find the big table tennis table, complete with trestle legs, on the first floor roof!  The photos will give you some idea of the damage that has occurred.  I guess the big iron gates prevented even more trash from flooding into the house. However, they found the long wicker bench down at the end of the street, having counted it as yet another smashed up piece of furniture!

Photos illustrating flood damage.
Photos of the flood damage; damaged book at the left is titled, 'Chaos'.

I leave the photos to speak for themselves.  Our Sisters are now all gathered at the Scout Borromeo House. The rain has eased in the last two days, but another storm is on the horizon.  Please God it will be a normal storm, not the raging typhoon that Tropical Storm Ketsana has proved to be.  From the Scout Borromeo house, relief work is happening for the squatter areas of Tuazon (near Scout Borromeo).  

More evidence of flood damage .... bible, FCJ Constitutions and other FCJ books.
More evidence of flood damage .... bible, FCJ Constitutions and other FCJ books.

FCJ Centre, Bagong Silangan.The FCJ Centre , Bagong Silangan, in Payatas (a dumpsite in Metro Manila), is itself on higher ground and was not flood damaged, but there has been immense damage in the lower levels of Payatas near the creek and this includes the lower areas of the section where the Filipino people live.  Seventy-six people in that area alone have died as a result of the flood.  Many of these were children.  It appears that the authorities had to release significant amounts of water from the reservoirs and this swelled the water in the creeks and so the flood waters rose extraordinarily quickly, without warning, and many children playing in or by the creeks died as a result.

Two of the teachers (from Australia) who have been in Manila on an Immersion Experience have managed to get a flight out and will return to Melbourne today.  The other two will stay on and return on the pre-arranged date.

 FCJ Sisters beginning the cleanup.
FCJ Sisters begin to sort the water damaged contents from the Kamias House.

The  relief operations are very slow.  Caritas Australia, the major sponsor for the FCJ Center, has been in touch with Paola Terroni fcJ, the Director of the FCJ Centre,  in order to see what they can do to assist.  The FCJs are mentioned in the Caritas press release.  (Click here to read the press release.)

Two of the teachers (from Australia) who have been in Manila on an Immersion Experience have managed to get a flight out and will return to Melbourne today.  The other two will stay on and return on the pre-arranged date.

 FCJ Sisters beginning to clean the ground floor of the Kamias House
FCJ Sisters beginning to clean the ground floor of the Kamias House.

As the days unfold it will be clearer how we might be able to assist.  Once again, thank you for your prayerful support and solidarity with the suffering people of Manila and the Philippines and our FCJ Sisters.

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Ang among Kapunungan naningkamot diha
     sa pagdayeg sa kasing-kasing ni Hesus
           inubanan sa Iyang panabang    (Marie Madeleine)