Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Philippines Catholics end 40-day mourning for typhoon dead

End of mourning periodSurvivors of typhoon Haiyan gathered to pray while a priest sprinkled holy water on their ruined homes in a ceremony marking the end of a 40-day mourning period, reports AFP in The West Australian.

The memorial took place in Tacloban on the island of Leyte, which bore the brunt of the Philippines' deadliest typhoon, accounting for more than 5,000 of the 6,069 confirmed deaths.

'The people here have accepted that their loved ones will not be coming back,' Father Amadeo Alvero, of the Santo Nino parish in Tacloban, told AFP after celebrating an open-air mass attended by about 100 survivors.

'However, they are having difficulty getting back on their feet because they still do not have proper homes, electricity is still down, and many have also lost their jobs. City officials have yet to find a relocation place for them.'

The Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country where it is traditional to mourn the dead for 40 days. 

Residents of the parish are families of fishermen, fish vendors, and informal settlers.

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