- Title: POPE-PHILIPPINES/TACLOBAN CROWD Thousands welcome Pope Francis in Tacloban
- Date: 17th January 2015
- Summary: TACLOBAN CITY, PHILIPPINES (JANUARY 17, 2015) (REUTERS) PEOPLE WALKING BY SIGN READING (English): "WELCOME TO TACLOBAN CITY POPE FRANCIS" PEOPLE WALKING DOWN STREETS OF TACLOBAN CITY POPE FRANCIS SIGN ON DAMAGED BUILDING POLICE WALKING DOWN STREET RAMSHACKLE HOUSING STREETS OF TACLOBAN CITY AND PEOPLE GATHERED TO WATCH POPE FRANCIS ON TELEVISION PEOPLE WALKING/FRANCIS DRIVING AROUND IN POPEMOBILE PEOPLE GATHERED TO WATCH FRANCIS PASS BY WIND BLOWING IN THE TREES SECURITY GUARD IN THE RAIN ONLOOKERS STANDING AND WAITING IN THE WIND PEOPLE TRYING TO HOLD UP TENT IN WIND PEOPLE HOLDING VATICAN FLAGS POLICE AND FIREFIGHTERS CLEANING UP COLLAPSED SIGN READING (English): "WELCOME HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS" ONLOOKERS AND SIGN READING (English): "WELCOME HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS" PEOPLE CROWDING ONTO BUILDINGS AND VEHICLES TRYING TO GET VIEW OF FRANCIS FRANCIS DRIVING PAST CROWDS IN POPEMOBILE PEOPLE LOOKING TOWARDS WHERE FRANCIS IS TO APPEAR FRANCIS DRIVING PAST CROWDS CROWDS WAVING AT POPE FRANCIS VARIOUS OF CROWDS WAVING (SOUNDBITE) (English) NURSE WHO WORKED THROUGH TYPHOON, MELBALUWA, SAYING: "We hope that there will be no calamities here in Leyte here anymore, Leyte or Samar, that the Lord will bless us through Pope Francis." STATUE OF VIRGIN MARY AND CROWDS CHILD STANDING WITH SIGN READING (English): "POPE FRANCIS TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY THANK YOU FOR COMING" (SOUNDBITE) (English) MOTHER OF CHILD, JOSID CINCO SAYING: "We are so happy and so blessed that we meet the Pope." PEOPLE WATCHING POPE MOBILE DRIVING PAST VARIOUS OF AERIAL SHOT OF TACLOBAN CITY
- Embargoed: 1st February 2015 12:00
- Location: Philippines
- Country: Philippines
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVA6EU5I0VPE8YQ775GLK0C0GQT
- Story Text: Tens of thousands of people lined the streets in Tacloban on Saturday (January 17) braving heavy rain and winds as tropical storm Mekkhala approached, to welcome Pope Francis to the central Philippines city.
Many stood for hours in the harsh weather desperate to catch a glimpse of the pontiff, some of the banners were swept down due to the winds.
Francis donned the same type of yellow, transparent poncho worn by the hundreds of thousands of people in the area.
One nurse who tended to sick and injured people when Haiyan hit, hoped Francis would bring them blessings.
"We hope that there will be no calamities here in Leyte here anymore, Leyte or Samar, that the Lord will bless us through Pope Francis," Melbaluwa said.
One young child, named Francisco, stood amidst the adults wearing a sign that read, "Pope Francis, today is my birthday, Thank you for coming".
His mother, Josid Cinco was delighted to have seen the Pope.
"We are so happy and so blessed that we meet the Pope," she said.
Francis was forced to cut short his trip to the region due to the bad weather.
The storm was an eerie reminder of Haiyan, which hit the same area with 250 kph (155 mph) winds and created a seven-metre high storm surge, wiping out almost everything in its path when it swept ashore on Nov. 8, 2013.
Haiyan destroyed around 90 percent of the city of Tacloban in Leyte province. More than 14.5 million people were affected in six regions and 44 provinces. About one million people remain homeless.
The government estimates it needs almost 170 billion pesos ($3.8 billion) to rebuild the affected communities, including the construction of a four-metre high dike along the 27-km. (17 miles) coastline to prevent a repeat of the disaster.
Nearly 3,000 victims are buried in the city's almost half-hectare mass grave site. Hundreds are still unaccounted for.
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