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Screenshot 2024-05-04 091556.png
REUTERS/Adrian Portugal
Screenshot 2024-05-04 091556.png
REUTERS/Adrian Portugal
World News

'Send us rain': Bishops pray for rain during severe heatwave in the Philippines

by Lydia Davies

Catholic bishops in the Philippines are invoking prayer to combat the severe heatwave affecting the nation, urging their communities to pray for rain and cooler conditions.

The heatwave has prompted the closure of over tens of thousands of schools and placed additional strain on the nation's power supply, further challenged by a prolonged El Niño drought since early this year. This drought has already resulted in agricultural losses worth 5.9 billion pesos (276m) according to the Department of Agriculture.

In response, the Catholic bishops of the Philippines have issued an "Oratio Imperata," directing parishes across this predominantly Catholic country to recite a special prayer during mass for relief from these hardships. The prayer, as shred publicly on 4th May, read: "We humbly ask you to grant us relief from the extreme heat that besets your people at this time, disrupting their activities and threatening their lives and livelihood."

The bishops' prayer continues, requesting divine intervention: "Send us rain to replenish our depleting water sources, to irrigate our fields, to stave off water and power shortages and to provide water for our daily needs."

This call for prayer comes amid record-breaking temperatures, with Manila experiencing a high of 38.8 degrees Celsius on 27th April, leading to more than 47,000 schools being closed for two days.

As of 3rd May, nearly 8,000 schools remained closed according to the education department. The country also recorded a high temperature of 38.2C on Mindoro Island south of Manila.

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