This just out from CNN: A typhoon with winds approaching 75 miles per hour and heavy rain is approaching the Philippines–and heading right to where Pope Francis’ big outdoor Mass is supposed to be held on Saturday.
The Mass is planned in Tacloban, where 6,300 people died in 2013 in Super Typhoon Haiyan. This year’s storm, Typhoon Mekkhala, has not been that fierce and is not expected to make landfall until two hours after the papal mass begins.
Still, though, what a worry! Even the heavy rains which precede the full onslaught of the storm would be disruptive. A papal mass is likely to last two hours; and how would they get all of the expected six million people moved to safety?
And that’s not all. CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller reports:
If the Mass proceeds as scheduled, it will likely be a soggy, windy experience with a measure of peril, Miller said.
“I wouldn’t want to be on that plane flying in there, but if I had to be on it with somebody, I’d rather it be with the Pope,” Miller said.
Heavy rainfall and gusty winds “could blow over any type of temporary structures that are built for this Mass,” Miller said. “There’s also a potential for lightning and small tornadoes that could spin up. It could be a potentially dangerous situation.”
Please join with me in prayer for the Philippines, for the safety of the papal entourage, and for Pope Francis’ intentions.