The threat posed by approaching tropical storm “Amang” (international name “Mekkhala”) has forced Pope Francis to dramatically shorten his stay in Leyte.

Initially scheduled to stay in the province until 5:00 PM, the Pope’s contingent instead left Tacloban City for Manila by 1:00 PM. He is expected to land at the Villamor Air Base an hour after.

In an interview with GMA News, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas explained that it is best for Pope Francis and his contingent to leave Tacloban City by that time.

pope francis tacloban mass
Taken during Pope Francis’ Holy Mass in Tacloban City (Credits: RTVM Facebook page)


“‘Amang’ is expected to make landfall in Borongan, Eastern Samar, and that is only 200 kilometers away from Tacloban,” he said. Storm signal #2 is currently raised in most of Eastern Visayas.

Based on his original schedule, he will attend the blessing of the Pope Francis Center for the Poor in Palo and then hold a meeting with priests, consecrated persons, seminarians, and families of Yolanda survivors at the Palo Cathedral. –




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