Pope Francis, who is on a five day Asia visit, had to cut short his Tacloban trip on Saturday as an approaching tropical storm threatened the city. The outdoor Mass was also cut short after sustained winds of 80 mph howled towards the city. The city is still under the trauma of the Super Typhoon Haiyan, which hit Philippines in 2013 killing nearly 6300 people across the nation.
The Pope was supposed to have lunch with the survivors of the 2013 disaster, but due to the approaching tropical storm 'Mekkhala' the lunch could not be scheduled. Before leaving for his next stop, Manila, the Pope held an outdoor mass for 1,50,000 people amid pouring rains and strong winds. Devotees and the Pope himself were seen sporting raincoats during the mass.
He is also performing an outdoor mass for his devotees in Manila, today. Thousands of people arrived hours before the Mass, the crowd is expected to be one of the largest in Philippine history. Nearly 6 million people may visit the afternoon service at the Rizal Park, which is even more than the mass held by Pope John Paul 20 years ago.
Pope Francis will leave for Rome tomorrow. By then, it is expected that the heavy torrential rain and high winds which are hovering over Philippines will finally reach the China Sea, where the storm may strengthen. In the next 24 hours, the conditions will definitely improve in Philippines.