State of calamity declared in the Philippines as death-toll nears a thousand- 50,000 left homeless

December 20, 2011PHILIPPINESPhilippine President Benigno Aquino declared a state of national calamity on Tuesday, as authorities work to recover the bodies of those killed by flash floods on the southern island of Mindanao. Disaster agency officials said Tuesday that 957 people have died so far as a result of the floods which began in the early hours of Saturday, while 49 others remain missing. Officials said most of the damage was done in the southern port cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, where mass graves are being prepared for hundreds of unidentified victims. Iligan City Mayor Lawrence Cruz told the Reuters news agency the mass graves are necessary to prevent the spread of disease as a result of the decomposing bodies. Officials have also reported a shortage of water and food at the island’s overcrowded, makeshift evacuation centers. Almost 50,000 people who lost their homes remain in public shelters. The flooding was caused by tropical storm Washi, which swept through the southern Philippines Friday evening, dropping a month’s worth of rain in 24 hours. Romeo Lozano, a farmer who reportedly saved 200 lives, told the Associated Press how people escaped the fury of the floods by rushing to his house rooftop. About 143-thousand people were affected in 13 southern and central provinces. The Office of Civil Defense says some seven thousand houses were swept away, destroyed or damaged. –VOA
This entry was posted in Climate unraveling, Cloudburst storms with flashflooding, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Extreme Weather Event, Gale-force winds and gusts, Unprecedented Flooding. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to State of calamity declared in the Philippines as death-toll nears a thousand- 50,000 left homeless

  1. Irene C says:

    This is so sad. My prayers for these people.



  2. Tim says:

    Philippines: Disease Fears Grow After Deadly Philippines Flood:
    Philippines authorities warned of a growing threat from disease in crowded evacuation centers, after devastating flash floods in the country’s south that left at least 1,022 dead or missing. The government said 44,000 people who have lost their homes and belongings are living in makeshift relief centers five days after tropical storm Washi brought rampaging floodwaters that swept away villages on Mindanao Island. Even as hundreds of dead bodies piled up at mortuaries, Assistant Health Secretary Eric Tayag said efforts should focus on the evacuation centers which he described as potential breeding grounds for epidemics. “We may be paying so much attention to the corpses we will ignore the evacuation centers,” Tayag said in an interview. “If there is any epidemic or threat to health, it will come from the evacuation centers,” he said. Tayag insisted the dead bodies could not spread disease and said the priority was the evacuation centers where hundreds of children and elderly are huddled without enough food, safe drinking water or toilet facilities.


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