. Earth Science News .

Sad Christmas for Philippine flood victims
by Staff Writers
Iligan, Philippines (AFP) Dec 25, 2011

Tens of thousands of Philippine flood survivors queued for their Christmas meal in evacuation centres Sunday, holiday spirits doused by thoughts of more than 2,000 dead or missing kin.

Eight days after devastating flash floods swept to sea entire communities from the southern island of Mindanao, officials said 328,000 people were relying on emergency aid.

Village chief Aurelio Magaro joined 422 other survivors from the rural hamlet of Digkilaan lining up for food in the courtyard of a school that was flattened by the overflowing Mandulog river.

"We have a sad Christmas this year, but we remain hopeful that we will recover," said Magaro, who told AFP he lost 15 relatives to rampaging floodwaters unleashed by tropical storm Washi on December 17.

"How can we celebrate Christmas? We have no money and our houses are gone," said an elderly woman in the queue, who like Magaro was temporarily sleeping at a nearby chapel.

A child sat on the drying mud nearby wearing a red-and-white Santa Claus-style bonnet, the only local reminder of Christmas in the mainly Roman Catholic country.

In nearby Cagayan de Oro, regional aid chief Ana Caneda told AFP her office was checking reports that one person had died at one of the evacuation centres there.

"Some of the evacuees are already health-compromised," she said, but added they preferred joining their families at the crowded camps rather than checking into hospital.

The official toll stood at 1,236 dead, said Benito Ramos, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Relatives listed more than 1,000 others as missing, though officials caution many of them could be among the many unclaimed and badly decomposed cadavers at overflowing local mortuaries.

More than 69,000 people were sheltering at evacuation centres and would probably need to be put up for months or more while the government built them relocation homes in flood- and landslide-free areas, Ramos said.

"This won't be accomplished in one month or even three or six months because of their sheer numbers," he told reporters, adding no suitable sites had been found in Iligan, the heaviest-hit area along with Cagayan de Oro.

Iligan health officer Levy Villarin told AFP city facilities including schools and gymnasiums were sheltering 57,000 people, including at least 5,000 who had lost their homes.

Others' dwellings had withstood the floods but were filled with mud and had to be cleaned before their inhabitants could go back, he added.

"Some of them do not want to return to their homes because of the traumatic experience that they suffered. They lost their relatives there," Villarin said.

He said the city had buried just a quarter of its 464 dead, a process slowed by delays in forensic work where DNA, fingerprints and dental imprints had to be taken before burial.

Even as newly recovered corpses continued to arrive the forensic team went home to Manila to spend Christmas with their families and will resume work on Monday, he said.

Three bodies were dug out of the mud in Iligan on Saturday, he said, while 17 more were washed ashore in the port city of Oroquieta, 65 kilometres (40 miles) away.


Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Room at the inn for Fukushima believers
Tokyo (AFP) Dec 23, 2011
Christmas for one homeless pastor and his itinerant flock, forced to flee when Japan's nuclear crisis erupted, will have echoes of its origins this year as they gather in a shelter far from home. The reverend Akira Sato says he and his 50-strong congregation are expecting an "unforgettable" Christmas a long way from the Fukushima Daiichi Seisho (1st Bible) Baptist Church, which lies in the s ... read more

TEPCO seeks fresh $8.5 billion from Japan fund

Tent cities loom for Philippine flood victims

Japan atomic regulators, TEPCO 'unprepared': panel

Sad Christmas for Philippine flood victims

China seeks steady rare earths exports in 2012

HokieSpeed, a new powerful supercomputer for the masses

Vogue's vast archives make online leap from paper

NIST sensor improvement brings analysis method into mainstream

Sensing the deep ocean

Study examines how diving marine mammals manage decompression

S. Korea to use special forces in fisheries crackdown

Electricity sparks new life into Indonesia's corals

In hot water: Ice Age findings forecast problems

Season's greetings from the other extreme

Will Antarctic worms warm to changing climate

Using new technology to record Antarctic Ocean, ice temperatures

China to face more Wukan-style protests: official

Toxin found in Chinese milk

New tool offers unprecedented access for root studies

Southampton researchers help to outline world's land and water resources for food and agriculture

Philippine flood toll rises to 1,249

Indonesia volcano eruption panics villagers

Philippine flood toll surges by more than 200

Fresh flood warning for Philippine disaster zone

Coup foiled in Guinea-Bissau, navy chief held

Four dead in southern Ivory Coast clashes: officials

One killed as Bissau troops hunt failed coup suspects: army

Bongo party wins landslide in Gabon vote: official

How to break Murphy's Law And Live To Tell The Tale

Human skull study causes evolutionary headache

Malaysian 'lords of the jungle' cling to ancient ways

Mind reading machines on their way: IBM


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement