Wonky Muse
Wonky Muse

February 17, 2006

Update: 3,000 Missing, Feared Dead in Philippine Landslide

It looks grim:
TACLOBAN, Philippines (AFP) - Up to 3,000 people are missing and feared dead after a massive landslide buried a village in the central Philippines under a sea of mud, officials said.

Only 109 bodies have so far been recovered along with 57 survivors from the mud that engulfed the farming village of Guinsaugon in the south of Leyte island on Friday, rescue official Hermigildo Castil said.

The rain had stopped but the sky was overcast, frustrating helicopter crews trying to land rescue equipment, he told AFP by telephone from the disaster scene.

About 500 rescuers were digging through the mud, using only shovels, he added.

Maria Lim, mayor of the nearby town of Saint Bernard, and Roger Mercado, the legislator representing the district in the House of Representatives, both raised the number of missing villagers to up to 3,000.
U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan sent his condolences and announced a U.N. assessment team will be heading to the Philippines. Its Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is also sending a $50,000 emergency grant to help the local U.N. team respond to the disaster.

Australia has also pledged a million dollars in aid, to be provided to the local Red Cross and other relief agencies.

Pope Benedict XVI also sent his condolences and prayers for the victims in the predominantly Catholic country.

According to local Philippine news, the U.S. military which is currently holding military exercises in the country will also send an assessment team to see how they can help in the recovery effort even as the hope of finding any survivors dim.

The San Diego Tribune published accounts from survivors, one saying "it sounded like the mountain exploded, and the whole thing crumbled".

posted at 7:06 PM by Wonky Muse

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"Sapere Aude."
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Wonk (noun): def. A political nerd. Know spelled backwards.

Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.


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