February 17, 2006
Update: 3,000 Missing, Feared Dead in Philippine LandslideIt 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.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".
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