Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Request for Prayer...

Philippine flood death toll mounts

From The Sydney Morning Herald. October 10, 2009 - 5:54PM

Floodwaters from tropical storm Parma receded in much of the northern Philippines on Saturday but the toll from heavy rain rose further as more bodies were recovered, officials said.

A total of 265 people were confirmed dead in landslides and flooding caused by Parma in the past two days, civil defence and local officials said.

This brings the death toll from two weeks of killer storms to at least 602 with about 301,000 still crammed into makeshift evacuation centres since tropical storm Ketsana struck two weeks ago, the civil defence office said.

Civil defence spokesman Ernesto Torres said that among the latest fatalities were three firemen who were carrying out rescue operations at the landslide site.

In the northern Mountain Province, which had been hit hard by landslides, Governor Maximo Dalog made an appeal for medicine, food and sniffing dogs, "so we can find the bodies."

Dalog said there were 35 dead in his province alone with at least 16 others still missing after heavy rain brought on by Parma caused huge landslides that buried houses late Thursday to Friday.

The mountain resort city of Baguio remained inaccessible as rockslides had cut off all major roads, said Mayor Peter Rey Bautista.

"The past two days have been very hard for the whole city and surrounding areas. But we are finally seeing the sunshine," he said in a television interview.

In the farming region of Pangasinan to the southwest of the provinces where the landslides occurred, floodwaters that had swamped the area had largely gone down but they left a sea of mud that made travel difficult.

Dagupan, a major city in Pangasinan, was still flooded, with people forced to wade through waters, while roads remained impassable to small vehicles.

Parma, which first hit the country as a typhoon on October 3, sat off the northern Philippines for a week before dumping huge rains on the region on Thursday and Friday.

It finally moved away late Friday and was charted 250 kilometres (155 miles) northwest of Dagupan on Saturday, slowly moving west into the South China Sea, the government weather station said.

Parma had hit just a week after Ketsana struck the capital and surrounding areas, causing massive floods. Some low-lying areas remain flooded two weeks later.

Defence Secretary Gilberto Teodoro was quoted by ABS-CBN television as saying he was halting offensive operations against communist insurgents in the south so the army could concentrate on rescue and relief efforts in the north.

The succession of storms has overwhelmed government resources and forced the Philippines to ask for more foreign aid.

This story was found at:

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.

God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
He lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see the works of the LORD,
the desolations He has brought on the earth.

He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
He burns the shields with fire.

"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."

The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
-Psalm 46:8-11 (NIV)

No comments: