Sunday, December 18, 2011

Philippines Flooding

The Death Toll stands at 652... Tropical Storm Washi pummeled northern Mindanao, which is unaccustomed to cyclones, overflowing rivers and flooding coastal cities while people sleeping. They simply ignored the warnings, and died victims of their own foolishness.

Another round of flooding decimates populations (Bodies piling up) in the Southern Muslim areas of the Philippine Islands (Reuters)

A 20,000-strong military force normally involved in fighting Muslim insurgents in Mindanao was leading rescue and relief operations but the efforts were hampered by masses of mud left behind by floodwaters.

An AFP photographer saw a 30-member military and police rescue team landing on Sunday in Bayug, a delta area near Iligan that was formerly home to a fishing community estimated by social welfare officials to have had up to 1000 residents.

The delta had been swept clean of most structures, leaving those left alive having to rebuild huts with scrap wood.

Military reports from Bayug showed 270 survivors had been accounted for.

In Cagayan de Oro, corpses were piling up unclaimed at mortuaries and overworked staff ran out of embalming fluid, coffins and water to clean them.

One establishment, Somo Funeral Homes, turned away the bodies of two drowned children.

"We are already swamped. We only have four embalmers," its owner, Ryan Somo, said.

Local authorities opened up fire hydrants and residents quickly formed long lines to get fresh water in the city of half a million people.

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