Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hurricane Sendong Death Toll Approaches 1,500

Authorities have intensified the search for bodies as the death toll from flash floods that devastated entire communities in Mindanao, Southern Philippines still continues to rise. Today, the estimate has gone up to 1500 deaths.

Sendong Ravages Cities of CDO and Iligan
According to the latest tally done by the Office of Civil Defence, Cagayan de Oro City has 891 confirmed deaths and Iligan City has 451 confirmed deaths. The rest of those who’ve perished are from several other provinces. Most of the bodies are still unidentified.

Civil defense head Benito Ramos promised to the relatives and friends of those whom are missing that “the search will continue as long as we are recovering bodies.”

Bodies have been found floating in the sea as far as 100 kilometers from the two cities that, on December 16, have been hit by a month’s worth of rainfall in just 12 hours.

Navy sailors have recovered 13 bodies—one of which was a headless girl who appeared to have been hit and trapped by logs that were caught by the floods.

As 60,000 homeless were spending a woeful Christmas in crammed schools and gymnasiums, the United Nations initiated an appeal for $28M to assist the displaced population of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan. According to the civil defence, around 2,000 people from Surigao City were evacuated where a child was reported missing in the floods.

Experts say that the enormous death toll was partly caused by deforestation and soil erosion. In light of this, President Benigno Aquino III, who had already banned logging ten months earlier, has ordered a thorough investigation into the reason of the high number of deaths.

Meanwhile, Communist Guerrillas (CPP-NPA) in the south threatened to punish multinational companies for their environmental destruction.

Jorge Madlos, the spokesman of the Rebels said that they sought funds from huge pineapple and banana plantations and other companies, to send to the victims.

Ka Oris, CPP-NPA Spokesperson
Companies that were threatened aren’t so enthusiastic with the rebels’ Robin Hood act, according to Madlos. “That’ll be a factor when we decide which ones to punish first”, Madlos added.

Besides deforestation and soil erosion, another factor in the enormous death count was illegal settlements directly along Cagayan River. Thousands of people lived in shanties on the banks directly along the water’s path.


  1. Nature fights back, noh?

    Happy new year, Kid!

  2. Indeed. And the gov't isn't too serious about reforestation. Almost everyone knew that its so basic to replace what was taken. Nauso na din kasi dito ang illegal logging at quarrying, kaya ganyan naging resulta. Pinakinabangan ng iilan kapalit ng buhai ng marami.

    Maganda nga gawing gabai ang quote ng mga mountaineers eh, take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints and kill nothing but time.

    Happy new year J. :)



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