Torrential rains in Philippines destroys more lives

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Philippine family recieves local flood relief
Local flood relief efforts on January 17, 2014 help a mother and her children as they are loaded onto the back of a truck to escape rising flood waters in the Cagayande de Oro region in the southern Philippine Islands. Image: Cagayande Oro City Info Network

(WNN) Manila, PHILIPPINES, SOUTH EASTERN ASIA: As, according to the Manila Times, 4.7 million people work to build back their lives following the devastation of last year’s Typhoon Haiyan following the loss of 6,000 lives, torrential rains are once again hitting the Philippine islands region as more homes become uninhabitable under rising flood waters.

Those in the southernmost region of the Philippines have been hit by the worst of the rain, wind and water swells as 45 deaths have been counted. Evacuations orders for thousands of families in the town of Hinatuan in the Surigao del Sur region have also brought overcrowded conditions to local evacuation centers as roads, bridges and buildings have become blocked due to the floods.

After almost a week of continuous rains from the slow moving tropical depression storm called “Agaton,” the number of those impacted in the southern islands of the Philippines have now reached 900,000 persons, says the latest data released by the Philippine government.

The region of south-eastern Mindanao has also been the target of rising waters as those who were displaced during Typhoon Haiyan were just starting to rebuild.

“Women and girls are disproportionately affected by natural disasters: roughly 80 percent of those who died in the 2004 tsunami were women and girls. Why? Discrimination before a crisis undermines women’s economic and social status, which limits their survival skills and their ability to receive warnings and stay out of harm’s way,” said the Women’s Refugee Commission in November 2013.

The power of the most recent swell of water from days of rain has not been underestimated by local aid agencies as swollen riverbanks formed rushing water that has caused even six foot metal street signs to bend.

Balingasag city in the south has also felt the weight of days of heavy rain as 17 families were trapped as they tried to cross the extremely swift Cugman river in search of food. Local resident Reynaldo Neri crossed the Cugman river using his sheer strength without being swept away in a trek for food, but he could not cross the river  again to reach his home where he says family members are now stranded.

“I dared to cross the river to find food. But the problem is that I could not go back,” said Neri to local news daily Sun Star news in Cagayan de Oro.

Leaving his family including a 28-year-0ld paralyzed son, Neri is worried that his family now has no food to eat.

“They don’t have food in there,” explained Neri as his family has been unable to get out of their house to get any food for the past 3 days.

While the damage from floods has been targeting the southern regions of the Philippine islands, Manila has received no appreciable amount of rain in the past week.

“The public is being warned about the possibility of landslides and flash floods,” outlined spokesperson for the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Manila Mayor Reynaldo Balido Jr., to the press on Tuesday.

International humanitarian relief efforts for the Philippines are now needed more than ever, say advocates who are working to rebuild those who have lost much of their daily life earnings and properties over the past three months.

Over the last 70+ days since Typhoon Haiyan damage to the Philippines agriculture sector is estimated to be up to $8 million USD in damages. In October 2013 a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in the Bohol region hit the Philippines, leaving 200+ dead and up to one thousand injured, as it damaged 76,200 homes.


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