Philippine Storm: 1,236 Dead - 1,100 Missing (Content Warning!)

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Storm death toll tops 650 in Philippines; hundreds missing.
UPDATE 1: Death toll has reached 720.


474278363.jpg

Death and devastation. A father clutches his lifeless child after flash flood ravages
Southern Philippine Cities; Cagayan de Oro and Iligan.


Red Cross accepting Donations Click here to see how!
Local Philippine University accepting Donations:
Xavier University

Fr. Eric Garcia Velandria S.J.
Coordinator of Sendong Operation,
KKP Office, Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, Corrales Ave.
9000 Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines.



Manila, Philippines (CNN) -- Tropical Storm Washi moved away from the southern Philippines early Monday, but not before leaving behind a wake of destruction and at least 652 people dead, according to the Philippine Red Cross.

There were no public storm warnings for the East Asian island nation Monday morning, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.

Yet authorities and residents still had the considerable task of cleaning up from the devastation and mourning those killed by what the state-run Philippines News Agency noted was the 19th tropical system to hit the nation this season.

A report released Monday morning by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council noted that the storm had affected more than 135,000 people, nearly 47,000 of whom were in evacuation centers.

President Beningo Aquino plans to visit the region Tuesday.

The Red Cross noted that hundreds are missing after entire villages were swept away, suggesting the death toll could rise further. The stench of death permeated the air as aid workers scrambled to help survivors.

The disaster has left heartbreaking scenes of families with children looking for ways to get by during the festive Christmas season.

"Do we still have Christmas, mother?" one crying little girl asked her mother, according to the Red Cross. "Will I get my toys and my new pair of shoes you promised?"

"Of course you will," the mother replied. "Christmas will always be around."

Military and disaster officials said the vast majority of the dead were found in the port cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro, many of them swept away as they were sleeping. Water-logged bodies from washed-away villages floated at the shoreline, on the northwestern coast of Mindanao island.

Five people were killed in a landslide, but virtually all the others died in flash flooding after Tropical Storm Washi, which is called Sendong locally.

Survivors in the hardest-hit areas are contending with no electricity or clean drinking water. One woman in Cagayan de Oro collected murky brown floodwater in a bucket, just meters away from where a destroyed vehicle was submerged.

Flash flooding overnight Friday -- following 10 hours of rain -- fueled the devastation. As much as 20 centimeters (8 inches) of rain fell within 24 hours in some areas.

December generally brings about 60 millimeters of rain (a little over 2 inches) to the region, CNN Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri reported.

Overflowing rivers and tributaries compounded the disaster for low-lying areas, and officials said floodwater reached roof-level in the middle of the night.

The destruction left cars, furniture and parts of houses in mangled heaps, partly immersed in squalid floodwater.

The storm moved into Cagayan de Oro -- a densely populated, urbanized city -- during the overnight hours when people were asleep. A half dozen vehicles there looked like littered toy trucks, with some on their sides or roofs.

Many people trudged through knee-high water and packed into evacuation centers.

An estimated 100,000 people are displaced, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

The national disaster council noted that about 377 passengers -- on four ships -- were stranded as of Sunday night, due to the storm. In addition, nine sections of roads and bridges were seriously damaged.

While the tropical storm had passed off-shore, some unrelated thunderstorms threatened to dump even more water on the region, Javaheri said. The weather was warm, with temperatures of up to about 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit),

Philippine Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon will travel to the stricken region Monday to assess the damage, the organization said.

"Certainly this is a very severe humanitarian crisis going on," Gordon said Sunday.

Authorities have started distributing food rations for some 10,000 families affected by the storm, while also handing out thousands of blankets and mosquito nets, the Red Cross said.

The aid agency is appealing for drinking water, food and dry clothes, and officials have asked for volunteers to pack food to send to those who have been displaced.

Some Philippine residents called the disaster unprecedented.

Benito Ramos, chairman of the national disaster council, said he thinks the event was influenced by climate change and deforestation.

Ramos said the storm moved in a westward path to areas rarely hit by major storms or flooding.

The most devastated cities -- Cagayan de Oro and Iligan -- became catch basins for water flowing from highlands with denuded forests. Floodwater from Bukidnon province poured down into Cagayan de Oro, while water from Lanao del Sur province gushed into Iligan.
 
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1,662
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StarFirebird
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Man i hate to see this kind of thing happen.

It's bad that it happened,but what is really bad is that most everyone was asleep when the flooding started.
 

a6m5

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Asia. Again. And I don't know about you guys, maybe it's just me, but the photo posted is just too much for me. I didn't get teary eye'd or anything(I sure did), but that image is utterly devastating. :( I hope niky wasn't affected by it.....

I googled a bit for donation link's, but best I found was this:

Philippines Red Cross(I used the PayPal link at the bottom)

I had to convert PHP(Philippine Peso) to U.S. Dollar using this & this & this first. You wanna help them, but not empty your savings account by mistake!
 
589
Philippines
Manila
Asia. Again. And I don't know about you guys, maybe it's just me, but the photo posted is just too much for me. I didn't get teary eye'd or anything(I sure did), but that image is utterly devastating. :( I hope niky wasn't affected by it.....

I googled a bit for donation link's, but best I found was this:

Philippines Red Cross(I used the PayPal link at the bottom)

I had to convert PHP(Philippine Peso) to U.S. Dollar using this & this & this first. You wanna help them, but not empty your savings account by mistake!
Niky isn't affected.
 

niky

Karma Chameleon
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Having been flooded out of house and home several times already, even if I were in the area, I would have been prepared. That's why I live on the third floor and the cars are always parked several blocks away on high ground during typhoons.

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It's sad, really... but the problem is those areas aren't historically known for flooding, and the storm didn't dump the rain on them directly, but in the mountains nearby. Word is that a privately run dam burst, leading to the flooding... just like the one that caused the flood that took out my apartment several years ago.

Most of the people who were washed away were squatters living right beside the river in ramshackle huts. Thankfully, nearly three hundred of them were recovered (alive) in rescue operations by fishermen and coast guard units.

But the death toll will still remain in the hundreds.

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Minor political brouhaha over what the President was doing at the time. He was at a government agency party. Apparently, people expect the President to be wading through floodwaters for publicity photos every time there's a disaster. :odd:

Nobody knew this storm was going to be that bad. And word of how bad it was didn't come till after the fact.
 

a6m5

#ChopOn
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Word is that a privately run dam burst, leading to the flooding... just like the one that caused the flood that took out my apartment several years ago.
If that was the case, victims didn't stand a chance.

The flood you suffered through, was there any wrongdoing by the operator of the dam?
 

niky

Karma Chameleon
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Word is, it burst. Just couldn't take the pressure. Every storm after that, they've opened the dam to relieve the pressure early.

Unfortunately, during the second flood with the dam there, the volume of water was such that even though it didn't burst, we still got flooded, and the lake overflowed its boundaries because of the sheer amount of water.
 
4,729
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I don't live in the Philippines, but it is my Country. Seeing that picture for the first time was just heartbreaking. I can't begin to imagine how that man is feeling right now. :(

I've posted this up in several other forums i frequent. I'm sure every penny helps.

By the way - i notice how this is getting a bit less attention from the media compared to the floods a couple of years back in Manila caused by Typhoon Ketsana? As far as i know, there were far less fatalities (correct me if im wrong). Might have to do with how every media outlets is concentrated in the Capital, but still... 1 life is always 1 too many.

The saddest thing about it - it's almost Christmas :(
 

a6m5

#ChopOn
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a6m5zero
Being Japanese, and having watched the tsunami hit Japan on live TV back in March, I can totally relate. I felt so powerless as the water just kept swallowing up farmlands, roads, buildings, cars..... When I was watching as it happened, I remember not being able to sit still.

I hope people donate, lend a helping hand. You never know when you might end up on the receiving end.
Word is, it burst. Just couldn't take the pressure. Every storm after that, they've opened the dam to relieve the pressure early.

Unfortunately, during the second flood with the dam there, the volume of water was such that even though it didn't burst, we still got flooded, and the lake overflowed its boundaries because of the sheer amount of water.
I was just wondering if there were flaw in design or construction of the dam, or maybe operational error. I have never lived by dams, so only time I've heard of something like this taking place is in a film. I guess you guys are sort of used to excessive downpour living in the tropical region.
 

niky

Karma Chameleon
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It's most likely the deluge exceeded the dams' capacity and the operator either didn't open the flood gates or opening the gates was not enough. It's a rumor mind you, and despite this being the second or third time a privately-run dam project has burst, there's awful little information and pictures circulating.

Despite the massive flooding caused back in 06, for example, our dams are still not on the official flooding watch list, whereas there are now real-time monitors on all major dams.

It's an incredible tragedy... but like Katrina at Orleans, it's something that nobody really expected to happen. Perhaps if people were more used to flooding or more prepared for it, (as in Japan), then lives could have been saved.
 

a6m5

#ChopOn
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Yeah, disaster preparedness is GOLD. You can't beat Mother Nature, but preparation would definitely minimize the damage. Where I live(Oregon, U.S.), only major disaster I see is on the news, but I am prepared for any potential earthquakes or heavy storms.

Hopefully, the authorities will learn from this, and keep closer eye on dams, or any things that might lead to flood damage risk in the future.