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Monday, October 12, 2009

Death and suffering continue from two tropical systems

Typhoon Parma may finally be gone from Luzon, but its effects are being felt and will continue to for quite some time. Parma struck one week after Ketsana struck about a hundred miles or so to the south. To add insult to injury, Parma crossed the island 3 times before heading out towards China.

Video: Philippines reels from flood disaster - 11 Oct 09
(Al Jazeera)

The combined effects of both of these storms has resulted in over 700 deaths from scores of mudslides. Food is running out in some isolated areas and the death toll may continue to increase as more bodies are found during recovery operations.

Death toll from typhoon Parma rains hits 304 (Gulf News)
Some 304 people have died due to 40 landslides and massive flooding that occurred after typhoon Parma brought relentless rains in northern Luzon since early October, disaster officials and sources said on Monday.

Of the 304 officially recorded fatalities, half were buried by landslides in the Cordillera region, and the other half by drowning in Pangasinan and Nueva Ecija in lower northern Luzon, including upper southern Luzon's Quezon province and the Bicol Region, Olive Luces, regional director of the Office of Civil Defence -Cordillera Administrative Region (OCD-CAR), said in a radio interview.

With Parma's deaths and the 337 who perished from the floods of storm Ketsana in Metro Manila and nearby lower northern and upper southern Luzon last
September 26, the death toll now stands at 731.

Landslides in northern Luzon occurred in areas without power and communication and which were isolated as sections of roads gave way since typhoon Parma made a landfall there on October 2, said Luces, adding: "Northern Luzon will be isolated for some more weeks due to extensive damages on roads and bridges due to typhoon Parma."

"More bodies are being unearthed by rescue and recovery teams who have been moving mud and rocks from hills that have collapsed," said Luces.
Aid is coming in from many sources and one report indicated that the government began importing rice from its 2010 inventories. The US Military has been assisting with recovery efforts providing helicopters and supplies.

Marines fly aid to storm site (Philadelphia Inquirer)
BAGUIO, Philippines - U.S. Marine CH-46 helicopters loaded with rice, sardines, and drinking water flew yesterday into this stricken Philippine mountain city where supplies are running short after landslides blocked roads and buried dozens of residents.

Three days after heavy rains sent tons of mud and rock cascading down hillsides in Baguio, rescuers were still digging for survivors. Panic buying of canned goods emptied stores in the city, and authorities were forced to ration gasoline.

"There is nearly zero gasoline supply now, and we're running low on food," said Agrifino Javier, the city's police chief.

But as Tropical Depression Parma blew out late Saturday after drenching the country's north for a week, the overwhelmed government, helped by the U.S. military, was able to step up relief efforts.

Taiwan Buddhist temple donates 8 tons of relief goods to Manila (Taiwan News)
Manila, Oct. 12 (CNA) Eight tons of relief goods collected by a Fo Guang Shan Monastery, a Taiwanese Buddhist temple, for typhoon-affected victims in the Philippines arrived in Manila Monday.

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