Four typhoons over a span of three weeks have wreaked havoc in at least five regions in the Philippines, sources report. As of Dec. 2, the number of people dead or missing in flash floods and landslides has reached nearly a thousand, while thousands more have been rendered homeless.
More than 160,000 people fled to high ground or crowded into schools and town halls Thursday as the latest typhoon, Nanmadol, battered the eastern Philippines, where rescuers are still struggling to find scores of missing from an earlier storm that killed more than 420 people, the Associated Press reported.
Earlier this week, the fury of three typhoons caused massive and widespread mudslides and flash floods, turning entire provinces facing the Pacific Ocean into a sea of mud littered with bodies, uprooted trees, collapsed homes and bridges. According to the New York Times, the military confirmed 492 fatalities, most of them from only three coastal towns in the eastern province of Quezon. Agence France-Presse reported about 400 others missing.
Ted Ruiz, GBIM missionary in the Philippines, has sent the following update to Wayne Hannah in the GBIM office:
1) Four typhoons came through our area in last three weeks. Manila was not hit hard, but the homes of the believers in Bicol were badly damaged. I went last Monday to check up on them. All are safe. Some relief help is on the way.
2) Some of the phones in our area have been down for two weeks and will be inoperable for a couple more, thus our email is not working again. However, a neighbor has been gracious enough to allow us to make phone calls and download /send emails, so we do have some communication with the outside world. Explanation for phone failures–someone stole the wiring of the underground phone cables. It’ll take weeks to repair.
Further updates are also expected from missionary Clay Hulett.