Fund Land, Fund Life
This article was taken from IRIN, humanitarian news and analysis,
a service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
MANILA, 5 January 2011 (IRIN) - Heavy rains along the eastern Philippine seaboard have affected more than 450,000 people and left about 10,000 seeking shelter, emergency relief officials say. At least 18 people have died in the past week from landslides and flash floods that have inundated villages and towns. The military and Red Cross are deploying rubber boats and trucks to reach the affected.
Many of those who died had left the evacuation centres to salvage their belongings and what was left of the livestock, Benito Ramos, head of the Office of Civil Defence in Manila, said. "Floods caught up with them. Rescuers have repeatedly told them to stay put in evacuation centres, but they ignored the warnings," Ramos told reporters.
Philippine National Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon said provinces along the eastern shoreline of the southern island of Mindanao were among the hardest hit, with the province of Surigao del Sur worst hit; 29,000 families need immediate assistance.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, as of 5 January , 9,338 people remained in 38 evacuation centres, although the number could still rise amid forecasts of further rain. Another 13,306 were being assisted outside evacuation centres.