Severe floods harass southern Philippines

Published on 30 January 2009

For hundreds of thousands of residents in southern Philippines, hope for an auspicious new year was dampened by an unleashing flood that destroyed houses and farms and washed away their loved ones at the start of the year of ox. Over the past weeks, as many as 35 people have been killed and over 300,000 others affected the worst flood in years in northwestern Mindanao region. [...] Baicon Macaraya of the United Nation's World Food Program (UN-WFP) based in the southern Philippines said the flood was the worst in months and the UN organization has given over 600 tons of rice for more than 12,000 families displaced by the latest flash floods. "I've seen the impact. Some of them are staying only at covered courts, which are vulnerable to other diseases. Some of them have no homes to return to," Macaraya said. "It's not of the tons of food assistance but the lives of the people you reach. At least you are assured they will not worry of what they will eat," she added. Stephen Anderson, UN-WFP country director, said in other part of Mindanao, like in Iligan City in Lanao del Norte there are still evacuees who will continue stay in the evacuation centers due to continuous heavy rains in the area.

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