Death Toll Tops 1,000 in Philippine Floods

Church agencies teamed with international aid groups and the Philippine government to assist tens of thousands of people left homeless in northern Mindanao by flash flooding caused by an intense tropical storm that left at least 1,000 people dead. The country's National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported that about 502,599 people in 13 provinces were affected by Tropical Storm Washi, which unleashed floods and landslides as people slept in their homes across northern Mindanao late Dec. 16. The council Dec. 21 placed the death toll at 1,010. More than 43,000 people were in evacuation centers, while another 218,600 people were in need of assistance outside of the centers, the council reported. Philippine President Benigno Aquino declared a national calamity in the wake of the floods, which affected small but densely populated areas of Mindanao. The thousands of people remaining in shelters are at risk of disease, authorities said. Church sources in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, two of the worst hit areas, say exact casualty figures are difficult to pin down because of the extensive damage caused by the storm.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Pope Francis said opportunity can come by restoring “the pillars” on which the union was first founded.
Gerard O'ConnellMarch 24, 2017
Some of the tensions still troubling Liberian life have deep social and historical roots.
Kevin ClarkeMarch 24, 2017
“This bill is catastrophic for Catholic social teaching and particularly for the people who we’re called to serve,” Sister Carol Keehan said.
Michael O'LoughlinMarch 24, 2017
Facing one’s clinginess, having to let go—it’s the last lesson, the real revelation of the ascension.
Jim McDermottMarch 23, 2017