Tropical Storm Tembin ravages southern Philippines and leaves 237 dead

Tropical Storm Tembin ravages southern Philippines and leaves 237 dead
    Tropical Storm Tembin ravages southern Philippines and leaves 237 dead
    According to the Red Cross and Red Crescent, 70,000 people were displaced or affected by the storm. Tropical Storm Tembin caused 237 deaths in the southern Philippines, where tens of thousands of people were forced to flee, police and emergency services announced Sunday.

    According to a statement from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 70,000 people were displaced or affected by the storm.

    "People left everything behind in their flight," Patrick Elliott, head of operations and programs at the federation in the Philippines, said in a statement.

    A new official account on Sunday reported 237 deaths. In addition, 164 people were still missing and more than 40,000 were in evacuation centers.

    Tembin, who hit the archipelago on Friday, was moving away across the South China Sea. Twenty typhoons and storms hit the Philippines each year, but Mindanao, the great southern island of some 20 million people, is generally saved.

    Local police announced that 135 people had lost their lives in the northern part of Mindanao, where 72 people were still missing. In the Zamboanga peninsula (west), 47 died and there were 72 missing.

    In the city of Kabasalan in Zamboanga, dozens of families took refuge in neighboring houses on Christmas Eve. Floods destroyed 40 homes, three people died, local civil defense chief Junalyn Maravillo said.

    Tropical Storm Tembin ravages southern Philippines and leaves 237 dead
    In addition, 26 people died and 20 are missing in the central province of Lanao del Sur, where the mountainous town of Dalama is located, which almost disappeared from the map.

    In the images recorded by the Philippine chain ABS-CBN, houses were completely destroyed, others submerged underwater. In one of the videos, you could see how the rescuers extracted the lifeless body of a girl buried in the mud.

    Policemen, soldiers and volunteers searched through the rubble, sometimes simply with their hands, to try to find survivors.

    More than a hundred houses in the agricultural village of Dalama, of 2,000 people, were devastated by the floods. Before leaving for the South China Sea, the storm also devastated the tourist island of Palawan.

    "We do not regret any victims to date, but there are missing persons," Zaldy Ablana, head of civil protection at Palawan, told DZMM on Sunday.

    On this island, however, a 53-year-old man, Abdulsalam Binang Amerhasan, was killed by a crocodile while, under heavy rain, he firmly tied his boat threatened by a flood of the river before the arrival of Tembin, police said Saturday.

    As he was not returning home, his wife alerted the neighbors who came out looking for him in the middle of the night. "They searched for it along the river until they discovered the body of the victim that the crocodile was devouring," the police said.

    Tropical Storm Tembin ravages southern Philippines and leaves 237 dead
    At the end of the Angelus in the Vatican, Pope Francis said he prayed for the Philippines, a country where 80% of the population is Catholic.

    "I pray for the island of Mindanao, for the Filipinos, ravaged by a storm that caused many victims," ​​the Pope said.

    The storm Tembin comes less than a week after the passage of tropical storm Kai-Tak, which devastated the center of the country, leaving 54 dead and 24 missing.

    A hundred people died in July 2014 in the wake of Typhoon Rammasun ('God of thunder', in Thai), despite the evacuation of almost 400,000 people and the paralysis of Manila.

    Haiyan, one of the most violent typhoons, struck the islands of central Philippines in November 2013, with winds of over 315 km / h. Giant waves, like those of a tsunami, devastated everything in its path. The catastrophe left more than 7,350 dead or missing.
    Wael Elyamani
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    writer and blogger, founder of CTV Egypt News .

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