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The UMCOR Hotline

Special Edition

February 17, 2006

Mudslide in the Philippines

This morning in the Philippines a mudslide triggered by days of drenching rains buried an entire village and an elementary school. The village of Guinsaugon in southern Leyte Island is located about 420 miles southeast of Manila. Thus far 83 people have been found alive and 19 are confirmed dead according to a BBC account this afternoon. Rescue officials estimate that between 1,500 and 2,500 people may be buried in the mudslide.

Rescue operations are difficult due to the deep and unstable mud and continuing rains. Dario Libatan, A survivor who witnessed the mud engulfing the elementary school containing his wife and four children told CNN, “practically the whole [village] is gone.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of the village of Guinsaugon on the Leyte Island in this time of tragedy and grief,” said the Rev. R. Randy Day, General Secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries. “We think especially of the families of the children trapped in the school covered in the mudslide. The Philippines is part of our United Methodist global family of nations and we are mobilizing to offer tangible signs of compassion and care.”

UMCOR anticipates working with partners in the area including the Manila, Davao, and Baguio Episcopal areas of the United Methodist Church in the Philippines to provide immediate relief and support for long term recovery.

Please lift up this community, its survivors, and rescue workers in prayer. You may give to UMCOR Advance #240235, Philippines Emergency, where 100% of your donation will support this response.