Friday, December 31, 2010

Philippine floods left 2 dead, thousands evacuated

Nonstop heavy monsoon rains for six straight days in the Albay province, southeast of Manila, brought flash floods and landslides that caused the death of two people and forced the evacuation of 4,000 others.
According to a report by AFP, Albay Provincial Governor Joey Salceda said that an 80-year-old woman and her 50-year-old son were swept away by rushing waters when they crossed a spillway to reach an evacuation center on Wednesday.
Salceda said, "We evacuated them early in the morning but apparently the old woman and her son returned home to get some personal belongings. Before twilight, they were returning to the evacuation center and got stuck on the spillway."
Continuous heavy rains for six days created more landslides and floods that forced more people to be transferred to safer places, the governor said.
Evacuation has been started since 24 December particularly those from flood-prone areas. However, more people will be moved as rains are likely to occur until 2 January according to weather bureau.
Salceda also said that the government is transferring a whole village with 533 residents to evacuation centers but some people insist on going back home to watch over their property or get personal items.
The Washington Post said that a state of calamity was declared in Albay province. The Albay government is free to use funds for disaster relief efforts.
New Year celebration is being prepared by the Albay government for the evacuees that consist of food and entertainment for them not to leave the centers.
Albay province is the location of the active Mayon Volcano. According to a news report, the soil in the area consist of volcanic materials.
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