Relaymedia

Hope for Mudslide Survivors Fading as Relief Efforts Continue

The search for survivors in Guinsaugon, Philippines, continues as more bodies are discovered in the farming village located 420 miles southeast of Manila.
( [email protected] ) Feb 21, 2006 03:08 PM EST

The search for survivors in Guinsaugon, Philippines, continues as more bodies are discovered in the farming village located 420 miles southeast of Manila.

Monday, rescuers acting on “signs of life” detected by advanced sound equipment shifted through the mud at a buried school. Hopes were also heightened by unconfirmed reports of trapped children and teachers using cell phone text messages to call relatives.

Searches at the school were called off today as more dead bodies were unearthed instead.

"A few times we heard something, we think we heard something, because we really want to hear something," Lt. Jack Farley, head of the U.S. Marine contingent, told AP. "If there is anything at all, we're gonna go there."

Relief workers have reported growing complications in containing the spread of infectious diseases including measles and chicken pox in crowded refugee camps. Reuters reported, earlier, that medics in the area have diagnose three cases of measles, nine cases of chickenpox and three cases of sore eyes.

Communication and transportation continues to be compounded by the government’s refusal to move in heavy equipments out of fear that unstable mud will shift, potentially triggering more slides.

The Salvation Army in the Philippines made several unsuccessful attempts to contact one of its churches that had been in the vicinity of the mudslide. The organization is continuing efforts to supply survivors with food, blankets, mats and mosquito nets through purchases made with local sources. The Salvation Army has worked in the island-nation since 1937,

Last week, the United Methodist Committee on Relief called for prayers and financial support. The agency reported that it will work with partners already in the Manila, Davao and Baguio episcopal areas of United Methodist Church.

Last Friday, a mudslide triggered by heavy rains and swept over the hundreds of houses and schools. About 1,000 people remain missing and are feared dead, according to AP. Various news sources report that the confirmed toll is 107.