Three days after the devastating mudslide in the Philippines, Christian relief teams have started arriving at the site with a hope to rescue the remaining survivors under deep layers of mud.
On Friday, Feb. 17, remote farming village of Guinsaugon situated 675 kilometers southeast of Manila, in St. Bernard municipality on the island of Leyte, was buried when the mud slid down off Mount Guinsaugon. According to a statement from World Vision, the disaster is thought to have killed as many as 1,800 people. Among them, some 300 people were children and teachers from the village elementary school. More than 1,340 people from ten villagers in the municipality have been evacuated to 20 centers.
World Vision has sent three relief teams to deliver aid to the victims, supplying rice, beans, dried fish, water, noodles, mosquito nets, blankets and mats. The relief operation is expected to last an estimated 2-3 weeks. World Vision child protection and health staff has arrived on Sunday help with the response as well.
Apart from fulfilling the needs of survivors, rescuing the lives of those who are trapped under 100 feet of mud is also underway.
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) works 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.
"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."
On Monday, official figures showed that 76 bodies are pulled out. National disaster officials in Manila said however, the number of missing was 1,350, including 246 schoolchildren, according to Agence France Presse. (AFP)
Even though the hope is fading, rescue teams have not abandoned any chance to find the one who is still alive.