Christmas Day becomes even more meaningful when individuals or groups do something to reach out and help other people.
The Filipino Australian Movement for Empowerment (FAME), handed over a cheque for $1,000 dollars to this writer, a member of Blacktown-based community group, Iliganon Lanaonon in Sydney Australia (ILISA). The donation goes directly to affected families of storm Sendong.
In 2009, FAME sent rubber boats to the Philippines after typhoon Ondoy/Ketsana flooded Marikina. The boats were intended for future use and rescue work.
Tropical Storm Sendong, (international code name Washi), hit the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan in Mindanao island, Philippines at 1.45am last Saturday the 17th. Dumaguete in Negros Oriental was also hit by the same storm but it is in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro where casualties are highest. TV news on ABS-CBN’s Bandila announced that there are 15,000 displaced people.
Casualties in Cagayan de Oro exceed 1,000 and almost 400 in Iligan. The figures are based on identified bodies only. More bodies are being found intermittently at different locations at sea and on the ground. There is a high probability that more will be found under tons of logging debris still to be removed from the shores of Iligan City.
As reported by the Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) made a statement that 142mm of rain fell in 12 hours leading to the flood. The topography of the island could have contributed to the flash flooding.