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Philippines: Storm Leaves Hundreds Dead and Missing

As of this writing, 440 people are confirmed dead in many parts of Mindanao Island in southern Philippines after tropical storm Sendong (international name: Washi) hit the country last Friday, December 16. The casualties could be worse and may even reach more than 600. Flashfloods swept the cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro while the residents were sleeping past midnight. It’s the worst flooding to hit the north part of Mindanao in many years.

On Facebook, Keith Obed Ruiz uploaded these photos of Cagayan de Oro floods.

Children looking for belongings after storm

Flooded houses

Evacuation center

Flooded village

As of this writing this photo was viewed 13,762 times on twitter. @mindanaoan’s message to readers

Warning: graphic photo – A father loses his child to Typhoon #Sendong (my heart broke into pieces coz of this)

Storn Sendong also battered other parts of the Philippines. This video is from a resident of Negros Oriental in the Visayan region

Hashtags #sendong and #prayformindanao dominated the web and were maximized by netizens to call for support

@PaintersWifePH For #Sendong, there's text-in donation, there's Paypal, there's bank deposit, there's no excuse. Any amount, just do it!

@marvin_agustin Father, you are our shelter and our hope. We come to you with hearts full of trust in your love and mercy. we pray for victims of #sendong

@oysterhalfshell We're appealing for old clothes. A number of workers with flooded homes, now taking refuge at my in-laws, and needing dry clothes. #sendong

@melcahmay the pick-up truck in front of us have 2 dead bodies. in my mama's office they found 2 unknown female casualties.

Through Facebook, Abdel Jamal informs friends about a planned relief effort

My friends all over the world,

I know you want to help Iligan City out. So here's how you can.

My high school batch, IDS 2000 of MSU-IIT (MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology), is spearheading a relief operations thru feeding program, gathering used clothing, and supplying manpower. My batchmate, Beatriz Arcinas Cañedo, will open the College of Education (CED) cafeteria in MSU-IIT as of 8am tomorrow to lead the feeding program. Noodles, rice, etc will be cooked there and sandwiches, etc will be prepared there. As of 7pm earlier, there were 400 families (and counting) in the MSU-IIT gym, 1 of 10 evac centers. (This has become 15 already according to the latest news.) So that's a lot of sandwiches, noodles, etc. Just imagine. This will continue for days to come. Other batchmates are also looking ways for us to help out.

Schools are also transforming their campuses into evacuation centers. Even Christmas parties have been canceled. Roberto Yap reports

Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan, in Cagayan de Oro City is assisting the National Disaster Coordinating Council in providing food, clothing and medical assistance to the victims of Typhoon Sendong. Its main campus in Corrales Avenue is open for donations in cash or in kind. The University is also hosting some victims of the disaster in makeshift evacuation centers within the campus and is sending out medical personnel and students for first aid and trauma debriefing. The University Clinic is also open to treat patients. The University Christmas Party scheduled for this evening of 17th December has been canceled with the funds and food for this celebration donated instead to the disaster relief efforts. The University is accepting donations at the Helpdesk set up at the University's front gate or at the Relief Center at the Satellite Canteen near the College of Agriculture building (beside the gymnasium). Personnel and student volunteers are being deployed to buy, pack and deliver relief goods all over the City, under the direction of the University Chaplain, Fr Eric Velandria SJ.

In the days ahead, Xavier University is committed to explore and implement various ways of providing assistance to those affected by one of the worst natural disasters to hit Cagayan de Oro City in recent memory.

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