Dozens Buried in Chapel Likely Dead After Typhoon Mangkhut Landslide
By , Christian Post Reporter | Sep 19, 2018 9:12 AM (Screenshot: NBC News)Relief work in Itogon town, Philippines, after Typhoon Mangkhut hit on September 15, 2018.
Officials fear that dozens of miners and their families who were buried inside a chapel in the Philippines after Typhoon Mangkhut hit on Saturday are all dead.
Victorio Palangdan, the mayor of Itogon town, said that although rescue workers are digging through mounds of mud, rock, and debris, there is a “99 percent” chance that all inside the chapel are dead.
reported that more than 40 bodies have been recovered in the landslide triggered by the typhoon, with officials saying that 61 people in total from a nearby gold mine are either dead or missing.
added that the landslide that hit the chapel buried much of the remote community.
Local miner Roel Ulani said that community members are risking their lives to try and dig out those buried, including those in the chapel.
“We have to try,” Ulani said. “We have to try to return these people to their families.”
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As the conditions have blocked roads, however, rescue workers do not have much hope when it comes to getting heavy equipment into the valley to help in the efforts.
National Police Chief Oscar Albayalde noted that officers have been sent to help with radar life detectors, harnesses, digging tools and other search and rescue equipment.
Typhoon Mangkhut reached sustained winds of 124 mph and gusts of up to around 200 mph. Besides the 54 people killed in the Philippines over the weekend, the typhoon skirted past Hong Kong and made landfall in China, killing another four people.
As many as five million people were affected by the storm in the Philippines alone, with close to 150,000 of them being forced into evacuation centers.
Christian relief groups, including World Vision, have been helping in the aftermath of Mangkhut.
“We‘ve deployed equipped trained staff to the affected areas for rapid response and assessment,” the organization in an update about its response.
“We‘re providing clean water and hygiene items, including soap and toiletries to help prevent the spread of diseases,” it added.
“We‘re providing shelter kits, which contain tarpaulins and ropes for those who have lost everything.”
noted that the typhoon is the strongest one recorded in the region since Haiyan hit in 2013. It pointed out that numerous communities are in danger of further landslides and flash floods in the wake of the storm.
“Christian Aid is particularly concerned for those communities in more remote mountainous areas who are extremely vulnerable,” the group said.
“In many areas, people‘s harvest was days away from being ready but has now been lost. Combined with high inflation, there are longer-term concerns around food security.”</p