Typhoon/mudslides kill dozens in the Philippines

By December 4, 2006

Philippines (MNN) — Christians are on their way to typhoon-hit Philippines where the country is reeling after numerous natural disasters. The latest one is Typhoon Durian. Its 165 mph (265 kmh) winds and torrential rains caused mudslides that wiped out entire villages.

President of Operation Blessing Bill Horan says the hardest hit area is near the Mayon Volcano, southeast of Manila. “There are hundreds of deaths reported from mudslides. And, to make matters even worse the torrential rain has caused these mudslides in the mountains there, and evidently there are a lot of large boulders that came down with the mud and there’s boulders blocking the highway. So, there’s no road access whatsoever to that area.”

According to Horan, this is the fourth major storm to hit this area, and they have a team already on the ground there. “Operation Blessing has a pool of volunteers of Christians doctors, nurses, physical therapists, dentists and we will continue to assemble teams as they are required. If it takes 10 teams we’ll send 10. If it takes 20, we’ll send 20.”

Horran says this is a great opportunity to show Christian love for people in need. “All of our staff and all of our volunteers are Christians. And so, even when we’re serving Muslim people, that serves well. Not just from the standpoint of witnessing, but just demonstrating Christian compassion in action, which is our trademark. Saving lives and sustaining lives is our first responsibility.”

While an average of 20 typhoons and tropical storms hit the Philippines every year, Horan says Typhoon Durian was a bad one. “This storm was even worse than Katrina as far as it’s strength. So, pray for the people of the Philippines that they not only can recovering from this one, but that they won’t have to suffer through any more storms for a long time.”

Funding is needed to help with the emergency response, which also opens doors for evangelism, says Horran. “We’ve got enough food staged and ready to go to feed 4,000 families for five days. We’ll add to that supply, but that’s how much we have for our initial response.”

If you’d like to help Operation Blessing, click here.

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