February 22, 2006
On Friday, Feb. 17 a landslide in the southern Philippine province of Leyte buried some 500 houses and an elementary school where around 246 students were believed to have been in class.
The confirmed death toll stands today at 93, with some 1,000 others missing and feared dead.
The United Church of Christ has responded with an initial gift of $5,000 which was sent to the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP), to assist with needs as identified by the General Secretary, Bishop Elmer Bolocon.
The disaster occurred in the village of Guinsaugon, where search and rescue operations have been the priority in responding to the disaster, with a secondary effort being the temporary evacuation of neighboring villages to ensure safety of those communities.
The Philippine government has not yet requested international assistance other than equipment/technical support and personnel for search and rescue.
The National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), a Church World Service(CWS)partner and member of the Action by Churches (ACT) International network, is shipping items including bottled water, blankets and plastic sheets to some of the temporary shelters that are housing evacuees from neighboring areas.
According to an update from the area, there is a food supply that will last evacuees until the weekend.
It should be noted that the UCCP, a member of the NCCP, reports the loss of at least 65 members of their Baranggay Guinsaugon congregation, as well as the destruction of the congregation's church building.
The United Church of Christ will work through CWS and ACT to provide additional support in response to the Mudslides in the Philippines.
How You Can Help
1. Pray for the people affected by the Philippines Mudslide and for those providing relief and search and rescue assistance.
2. To help those affected by this disaster you may send gifts payable to your congregation marked "Philippines Mudslide", with the request they are sent through your Conference office on to Wider Church Ministries.
3. Send gifts payable to Wider Church Ministries and marked in the memo portion "Philippines Mudslide", to Wider Church Ministries; 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115.
4. Make a secure on-line donation now.