Philippines

Red Cross rescue operation in the Philippines

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In a race against time, the Philippine Red Cross stepped up its search and rescue operation in the shantytown of Payatas, just outside Manila. After days of heavy rains, hundreds of people were buried under refuse as a wall of garbage in this main dump site in Manila collapsed. At least 85 people were killed, and more than one hundred others are believed still buried under a mountain of garbage. Six Red Cross rescue teams have been working around the clock since Monday, searching for the victims.
Mrs. Lourdes Loyola, Secretary General of the Philippine Red Cross has asked blood centers at nearby Red Cross chapters to be on alert, to ensure that blood be available for wounded survivors.

The Red Cross set up a command post near the disaster site to coordinate the rescue. Social workers and Red Cross volunteers are providing tracing services and psychological support for the victims and their families. Local Red Cross branches are also assisting more than 800 people who lost their homes in the disaster and were given shelter in nearby schools and churches.

The tragedy follows two typhoons that swept through the country last week, leaving tails of destruction and affecting nearly 600,000 people in 65 municipalities. More then 80 people were killed as the typhoons ravaged the country, and the Philippines Red Cross is providing relief to more than 12,000 families who lost everything in the disaster.