12/23/2017, 15.01
PHILIPPINES
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Tropical storm Tembin sweeps the Philippines: more than 100 dead

The most affected area is the southern part, in particular the island of Mindanao. The death toll is destined to increase. An entire village has disappeared from geographical maps. The soil devastated by mining companies that indiscriminately exploit the resources of the subsoil.

Manila (AsiaNews) - More than 100 deaths are reported by the tropical storm Tembin, which hit the southern part of the Philippines yesterday with winds of up to 80 km / h. Official sources in Manila reported that the typhoon, known locally as "Vinta", swept away houses and shacks and an entire mountain village collapsed downstream along with the muddy avalanche that overwhelmed it.

One of the most affected areas is that of Zamboanga del Norte, on the island of Mindanao, where there are 47 victims. Speaking to AsiaNews Fr. Sebastiano D'Ambra, PIME, who is on the island, reports: "We did not expect a devastation of this magnitude. Several areas are flooded, the houses near the river have been dragged away by the flood. Unfortunately these are the negative consequences of climate change ".

According to the authorities, the number of victims is likely to increase, since several remote areas are still unreachable. The village of Dalama, in the area of ​​Tubod (Lanao del Norte) where 2,000 people lived, has been wiped from geographical maps. Vicmar Paloma, head of the disaster office, reports that 103 houses have been completely destroyed.

The Philippines is flagellated by at least 20 cyclones each year, of which only one last week. But Mindanao, the second island of the archipelago where about 20 million people live, is rarely hit by such violent rains. Representatives of the government say that at least 12 thousand people are displaced.

Fr. D'Ambra explains that "cyclones usually hit the northern part of the Philippines, not the southern part of Mindanao". Then he denounces: "What is striking is that the areas where there has been most damage are the same ones were there has been intensive mining for years mines, which indiscriminately extract the resources of the subsoil and destroy the environment. For example, in the Siocon area [in the northern part of the island], the river bed has almost disappeared due to the spillage of mining debris. So when these downpours occur, the water spreads everywhere instead of channelling into the riverbed. "

He concludes: "I hope that the government seriously reflects on the protection of the environment and no longer allows mining companies to exploit zinc and gold-rich soil without any criteria. This is the price you pay".

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