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Two million Filipinos affected by floods

Church officials blame natural disasters on environmental destruction

Residents wait for floodwater to subside in Cotabato City Residents wait for floodwater to subside in Cotabato City
  • Julian Labores, Manila
  • Philippines
  • January 31, 2011
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The number of people affected by floods and landslides that hit parts of the southern Philippines in recent weeks breached the two-million mark on Monday, with 75 dead and 22 still missing, according to the country’s disaster prevention body.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said the floods affected 2,001,221 people in 190 towns and 18 cities.

The agency said 10,580 people are still housed in 61 evacuation centers around the country. More than 2,000 homes have been destroyed.

In Surigao del Norte province, the timely intervention of government workers saved a Catholic church and the houses around it from being washed away by rampaging flood waters during the weekend.

Church officials have blamed recent natural disasters in the Philippines on environmental destruction. Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales issued a statement urging the faithful to take care of the environment.

"We should learn how to respect it by putting a stop to senseless cutting of trees because we might suffer in the end," he said.

The government estimates that damage to property due to the flooding has already reached 2 billion pesos (US$45 million).

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Fight for ‘environmental justice’ ongoing

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