“4 And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. 5 And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. 6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. 7 And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.” -Revelation 16:4-7
In REVELATION 16:4-6 we read: “THEN THE THIRD ANGEL POURED OUT HIS BOWL ON THE RIVERS AND THE SPRING OF THE WATER, AND THEY TURNED INTO BLOOD. I HEARD THE ANGEL IN CHARGE OF THE WATERS SAY, ‘THE JUDGMENTS YOU HAVE MADE ARE JUST, O HOLY ONE, YOU WHO ARE AND WHO WERE’. THEY POURED OUT THE BLOOD OF GOD’S PEOPLE AND OF THE PROPHETS, AND SO YOU HAVE GIVEN THEM BLOOD TO DRINK. THEY ARE GETTING WHAT THEY DESERVE”. This is the 3rd plague which is called LANDSLIDE, MUDSLIDE and FLASH FLOODS which is caused by water. This plague happened in the Philippines and it happened also in several other countries. This had happened several times in many parts of the Philippines. The first happening took place on February 17, 2006 in Guinsaugon, Leyte.
2006 Southern Leyte Mudslide
On February 17, 2006, a series of mudslides caused widespread damage and loss of life in the Philippine province of Southern Leyte. The deadly landslides followed a ten-day period of heavy rains and a minor earthquake of magnitude 2.6 on the Richter scale. Fifty people are confirmed dead, but with 958 people still missing the death toll is expected to rise dramatically.
060219-N-5067K-113 Saint Bernard, Republic of the Philippines (Feb. 19, 2006) – Aerial view of the Feb. 17 landslide shot from a CH-46E Sea Knight assigned to the Flying Tigers of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262 (HMM-262), during an aerial assessment of the area. HMM-262 is embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2). Essex along with the dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) are on station off the Philippine coast rendering relief and assistance to the victims of the landslide. Both are part of the Forward Deployed Amphibious Ready Group, the Navy’s only forward deployed amphibious force, homeported in Sasebo, Japan. U.S. Navy Photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Michael D. Kennedy.
060219-M-8084P-001 Saint Bernard, Republic of the Philippines (Feb. 19, 2006) – An aerial view of the mudslide, which destroyed the town of Guinsahugon the morning of Feb. 17. Guinsahugon is located in the southern part of the island of Leyte in the Philippines. The photo was taken from a CH-46E Sea Knight which was being flown to Guinsahugon to deliver relief supplies. The helicopter is from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit’s aviation combat element Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262 (Reinforced). The MEU, based out of Okinawa, Japan, is deployed to the Philippines as part of the Forward Deployed Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) based out of Sasebo, Japan and was in the Philippines to take part in exercise Balikatan 2006 before responding to a request for aid by the Philippine government. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Raymond D. Petersen III.
Overview of disaster
The municipality of Saint Bernard was one of the worst hit areas, where twenty-three are confirmed to be dead with up to 200 estimated as dead and another 1,500 missing. Barangay Guinsaugon, a mountain village on the said municipality with 2,500 people, was almost completely destroyed.
A local elementary school was buried during one of the landslides which occurred between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. when the school was in session and full of children. Provincial Governor Rosette Lerias said that, at the time, the school had 246 students and 7 teachers, and, as of 17 February, only one child and one adult have been rescued. There were also about 100 people visiting the village for a women’s group meeting.
Governor Lerias said that although several residents had left the area last week due to the fear of landslides, several of them had returned when the rains had eased.
On February 14, 2006, Governor Lerias placed the town of Sogod under a state of calamity.
Rescue and relief
Rescue teams including troops from the military are operating in the affected areas. However, relief efforts are hampered by rain, chest-deep mud, roads blocked by boulders, washed-out bridges and lack of heavy equipment. A minor earthquake in the morning of February 17, 2006 also affected the relief operation as the ground and mud remain unstable.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo made an address on television promising that “help is on the way”. Navy and coast guard ships were dispatched to the coastal area.
On February 17, 2006 the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement made an appeal for US $1.5 million to help the victims of the mudslides. The funds will be used to purchase tents, blankets, cooking utensils, mosquito nets, temporary shelter materials, hygiene articles, water purification tablets and medicines. US $152,000 has already been released to provide initial assistance. A relief plane was being flown into the region carrying emergency trauma kits, rubber boots, ropes, clothing, flashlights and medicine. Three Philippines National Red Cross teams with search and rescue dogs were at the site to provide assistance and more are expected to join. The Red Cross said that it feared that the death toll would be high.
The United States has sent two naval vessels, the USS Essex (LHD-2)|USS Essex and the USS Harpers Ferry|USS Harpers Ferry from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, to the area to provide assistance. About 6,000 United States Army|U.S. Army and United States Marine Corps|Marine Corps troops are in the Philippines for an annual bilateral exercise. The US government has also donated $100,000 worth of disaster equipment to the Philippine Red Cross. USAID has turned over 2.9 million pesos (about $560,000) worth of food and non-food items.
Other countries have donated or pledged assistance to the Philippine government. China offered a donation of $1 million in cash and material. Australia also offered AUS$1 million ($740,000) in immediate relief. Taiwan pledged enough medicine to treat 3,000 individuals for a month and a half along with $100,000. Thailand also pledged $100,000. Malaysia sent a 60-man search-and-rescue and medical assistance team named the Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance Team (SMART). Spain, through a non-government organization, the Unidad Canina de Rescate y Salvamento, sent a six-man rescue team equipped with five sniffer dogs to aid in the relief and rescue efforts. South Korea promised $1 million. New Zealand would send $133,000 to be used in future rescue operations. Singapore has said, according to a statement from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, that officials would help the Arroyo administration in any way possible. Indonesia and Turkey have humanitarian contingents as well.
The Philippine Red Cross reported that 53 persons were rescued from the mud on 17 February, but the rescue efforts had to be suspended at nightfall for safety reasons.
The area is still being threatened by further flashfloods and rising rivers due to the heavy rainfall in the past few weeks.
According to the Korean Central News Agency, Kim Young Nam had offered his sympathies to the Arroyo administration, saying that he “expressed sympathy to the dead, bereaved family members and residents of affected areas”.
The KCNA had also reported that he was confident that Arroyo would bring stability to the affected areas.
Philippine congressman Roger Mercado of Southern Leyte claimed in a Reuters interview that logging and mining done in the area three decades ago was the main culprit. Dave Petley, professor at the International Landslide Centre, Durham University, told the BBC that the causes Congressman Mercado mentioned, if proven true, created a “dangerous combination” that produced a “classic landslide scenario”.
However, local government officials and eyewitnesses say that the area was well forested and the governor’s office said that deforestation logging activities were not the causal factor.
Experts did agree that torrential rains lasting two weeks before the mudslide was the main cause for the disaster. Rainfall amounting to over 200cm (79 inches) in ten days loosened the soil so much that the resulting sludge and rocks thundered down the slopes of nearby Mount Can-abag, virtually disintegrating it. The La Niña weather phenomenon was blamed for the non-stop rains that occurred in the province, as well as in the Caraga region, which is due south of Leyte. San Francisco, Agusan del Sur mayor Carie Ladernora declared the state of calamity on her town by February 12, 2006.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology recorded a magnitude 2.6 earthquake in Southern Leyte just prior to the landslide although the effects of this are unclear.
A Tragedy Forgotten: Philippine Landslide 2006
By: Juan Carlo Pascua
A slideshow of the landslide tragedy in the Philippines. This video is to be shown at a benefit concert at The University of California, Santa Cruz on June 1st, 2006. All proceeds go to the families in Guinsahugon.