Typhoon Koppu (Lando) hit the northern area of the island of Luzon very early on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 18. That was the official beginning, but the entire island had seen heavy rainfall since Friday. By the time the typhoon actually made ground, the area was already soaked and, in many places, already flooding. The rain continued to fall, and was accompanied by high winds. There were around 19 deaths attributed to the typhoon, most of them happened when people were caught in mudslides. Houses were destroyed, usually because the foundations were poor, or non-existent. One woman was killed when her house collapsed on her. Four days of water made the steep hillsides in to mud slides. But this time, the people were more prepared. The government started warning the people earlier last week.
The streets of Manila flood regularly. They actually act as channels for the rain, making it seem like there are rivers flowing around the buildings. Any natural disaster that takes a human life is a tragedy, but it seems that this tragedy was more controlled because of the preparation the government has made mandatory. Manny Pacquiao, “PacMan”, has even been recruited for public service announcements on earthquake and flood awareness.
One of our Baptist Partners, Asian Baptist Graduate Theological Seminary, is located in Baguio, where there was about 39 inches (yes, that is 39 inches) of rainfall between Friday and Monday. I have attempted to reach them, but have not received a response. Will keep trying and will provide an update when possible.
The people still need your prayers. Even though this was not the magnitude of the typhoon in 2013, the death of family members in a disaster like this is traumatic, especially when you realize that the same family who lost loved ones had staggering loss of property, even if it was a small lean-to on the side of a hill. Please pray for the people of the Philippines.