The world of cascading disasters is upon us: the rise of the Age of Catastrophism

Sunday, December 18, 2011
By Paul Martin

ExtinctionProtocol.com
December 18, 2011

PHILIPPINES – As a storm that killed more than 650 in the southern Philippines raged outside the store where she works, Amor Limbago worriedly called home to check on her parents, but their cell phones just kept ringing and later went dead. Limbago, 21, rushed home as soon as the flash floods receded and confirmed her worst fear: Her parents and seven other relatives were gone, swept away from their hut by the river. They had eagerly planned a small Christmas dinner in that hut just days earlier. “I returned and saw that our house was completely gone,” a weeping Limbago told The Associated Press from Cagayan de Oro city. “There was nothing but mud all over and knee-deep floodwaters.” Tropical Storm Washi blew away Sunday after devastating a wide swath of the mountainous region on Mindanao Island, which is unaccustomed to major storms. It killed at least 652 people and left more than 900 others missing, the Philippine Red Cross said. Most of the victims were asleep Friday night when flash floods cascaded down mountain slopes with logs and uprooted trees, swelling rivers. The late-season tropical storm turned the worst-hit coastal cities of Cagayan de Oro and nearby Iligan into muddy wastelands filled with overturned cars and broken trees. Most of the dead were children and women, Red Cross Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang said. –NPR

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