Here is a link to an article by BULLIT MARQUEZ on Huff Post World and the latest on the devastation caused by Typhoon “Bopha” in the Philippines.
The death toll has climbed past 500, and more than 310,000 people have lost their homes.
Sadly, there are again allegations of illegal mining activities that may have contributed to the flash floods in the hardest hit areas (New Bataan)..
Excerpts from Bullit Marquez’s article:
…The economic losses began to emerge Friday after export banana growers reported that 14,000 hectares (34,600 acres) of export banana plantations, equal to 18 percent of the total in Mindanao, were destroyed.
The Philippines is the world’s third-largest banana producer and exporter, supplying well-known brands such as Dole, Chiquita and Del Monte mainly to Japan and also to South Korea, China, New Zealand and the Middle East.
…Government geological hazard maps show that the farming town of New Bataan, population 45,000, was built in 1968 in an area classified as “highly susceptible to flooding and landslides.”
...Most of the casualties were killed in the valley surrounded by steep hills and crisscrossed by rivers. Flooding was so widespread here that places people thought were safe, including two emergency shelters, became among the deadliest.
Poverty is widespread in the Philippines, and the disaster highlights the risks that some take in living in dangerous areas in the hope of feeding their families.
“It’s not only an environmental issue, it’s also a poverty issue,” Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said. “The people would say, `We are better off here. At least we have food to eat or money to buy food, even if it is risky.'”
View photos, videos and read the full article here...