Uncontrolled illegal logging has been blamed for the flooding in Albay province that has been triggered by tropical storm “Juaning,” a Catholic priest said.
Fr. Ramoncito Segubienze, Diocese of Legazpi’s Social Action director, said that the flooding has affected several areas especially Legazpi City, and the towns of Libon, Pulangi and Manlinao.
Officials said the death toll from the storm rose to 35 Thursday. The priest said four of the fatalities died in a landslide in Pulangi, “where illegal logging is rampant,”
The church official then appealed for emergency aid in Albay where thousands of people have been evacuated due to floods.
“The victims particularly need food, medicine, blankets, mosquito trap kits and potable water,” Segubienze said over Church-run Radyo Veritas.
In responding to the appeal, Caritas Manila is sending a financial aid to the Diocese of Legazpi for the immediate needs of those affected by the storm and flooding in Albay.
In Mindanao, Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez called on President Benigno Aquino III to impose a ban on mining activities in the country.
Gutierrez said mining destroys the environment and had been the cause of massive flooding in the country.
“Because of this, the president should declare a moratorium to all mining operations,” he said. [CBCPNews]