Entries in Philippines (18)


Philippines Typhoon Death Toll Tops 600

Jeoffrey Maitem/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The death toll from last week’s typhoon that struck the Philippines surged past 600 on Sunday, with nearly 900 others still reported missing.

Fishing companies say they have lost contact with more than 300 fishermen who were at sea when the typhoon struck.

Most of the storm's victims were killed when landslides and floods wiped out entire communities in the typhoon’s path.

Authorities say nearly 400,000 people in the southern regions of the island nation have lost their homes and are in desperate need for shelter, non-perishable food, medicine and water.

United Nations officials in the Philippines say a number of villages are still cut off, a week after the storm struck.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


7.6 Magnitude Quake Strikes Off Eastern Coast of Philippines 

Hemera/Thinkstock(MANILA, Philippines) -- A 7.6 magnitude earthquake that was 21.7 miles deep has struck off the eastern coast of the Philippine Islands.

The quake hit 58 miles east of Sulangan at 8:47 p.m. local time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

A tsunami warning was issued for Belau, Indonesia the Philippines and several other regions earlier, but later canceled, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

The quake struck along the active quake zone in the Pacific known as the "Ring of Fire."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Search Continues for Philippines Quake Survivors

Hemera/Thinkstock(MANILA, Philippines) -- Rescue teams were out again Tuesday in central Philippines, searching for survivors of the 6.7-magnitude earthquake that struck the region the day before.

At least 71 people have been reported missing after Monday's tremor, which left 22 people dead and 52 others injured, according to the country's National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The earthquake hit Negros Island just before noon, damaging roads and triggering landslides that flattened homes.

Search crews have been scouring the area for any signs of life, while operations are underway to get water and food to remote villages.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Deadly 6.7-Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Philippines

Hemera/Thinkstock(MANILA, Philippines) -- A 6.7-magnitude earthquake rocked central Philippines Monday morning, leaving at least seven people dead, including two children, according to the country's National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

The agency adds that at least a dozen others have been injured and that landslides have been triggered as a result.


The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) says the quake struck at 11:49 a.m. local time, 44 miles north of the city of Dumaguete in the province of Negros Oriental.

The centralized location of the 7.1-mile deep tremor made the earthquake widely felt.

"It was in the water, but it was also kind of in the middle of the islands in the Philippines.  So it was felt pretty widely," says Jessica Turner with the USGS in Colorado.

She adds that several buildings have sustained some damage.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Philippines Landslide Kills at Least 25; More than 100 Still Missing

JJ Landingin/AFP/Getty Images(PANTUKAN, Philippines) -- Search-and-rescue teams are still searching for more than 100 people after a  landslide struck the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines.  At least 25 people were killed in the disaster.

According to the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the landslide took place at around 3 a.m. local time on Thursday.

In a region known to locals for small-scale gold mining, the island has seen continual rain since mid-December. Gov. Arturo Uy of Compostela Valley said the area's soil was heavily waterlogged.

Adding that the region is notorious for these types of disasters, Uy said the region had been evacuated in April 2011 after a landslide.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


More Than 650 Dead, 800 Missing in Southern Philippines Flooding

Bradley Ambrose/Getty Images(MANILA, Philippines) -- More than 650 people are dead and nearly 800 are missing after flash floods triggered by a tropical storm battered the southern Philippines over the weekend.

BBC News reports that the floods coincided with Tropical Storm Washi and high tides to produce catastrophic conditions overnight Saturday.

Soldiers and volunteers searched on Sunday for the nearly 800 missing people on the southern island of Mindanao.

The major ports of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan were some of the hardest hit areas by the typhoon that came ashore Friday night.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Southern Philippines Struck by Deadly Flashfloods

Bradley Ambrose/Getty Images(MANILA) -- The southern Philippines have been hit by flashfloods which have left more than a hundred people dead.   

The flooding was triggered by a tropical storm. Tens of thousands of people in Mindanao in the southern Philippines have fled to higher ground, although many of the victims were asleep when the storm  struck.

Officials say the floodwaters rose at an alarmingly fast pace as rivers burst their banks. Large areas have been left without power. Reports of casualties are still coming in and the death toll is expected to rise.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Father 'Proud' of Teen Son Who Escaped Captors in the Philippines

STR/AFP/Getty Images(LYNCHBURG, Va.) -- An American teenage boy outsmarted the members of a suspected al Qaeda-linked militant group, escaping after five months of being held hostage in a jungle in the Philippines.

Kevin Lunsmann, 14, was lost for nearly two days, roaming without shoes, before he was found by villagers, his father said.

ABC News affiliate WSET-TV in Virginia spoke to the boy's father, Heiko Lunsmann, who said he's so happy he's getting his son back.

"I'm so proud of my son, he's a hero, he wandered two days through the jungle," Heiko Lunsmann said.

"That was a tough time, it was tough five months," he said.  "I only know he is a hero and I'm so happy he escaped."

When Kevin Lunsmann spoke to his father for the first time, the boy proudly said, "I did it on my own, Dad, they didn't release me, I did it," family friend Jean Gowen told ABC News.

Kevin Lunsmann said he convinced his four armed captors that he was going to take a bath at a nearby stream, but then he decided to make a run for it.  He followed a river down a mountain in Basilan province before being found with bruises on his arms and feet late the next day by villagers.

This past summer, the boy was vacationing in the Philippines with his Filipino-American mother, Gerfa Yeatts Lunsmann, and his cousin Romnick Jakaria.  On July 12, the relatives were on an island near Zamboanga City when they were snatched and taken by boat to Basilan.  The captors then called the family in Campbell County, Va., to demand a ransom.

Gowen said Heiko Lunsmann paid an undisclosed ransom amount intended for the release of the boy and his mother two months ago, but only the mother was released.

"The deal was for them to release both Kevin and Gerfa at the time, but they only released one of them," Gowen said.  "I think they wanted more money."

The mother was freed when captors dropped her off at a wharf on Basilan.  Lunsmann's cousin also escaped from hostage holders last month, when Filipino army forces managed to get near the camp where they were held.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Virginia Teenager Released from Captivity in the Philippines

STR/AFP/Getty Images(MANILA) -- The Philippine military says that a 14-year-old from Virginia who was abducted five months ago by suspected militants has been released.

Kevin Lunsmann was kidnapped with his mother and cousin five months ago. His Filipino-American mother was freed two months ago, and his cousin escaped last week.

The family was vacationing on an island in the Philippines when they were attacked by the militants.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Communist Protesters Throw Red Paint on Clinton’s Motorcade

Win McNamee/Getty Images(MANILA, Philippines) -- Protesters splashed red paint on vehicles in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s motorcade in the Philippines on Wednesday. The demonstrators also blocked the convoy and forced it to change course.

Clinton had just left a meeting with the country’s president, Benigno Aquino III, at the Malacanang Palace when, according to a local news channel, several dozen activists ran past police and tossed paint on the cars.

According to Aksyon News, the youthful, left-wing protesters kicked the vehicles as local police tried to arrest them.

The news report said Clinton’s security force got out of the cars to block news photographers from covering the incident, and the convoy eventually turned back into the palace.

A State Department official traveling with Clinton confirmed the incident but downplayed it.

The official called the event “not a big deal” in an email to ABC News. The official said Clinton’s vehicle was not hit with paint.

This is not the first unscripted moment on this trip.

On Saturday, a man who appeared to be a local performer carrying a torch and wearing nothing but a loincloth ran past Clinton during her photo op with the chief executive of Hong Kong.

Clinton laughed that incident off. This time, it appears her security took the breach more seriously.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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