Dec. 22 - Relief operations continue for thousands affected by flash floods in the southern Philippines as protesters blame the deadly disaster on large scale mining. Sunita Rappai reports.
Long queues in the disaster-hit Southern Philippines as villagers wait to receive rations from social workers. Flash floods and landslides triggered by tropical storm Washi have killed more than a thousand people here and left thousands more, homeless. Power is still out in the worst-hit cities and supplies of fresh water is a problem. Twenty-one year, Wilson Termacio, is amongst many now trying to salvage belongings from what's left of their mud-stricken homes. (SOUNDBITE) (Filipino) VILLAGER WILSON TERMACIO SAYING: "I don't know what to do anymore. I don't know how we can recover. Our home is gone." In Manila meanwhile, activists rally near the presidential palace, demanding the government be held accountable for the casualties and damage. They are urging President Benigno Aquino to cancel all of the logging and mining contracts in the country - which they blame for the widespread floods. According to the country's national disaster agency, nearly one billion pesos - roughly $23 million - worth of infrastructure, schools and hospitals have been destoyed in the floods. Sunita Rappai, Reuters