Nations sympathize with PH over 'Urduja' deaths, devastation


Posted at Dec 20 2017 06:00 PM

Rescuers search for bodies from the massive landslide in Barangay Lucsoon, Naval in Biliran on Monday. Photo courtesy of the Philippine National Police Regional Office 8

MANILA - Several countries have extended their sympathies to the Philippines following deaths and devastation caused by Tropical Storm "Urduja," which claimed at least 43 lives.

The United States, China, France, and United Kingdom have expressed sadness over the loss of lives and damage caused by Urduja, among the deadliest storms to hit the Philippines this year.

"My sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims of Tropical Storm Urduja," United States Ambassador Sung Kim said in a tweet.

"My thoughts are with all of those in the #Philippines affected by Tropical Storm #Urduja," UK Ambassador Daniel Pruce said on his official Twitter account.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, meanwhile, sent a message to Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano expressing Beijing's sympathies.

"I would like to hereby extend my deep and sincere sympathy to Your Honorable, and through you, to the people of the affected areas. I am convinced that, under the leadership of the Philippine Government, the people of the affected areas will overcome the disaster and restore their normal lives at an earliest date," he said in a message to Cayetano, which the Chinese Embassy in Manila released to the media Wednesday.

The French Embassy, meanwhile, said it assures "full solidarity" with the Philippines in the wake of the deadly typhoon.

"France expresses its condolences to the families of the victims of the floods and landslides caused by Tropical Storm Urduja, which recently hit the provinces of central Philippines," the statement read.

"In these difficult circumstances, France extends its sympathies to the local authorities and communities, and assures its full solidarity with the Philippines," it added.

Urduja left the Philippine area of responsibility Monday as rescuers scrambled to find at least 45 people still missing, many of whom are feared buried by mud avalanches that struck the small island of Biliran.

The island accounted for 30 of the 43 deaths, with 31 residents still missing, authorities said. -- with a report from Agence France-Presse