World condoles with Philippines after Christmas storms


Posted at Dec 26 2017 02:19 PM | Updated as of Dec 26 2017 04:47 PM

World condoles with Philippines after Christmas storms 1
Rescuers reach out to residents who sought shelter on rooftops to escape flooding triggered by Tropical Storm Vinta. Froilan Gallardo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Several governments and international organizations have extended their condolences to the Philippines after some 200 people were killed in floods and landslides spawned by back-to-back storms during the Christmas holidays.

Representatives of the United States, China, the United Kingdom, European Union, and the United Nations General Assembly expressed in separate statements.

Tropical storm Vinta (Tembin) inundated large parts of Mindanao over the weekend, less than a week after Urduja (Kai-tak) devastated the Visayas.

"Heartfelt sympathies to the loved ones of the victims of Tropical Storm Vinta. My thoughts and prayers are with them in this difficult time," US Ambassador Sung Kim said in a tweet.

Mark Field, UK's minister of state for Asia and the Pacific, said: "Saddened by reports of devastating mudslides in Southern Philippines as a result of Tropical Storm Tembin. My thoughts are with everyone affected and their families at this difficult time."

"I would like to hereby extend my heartfelt sympathy to Your Honorable on the tragic disaster. I am convinced that, under the leadership of the Philippine government, the people of the affected areas are bound to overcome the disaster and restore their normal livelihoods at an earliest date,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Foreign Affairs Chief Alan Peter Cayetano.

"Thinking of the #Philippines, which is being hit hard by brutal Tropical Storm #Tembin. My condolences to the Government and people during this very difficult time," UN General Assembly President Miroslav Lajčák said in a tweet.

The Canadian Embassy said it was closely monitoring reports on the deadly storm's aftermath.

"During this time of year, while families and friends come together and celebrate the holidays, our thoughts are with all #Filipinos affected by #Tembin (Vinta)," it said.

EU Ambassador Franz Jessen offered humanitarian assistance or development funds.

"The EU is [a] longstanding friend of the Philippine people and stands ready to assist during this difficult time: by humanitarian assistance or by use of our development funds, that can help to create an even more resilient country," he said.
"The sadness is felt even more deeply as the tragedies all took place at a time where families were preparing to join each other to celebrate Christmas - a time of traditional peace and joy," he added.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had earlier said Tokyo was ready to assist Manila in attending to the storm victims.

The death toll from Vinta has already climbed to 240 on Monday with scores others still missing.

The storm struck Mindanao on Friday, 2 days before Christmas, forcing thousands of Filipinos to spend their holidays in evacuation centers and makeshift shelters.