Philippine Mudslide: Urgent Action and Long-term Lessons

On Friday, an enormous mudslide engulfed the Philippine farming village of Guinsaugon in Leyte province, about 420 miles south-east of the capital Manila. Rescuers have recovered 100 bodies and no survivors from a village of 1,800. Initial reports of finding 50 survivors are now refuted, but hopes are not dashed. Join other rescue workers in the mountain of mud, U.S. marines are pursuing a rhythmic sounds from a buried elementary school, where sounds of scratching and rhythmic tapping are issuing. Possibly some 200-300 students and teachers are trapped beneath, supported by unverified claims that they sent dozens of cell phone text messages for help.

To help the Philippine mudslide victims and rescue efforts, here are some donation programs:
* UMCOR, 100% of the aid will go to rescue efforts.
* MADRE, working to get relief supplies to the mudslide rescue workers.
* Caritas, providing relief supplies and shelter to the mudslide victims.

Environmental groups say that illegal logging may have contributed to the severity of the mudslide. A columnist for the Manila Times quotes George Santayana, "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it," while describing preventative actions identified beforehand that ignored:
About two years ago neighboring provinces were similarly totaled by landslides; subsequent joint-investigations by Philippine governmental departments developed an action plan urging for "the massive reforestation of the affected areas by providing appropriate seedlings" and heavily involving local and community agencies by providing incentives for their participation.