Philippines races to free 30 trapped in landslide; typhoon kills 7

Typhoon Yutu slammed into the Philippines on October 30 with fierce winds that sheared off roofs and snapped trees in half, after thousands were evacuated ahead of the powerful storm’s arrival. (AFP)
Updated 31 October 2018
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Philippines races to free 30 trapped in landslide; typhoon kills 7

  • Typhoon Yutu swept across the main island of Luzon on Tuesday with winds of 140 km per hour before exiting the land in the evening
  • Six of those killed died in landslides and another drowned in an overflowing river

MANILA: Philippine rescue teams worked to free at least 30 people trapped under earth and rubble on Wednesday after a typhoon dumped heavy rainfall on a mountainous region, triggering floods and deadly landslides.
Soldiers and disaster agency personnel managed to pass through blocked roads to reach the remote area during the night in northern Mountain Province, where a building owned by the local highways department was engulfed by an avalanche of earth.
A dead body was recovered from the site, one of seven people killed on Tuesday in four provinces in the Cordillera region, said Ruben Carandang, director of its civil defense office.
Typhoon Yutu swept across the main island of Luzon on Tuesday with winds of 140 km per hour (87 miles per hour) and gusts of up to 230 kph (142 mph), before exiting the land in the evening.
It came six weeks after super typhoon Mangkhut caused nearly 50 landslides in the Cordilleras, killing more than 70 people.
“In the pictures sent to me this morning, the building was not flattened. There were doors open. There are open spaces,” Carandang said by phone.
“There is a possibility there are people still alive. They will not die if they were not crushed.”
The disaster agency said 20 laborers, an engineer, three security guards and six or seven residents sheltering from the typhoon were inside.
Six of those killed in the Cordillera region died in landslides and another drowned in an overflowing river. Four of the dead were children aged between 5 and 11.
Radio reported a man was electrocuted in Isabela province, where Yutu made landfall. The national disaster agency reported no confirmed casualties on Wednesday but said seven people were “affected” by landslides.
Thousands of people in the typhoon’s path were evacuated before the storm hit, mostly in mountainous, coastal and river areas at risk of floods, storm surges and mudslides.
When it struck the Philippines, Yutu’s winds were half the strength of those it packed five days earlier, when as a super typhoon it piled into the US Northern Mariana islands, about 6,000 km (3,700 miles) west of Hawaii, killing one person, wounding more than 130 and damaging critical infrastructure.
Yutu, the 18th typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, was moving toward southern China on Wednesday and had weakened to a tropical storm with winds of 102 kph (63 mph) and gusts of 130 kph (81 mph), according to the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii.


‘New Zealand is unbreakable’— Al Noor mosque imam

Updated 1 min 3 sec ago
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‘New Zealand is unbreakable’— Al Noor mosque imam

  • Imam says the “evil ideology of white supremacy” is a threat to mankind globally
  • Tens of thousands of people attended the Jummah prayer in a show of solidarity with the 50 victims of the shootings at two mosques in the city

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand: The Imam of Masjid Al Noor has led the first Jummah prayer in Christchurch since the mosque shootings last Friday.
The Friday Prayer was held at Hagley Park, directly across the road and about 100 meters from the mosque where a terrorist killed 42 worshippers.
Tens of thousands of people attended the Jummah prayer in a show of solidarity with the 50 victims of the shootings at two mosques in the city exactly a week ago.
Imam Fouda, who survived the attack at Al Noor mosque, faced the enormous crowd today, a sharp breeze carrying his words of prayer across the green park landscape.
“Last Friday, I stood in this mosque behind us and saw the hatred and rage in the eyes of a terrorist, who killed and martyred 50 innocent people, wounded 42 and broke the hearts of millions around the world. Today, from the same place, I look out and I see the love and compassion,” Fouda said.
“The terrorist tried to tear us apart with evil, but New Zealand is unbreakable.”
Fouda warned against the “evil ideology of white supremacy” saying it was a threat to man-kind globally.
“Islamophobia kills. Islamophobia is real. It’s a targeted campaign to influence people to dehumanize and irrationally fear Muslims.”
He called on governments and leaders around the world to bring an end to hate speech and the politics of fear.
Fouda said the world should look to New Zealand as an example of how to respond to right-wing extremism and terrorist attacks.
“The world can see in us an example of love and unity. We are broken-hearted but we are not broken. We are alive. We are together. We are determined to not let anyone divide us.”
Fouda thanked the public, the police and not least, the country’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern.
“Thank you for your tears. Thank you for your haka. Thank you for your flowers. Thank you for your love and compassion. To our prime minster, thank you. Thank you for your leadership. It has been a lesson for the world’s leaders. Thank you for honoring us with a simple scarf,” he said.
The imam’s words were punctuated throughout by spontaneous applause from the large crowd.