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Mining cause of deadly floods

MANILA (SE): The large gathering of predominately Filipino migrant workers paused prior to a celebration of Christmas at a Mass in Chater Garden on Christmas Eve to pray for the victims of Tropical Storm Tembin, which poured swathes of water onto Mindanao flooding many parts of the island on December 22 and 23.
Approximately 100 people are dead and a further 80 or so had not been accounted for by December 27. Few hold much hope for their welfare.
The 8,000 or so people crammed into the down town open space were asked to pray for those who had died, as well as the survivors who are left to mourn their departed loved ones and the 20,000 who have been displaced from their homes.
AsiaNews reported Father Sebestaino D’Ambra, from the Silsilah Centre for Christian-Muslim Rrelations in Zamboanga City, as describing the abuse of the natural environment as the main cause of the fatal flooding, which precipitated the deadly landslides that completely swallowed one village of some 2,000 people.
In describing the current frequency of typhoons and severe tropical storms in Mindanao as a new development, he said he believes it is one product of climate change.
“Unfortunately these are the negative consequences of climate change,” Father D’Ambra told AsiaNews. The Italian missionary continued, “What is striking is that the areas where there has been most damage are the same ones were there has been intensive mining for years. Mines indiscriminately extract the resources of the subsoil and destroy the environment.”
He cited the area in the northern part of the island where the river bed has almost disappeared due to the spillage of mining debris, as an example. “So when these downpours occur, the water spreads everywhere instead of being channelled into the riverbed.”
Father D’Ambra concluded, “I hope that the government seriously reflects on the protection of the environment and no longer allows mining companies to exploit zinc and gold-rich soil without any criteria. This is the price you pay.”

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