Monday, September 23, 2013

No Letter from Sister Miller Yesterday :-(

Hello All!

Well, Marissa was looking for excitement and adventure on her mission and she got both this weekend!  The largest typhoon of the year hit the Philippines on Saturday and torrential rains continued through Monday. We did not receive a letter from Marissa yesterday due to flooding and power outages caused by Typhoon Usagi--see Fox News article below.  Marissa is serving in Santa Rita which is about 28 miles from Subic, the most severely affected area according to the article.

Marissa's mission president posted on Facebook yesterday that he had contacted all of the missionaries and everyone was safe.  He posted again today saying that missionaries would be encouraged to email tomorrow after their district meetings and I am very interested to read about Marissa's experience.  I am so grateful for the technology that allows President Querido to communicate with the families of his missionaries in such a timely manner.  Not so many years ago, families would have waited anxiously for days to receive communication from their missionaries that all was well.  Chris mentioned that 30+ years ago when he was on his mission, his family probably would not have even known about a typhoon on the other side of the world! true!  I guess technology can be a blessing and a curse!

While I am go glad that Marissa and all of the other missionaries are safe, my heart goes out to the Filippino people who have lost everything during this storm....many had so little to begin with.  I know the missionaries will have many service opportunities in Usagi's aftermath and hope that the people will feel the love of their Savior through the service that will be rendered so willingly.  Be so grateful for your many blessings and keep these sweet, humble people in your prayers!

President Querido also posted several pictures that I have included below the news article.

Monsoon rains worsened by Typhoon Usagi pounded the Philippines for the third day on Monday, causing floods and landslides that left six people dead and others stranded on rooftops, officials said.
The most severely affected area was the town of Subic, about 80 kilometres (51 miles) northwest of Manila. Heavy rains there caused rain-soaked soil to cascade down, killing six people, said town mayor Jay Khonghun.
"We've been experiencing very heavy rain. We are now isolated. I can confirm there are two landslide incidents here. Six people were so far killed," Khonghun told AFP.
"The flood water is chest-deep in many areas, and the rain is pounding and the water keeps on rising," he said.
It is not clear how many people have been left stranded in the town of 160,000, but one resident reported that "many" people were waiting on rooftops for rescuers.
Government employee Cristina Humbert, 35, said the ground floor of her two-storey home had been flooded but she managed to evacuate her 63-year-old mother to higher ground.
"Many are on the rooftops, waiting for help. They are marooned, and are getting hungry and cold. We have no power, no electricity," she told AFP.
Khonghun said four rivers that pass through Subic were heavily silted and had overflowed, causing the floods.
He called on the national government to come to the town's aid.
"We are appealing for rescuers, equipment, diggers, we need relief goods. We need help from the national government, please send in inflatable boats," he said.
Local authorities sent rubber boats and fire trucks to pick up residents but there were not enough to cope, Khonghun added.
Classes were called off throughout the Philippine capital and surrounding areas due to flooding that reached more than five feet (1.5 metres) in some places, said Myrna Puzon, desk officer of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
"It is reaching the second floor of houses. Some people have taken refuge on their rooftops," Puzon said.
In the city Olongapo, neighbouring Subic, local officials put up ropes across flooded streets so people could hold on to them to keep from being swept away by strong currents, eyewitnesses said.
People there carried their shivering children as they waded through the floodwaters amid submerged cars, an AFP reporter at the scene said.
Typhoon Usagi passed the northern Philippines this weekend and has moved away from the country but it continues to exacerbate monsoon rains.

 Sept. 22, 2013 -- Flooding in the fields near Olongapo City

 Flooding at the market

Sept. 23, 2013 -- The APs and office elders cleaned the muddy driveway of the mission office and home due to the worst flooding ever in Olongapo.

I think they need bigger buckets!

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