ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Feb. 4, 2011) – American troops deployed in the southern Philippine island of Sulu helped rescue hundreds of villagers trapped by flash floods in the coastal town of Jolo, officials said Friday.
Officials said four people were confirmed dead, including a child swept away by rampaging flood waters in the capital town where US troops joined local soldiers in rescuing those trapped in their houses.
US soldiers are deployed in the island to help train local soldiers. They are also engaged in humanitarian missions in Sulu.
At least 9 villages were underwater after continuous rains since Thursday triggered flash floods, said Fazlur Abdullah, head of the Sulu Provincial Area Coordinating Center.
“Four people died, including a one-year old child who was swept away by rampaging flood waters,” he told the Mindanao Examiner by phone from the Sulu, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region.
Abdullah said US troops equipped with rubber boats helped Filipino soldiers and policemen in rescuing those trapped in the villages. “They all helped in the rescue mission,” he said.
He said Governor Sakur Tan ordered the release of food aid to help feed those affected by the flooding. “We have distributed provision to the flood victims and some of them are now housed in a gymnasium which serves a temporary shelter,” he said. (Mindanao Examiner)