Philippine Death Toll Rises as New Storms Brew

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A state of calamity is still in effect in the Philippines. The country is trying to clean up after the worst flooding in decades and the government says it needs help before things get worse.

Officials are worried not only about limited resources, but more storms are in the forecast.

The devastation can be seen everywhere you turn -- bloated rivers, dirty, muddy streets, and about a half a million flooded homes.

It's the result Tropical Storm Ketsana that dumped more than a month's worth of rain in just 12 hours over the weekend, and led to the worst flooding the country has seen in 42 years.

"We were so scared of the flood -- all we can do was really pray," flood victim Edna de Bugman said.

The storm has killed more than 246 people, but the death toll is expected to climb.

Rescuers are still pulling bodies out the rubble and crested waters and many are still missing.

One man says he lost track of his wife when their roof collapsed. They had climbed on top to escape the rising floodwaters.

American missionaries Jerome and Heather Sack moved to the Philippines earlier this year with their two children.

Jerome chronicled their ordeal on the social networking Web site Facebook with photos and video, ominously reporting what they saw:

"Typhoon in the Philippines... water rising to our door fast... moving things upstairs," he said in his status updates.

"Right here is our front steps and you'll see that it's covering a couple of steps. And then once you get out to the street, it goes down to the street, so it's getting closer and closer," Sack said in a video.

The Sacks are okay, but the suffering in the Philippines is far from over.

The flooding forced nearly 2 million from their homes.

CBN reporter Lucille Talusan says people are taking shelter in cramped churches, schools and other evacuation centers -- and the government is overwhelmed.

"The government cannot handle ... do the disaster relief operations to all the cities, all the areas that have been affected, and so a lot of NGO's like Operation Blessing have gone out beginning on Sunday -- we fed 7,000 people on Sunday -- a lot of people have no food," Talusan reported.

CBN'S Operation Blessing dispatched doctors going house-to-house in devastated neighborhoods.

They helped a woman and her sick baby that were trapped on their roof for hours.

"My baby has fever because he got soaked in the rain when we climbed up the roof to save ourselves from the rising water," flood victim Janet Asuelo said.

And more bad news may be on the horizon. Forecasters are tracking two other storms in the Pacific: One that could hit the Philippines this week, and another early next week.

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John Jessup serves as the main news anchor for CBN, a position he assumed after 10 years reporting for the network in Washington, D.C. His work in broadcast news has earned him several awards in reporting, producing, and coordinating elections coverage. Follow John on Twitter @JohnCBNNews and "like" him at Facebook.com/John.V.Jessup.