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nancyk58
12-10-2009, 10:27 AM
The reason for creating this NEW THREAD called "UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN THE SOUTHEAST ASIA" is:

TO MAKE IT EASY - FOR THOSE INTERESTED - TO HAVE AN OVERVIEW OF THE SITUATION IN THAT REGION

including

- what is going on in that region

- the relief efforts of the relief organizations AND

- some articles with reports for instance from the rescuers or someone from the
relief organizations being in the area to get an overview of the situation.

On 10 May 2010 I am renaming the thread to cover natural disasters as such. New name should be: NEWS IN RELATION TO NATURAL DISASTERS.

NANCY

nancyk58
12-10-2009, 10:50 AM
From the Press Centre

News note

UNICEF seeks $3 million to meet immediate needs of children affected by Indonesian earthquake

JAKARTA, INDONESIA, 9 October 2009 — As part of the UN Humanitarian Response Plan to last week’s earthquake in Indonesia, which was launched today in Jakarta, UNICEF is seeking $3 million to help meet the costs of continuing its life-saving work in the affected area, establishing systems to protect vulnerable children and coordinating key parts of the massive aid operation currently underway.

Priorities identified for affected children include securing adequate water supplies, preventing disease outbreak through improved hygiene, rapid training of local health workers on child nutrition, establishing temporary tent classrooms, delivering school supplies, and working with communities to prevent children being exploited in the aftermath of the earthquake that shook the province of West Sumatra on 30 September.

“Today’s Humanitarian Response plan underlines the determination of the UN system to support the Government of Indonesia and assist the process of recovery in West Sumatra,” said UNICEF Indonesia Country Representative Angela Kearney.

“It is vital that special attention is paid to the needs of children and their mothers, who have been especially hard hit by this disaster,” added Ms. Kearney. “Children need to see that services are being re-established, that they are being afforded proper protection and that their lives can continue, despite the terrible experiences they have lived through.”

In the days after the earthquake, UNICEF rushed more than 100 water storage containers – each with sufficient capacity for 5,000 litres of clean water – 20,000 jerry cans, 2,000 packages of water purification tablets, 40,000 hygiene kits containing buckets, soap, detergent, 250 school tents and 120 sets of school and recreational materials to the province.

The children’s agency aims to support at least 50,000 families with this immediate aid, while over the three months covered by today’s Response Plan up to 200,000 people will be reached by UNICEF assistance.

UNICEF is funded entirely by voluntary contributions. Its work, in close collaboration with national governments and other partners, is carried out with the sustained generous contributions received from governments, foundations, UN agencies, international financial institutions, individuals and businesses.

For further information, please contact:
Edward Carwardine, Chief of Communication, UNICEF Indonesia,
Tel + 62 812 123 7252,
E-mail: ecarwardine@unicef.org

Patrick McCormick, UNICEF New York,
Tel + 1 212 326 7426,
E-mail: pmccormick@unicef.org
http://www.unicef.org/media/media_51374.html

nancyk58
12-10-2009, 11:13 AM
On 7 October I consulted UNICEF's website and posted this:

Help for victims of flooding in the Philippines

29-09-2009 - The devastation in the PHILIPPINES after the tropical storm Ketsana is enormous. Many thousands of children and families are on the run. UNICEF has started distributing emergency and continues its efforts and work in the coming days.

Assistance was out within 24 hours
Less than 24 hours after the tropical storm hit the capital Manila on 25 September, UNICEF was ready with both food and other relief to those affected. At the same time UNICEF helps the Social and Development Ministry provide temporary shelter to the many who have been forced to flee their homes.

More than one million affected by floods
As the tropical storm hit, the equivalent of one month's rain fell in just 12 hours. This has resulted in large parts of Manila being flooded, and more than one million people are affected by the aftermath of the storm. 226,000 people have fled their homes and are now seeking refuge in 200 evacuation centers. 24 provinces in the country are affected.

Shocking devastation
UNICEF's chief in the Philippines, Vanessa Tobin, has been around the capital in person to look at the devastation: "I am shocked at the degree of damage in different areas, but I am also impressed with the cooperation and generosity, which manifests itself in the city . Many have opened their homes for some of their affected country men, "says Tobin.

More help on the way
Vanessa Tobin said that UNICEF is already on the way with more help: "Over the next 48 hours we will, among other things distribute water purification tablets and equipment to ensure clean water and packets of the most necessary medical equipment. At the same time, we will distribute family kits containing, inter alia, blankets and soap. We will also assist the government and other organizations in seuring, that their help reaches the right people. " said Vanessa Tobin.

New storms expected
UNICEF is concerned for the future. The number of dead is expected to rise, and we know from experience that children and families will suffer a major health risk after flooding, when many refugees are assembled in small areas without clean water. Meanwhile, two new tropical storms are on the way to the Philippines. They are expected to hit the country Thursday and Friday.

http://www.unicef.dk/script/site/page.asp?artid=1299

I re-post this post giving a good insight into how an organization as Unicef responds to a new disaster / catastrophe. NANCY

nancyk58
12-10-2009, 11:16 AM
Yesterday no_wow posted this: "The damage brought by typhoon Parma was much worse than Ketsana. It just affected so many people from the countryside. According to the news, it has claimed over 200 lives already".

nancyk58
12-10-2009, 11:22 AM
GMANews.TV updates / Philippines Sunday 11 October 2009:

Rescuers rush to save Cordillera landslide victims

» Classes suspended in storm-hit NLuzon towns

» DA chief: 16K hectares crops in Cagayan lost to ‘Pepeng’
Some 16,000 hectares of crops in Cagayan province were lost to typhoon “Pepeng" (Parma) after it swept through Northern Luzon last weekend, but Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap insisted that the crop damage will not affect food security.

40 landslides in the Cordillera claim over 250 lives
10/11/2009 | 04:20 PM (Update 2 - 9:20 p.m.)

BAGUIO CITY - Over 40 landslides have decimated communities across the western half of the rugged Cordillera mountain range, claiming at least 250 lives with many more missing, after relentless rains brought by Typhoon Pepeng, according to the Office of Civil Defense-Cordillera Administrative Region (OCD-CAR).

Provincial governors, however, are claiming even higher numbers, as rescue and recovery teams are finding more bodies in mud and debris.

While much of the current media coverage has been on the catastrophes in Puguis, La Trinidad in Benguet and Tadian, Mt. Province, most of the other landslides have escaped public attention, occurring in areas without power and communication, and isolated by sections of roads that have given way.

Of the 250 officially recorded fatalities, OCD regional director Olive Luces said 164 were in Benguet, 50 in Baguio City and 29 in Mt. Province.

However, Mt. Province Governor Maximo Dalog, interviewed today on GMA News, said his province has already recorded 40 dead with 10 missing. He was appealing for dogs that could sniff out bodies buried in the mud and choppers for evacuating the wounded, including one survivor who needed a foot amputation to save his life.

Hampering emergency operations in his province was the loss of electricity.

Benguet Governor Nestor Fongwan said that as of Sunday morning around 175 bodies were recovered from landslide areas in Benguet, most of which were recovered from Sitio Little Kibungan in Barangay Puguis in La Trinidad town, while the rest came from the municipalities of Mankayan, Itogon, Atok, and Tublay.

KILLER SLIDE IN MT. PROVINCE
In Mountain Province, 38 bodies were recovered on Sunday in Sitio Bulala, Barangay Kayan East in Tadian town, as an entire mountain slope gave way. Ten more are reportedly missing while the three injured were brought to the Luis Hora General Hospital in the nearby town of Bauko.

A hill in Sitio Bulala collapsed at 6 p.m. on Thursday due to continuous and heavy rains brought by typhoon Pepeng. Of the 32 houses, 18 were damaged totally while five damaged partially. Able-bodied residents shown their traditional unity when they took the frontline of the rescue operations, local officials said.

Meanwhile, in the nearby village of Bunga in Tadian town, a residential house was also buried in a separate landslide on Thursday afternoon, killing three family members while two survived.

EXTENSIVE INFRA AND AGRI DAMAGE
Typhoon Pepeng brought extensive damage to agriculture and infrastructure in the various Cordillera provinces and in Baguio City.

The worst damage reported so far is in Apayao, where combined partial damage to agriculture and infrastructure amounted to around P1 billion, Governor Elias Bulut reported to media earlier.

Kalinga province incurred partial damage to infrastructure worth P86.9 million, and crops worth P78 million, according to the PDCC.

Earlier, Mountain Province reported infrastructure and agricultural damage worth more than P11 million, while Benguet reported infrastructure and agriculture damage worth P1.246 million, reported the CRDCC.

Baguio City registered infrastructure damage worth P10.5 million while Abra registered damage to crops worth P1.32 million.

The Cordillera remains isolated as the CRDCC reported Saturday morning that all national roads linking to the provinces of Abra, Ifugao, Mountain Province, Benguet, Apayao and Baguio City remain closed due to severe landslides and washouts.

The Ileb Bridge which connects Kalinga to Cagayan is reportedly destroyed, forcing travelers to take a longer route.

Meanwhile, CRDCC reported a total power blackout in Mountain Province while partial power interruptions were occurring in Benguet, Abra and Mountain Province. CRDCC has no report on the status of power in Apayao, Kalinga, and Ifugao.

nancyk58
12-10-2009, 12:50 PM
NOW THE VICTIMS REALLY NEED HELP - HAVING LOST THEIR HOMES AND EVERYTHING. THE INFRASTRUCTURE AND THE HOUSES HAVE BEEN SEVERELY DAMAGED. - MUCH RECONSTRUCTION IS NEEDED. SO DONATE WHATEVER YOU CAN - THAT CAN BE MONEY OR GOODS. ALL KIND OF HELP IS NEEDED!

Thanks, in advance. NANCY

but a dream
12-10-2009, 12:50 PM
Thanks Nancy for all the information. I hope everything eases soon :(

nancyk58
12-10-2009, 01:01 PM
Thanks But a Dream - yesterday there were some good news in between all the sad updates:

I noticed two positive pieces of news here: "Storm signals lifted as ‘Pepeng’ moves farther away" and "In Zambales, floodwaters have subsided .."

And I re-post an informative post made yesterday by the Philipino "engsol1500":

Posted by engsol1500 earlier Sunday / 11.10.09

After typhoon Ondoy, which claimed lives of about 150, I was not expecting that things could get worse. Apparently, the typhoon after Ondoy, Pepeng, was causing more devastation in the northern part of the country.

This still have to be confirmed but I heard from a friend yesterday that the major roads to one city in the north, Baguio City, was destroyed, disrupting rescue and relief operations...

Death toll from 'Pepeng' rises to 264; dozens more missingGMANews.TV - Sunday, October 11

The death toll from tropical depression “Pepeng" rose to 264 Saturday afternoon as rescue workers dug up more bodies of missing people, reports from police and relief agencies said.

Of the total, 222 were killed in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), mostly from landslides, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Chief Inspector Tessie Sarmiento, spokesperson of the CAR police, said at least 141 people have so far been confirmed dead in Benguet province, while the figure in Baguio City rose to 50.

Twenty-eight bodies were recovered in Mt. Province, and one each in Abra and Ifugao.

The figure is expected to rise further as total of 53 people have yet to be found in Baguio, Benguet and Mt. Province, police said.

The number of injured people due to floodwaters and landslides totaled 71, with 48 coming from Benguet, 13 from Baguio City, six from Mt. Province, and two from Abra.

A report of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said 34 more deaths were reported from La Union, five in Pangasinan and one in Ilocos Norte.
Pepeng-related deaths earlier reported include two in Camarines Norte in the Bicol region, and one in Nueva Ecija.

On Sunday, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is scheduled to visit Baguio and Benguet. On Saturday she was in the Cagayan Valley region to inspect typhoon damage. Storm signals lifted as ‘Pepeng’ moves farther away.

For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV
Roads and damage Baguio remained isolated on Saturday as the three major roads that link the upland resort city to lowland provinces— Kennon Road, Marcos Highway and Naguilian Road — were closed by landslides.

Buad Bridge and Manila North Road Km 211+109 at the boundary of La Union and Pangasinan collapsed. In Pangasinan, motorists going north were advised to take the following detour routes: Camiling Road going to Dagupan, Lingayen, and Binmaley; and Urdaneta and Binalonan going to Manaoag. In Zambales, floodwaters have subsided in the towns of Iba, San Miguel, and Botolan. Vehicles can now pass through the Carael Highway. Preliminary reports of damage caused by Pepeng totaled P5.08 billion, including P1.08-worth of infrastructure, and P3.99-billion worth of agricultural products. Damage to private property amounted to P2.77 billion. Some 20,700 houses were damaged, 1,796 of them destroyed and 18,196 partially damaged, according to the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC). Even at nightfall on Saturday, rescuers were still digging up for possible survivors in landslide-hit villages in the Cordilleras. Relief operations, meanwhile, were in full blast in evacuation centers all over Pangasinan and other places where tens of thousands of people have been displaced by floods.

Power failure continued to be experienced in some areas in Ilocos Norte due to damaged cable wires and fallen trees.

Power interruption was noted in the towns of Santa, Magsingal, San Juan, Cabugao, Sinait, Lidlidda and San Emilio.

At least one major road and 51 secondary roads and 11 bridges had been affected due to floods, landslides and mudslides. - GMANews.TV
http://ph.news.yahoo.com/gma/2009101...4-d6cd5cf.html____________________

There were two positive pieces of news here: "Storm signals lifted as ‘Pepeng’ moves farther away" and "In Zambales, floodwaters have subsided .."

Now is the time where help from the outside world is really needed - with all these losses of human lives and damage to houses and infrastructure. A lot of reconstruction is needed. SO PLEASE HELP IF YOU CAN!

You can help / donate via several organizations such as for instance RED CROSS or UNICEF

Electric.Candy
12-10-2009, 01:41 PM
some areas here in the Philippines are experiencing brown-outs, and some places has floods which haven't subsided yet.

inengsol1500
12-10-2009, 03:02 PM
a short video shared by the Philippine Red Cross (@philredcross on Twitter) on the situation of some areas in the Philippines...

http://twitter.com/philredcross #ondoy #pepeng:Out of sight, out of mind? Storms have passed but we still need your help. Video by David Guerrero. http://bit.ly/elMtd

inengsol1500
12-10-2009, 03:12 PM
Rescue operations in full blast as floods recede in N. Luzon
abs-cbnNEWS.com | 10/10/2009 9:47 AM

MANILA - Rescue operations went full blast in northern Luzon hit by floods and landslide as tropical depression Pepeng (international codename Parma) continued to move away from the country on Saturday.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) reported that floods in various parts of northern Luzon, particularly in Pangasinan province, have started to recede, paving the way for more massive rescue and retrieval operations in the flood-hit and landslide devastated areas.

The agency said floods started to recede as rains brought on by tropical depression Pepeng (international codename Parma) began to ease.

Nathaniel Cruz, spokesperson of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said Pepeng may already be out of the Philippine area of responsibility by Saturday afternoon.

PAGASA said that as of 5 a.m. Saturday, Pepeng was moving westward, onto the South China Sea, at a speed of 13 kilometers per hour and center winds of 55 kph.

Only the provinces of La Union and Pangasinan remained under storm warning signal number 1.

Lt. Col. Ernesto Torres, spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said troops deployed for relief operations in Metro Manila are being diverted to northern Luzon to help rescue operations in Pangasinan and nearby provinces and the retrieval operations in Cordillera region, particularly in Benguet province and Baguio City.

Torres said that as of 6 a.m., the NDCC has counted 153 deaths from Pepeng, with 132 bodies recovered from several landslide sites in Benguet.

He said 40 people remained missing, 37 of them are victims of major landslides in Benguet province.

Local disaster officials in the Cordilleras said Friday night that there were already 137 people confirmed dead and 43 were missing in rain-triggered landslides overnight Thursday and on Friday morning.

Benguet Gov. Nestor Fongwan said Little Kibungan in Barangay Longlong, La Trinidad town was the worst hit after a landslide buried at least 30 houses in the village at 10:30 p.m. Thursday.

Officials have placed the number of residents in Little Kibungan at 150 although many residents reportedly fled the area before the landslide.

Seven more people died in a landslide that hit Tublay municipality and 54 people have also been reported killed in Baguio City due to landslides.

Mountain Province Governor Maximo Dulag said five people have been confirmed killed and 32 more missing in Tadian municipality.

Dr. Olive Luces of the Cordillera civil defense office said four major entry and exit points to Baguio, Benguet and Mountain Province remain impassable, cutting off much needed aid to those areas.

Massive rescue

Arevalo told ABS-CBN News that Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro, concurrent head of the NDCC, had ordered the military to focus on rescue operations in areas hit by landslides and deep floods in northern Luzon.

"Our focus is on rescue operations. That is our mandate right now. Troops in Metro Manila will be brought to [northern] Luzon," the military spokesman said.

The NDCC said rescue teams, including US troops, were spread in several areas in regions 1, 2 and 3.

It said a platoon from the Army's 50th Infantry Battalion was helping in the evacuations in La Union province, which was also hit by landslides and floods during Pepeng's onslaught.

Several retrieval teams were also dispatched to assist in the operations in Cordillera and evacuation teams in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur.

Arevalo said majority of the troops deployed in northern Luzon were deployed to Pangasinan, which went under floods as high as 20 feet, according to reports.

The military spokesman added that the Department of Social Welfare and Development was scheduled to bring 15,000 food packs to Camp Aquino in Tarlac, which is the center of relief operations for provinces devasted by the storm in the north.

San Roque Dam not broken

Officials, meanwhile, on Saturday morning denied news circulating around Pangasinan that the San Roque Dam has been broken.

The news warned against massive flashfloods, sending several residents in panic.

Presidential Management Staff chief Hermogenes Esperon told radio dzMM that he has personally inspected the dam, and it remained "strong, and will never be broken."

Tom Valdez, vice president of the San Roque Power Corp., also assured that the dam remains “strong and firm” despite the high volume of water it has been carrying since the storm slammed into northern Luzon.

“The San Roque dam is intact. There is no crack. There will be no dam break,” Valdez assured.

Susan Espinueva, chief of PAGASA's hydrometeorological unit, also denied the rumors. She said that as of 7 a.m., the dam's water level has lowered to 288.7 meters and it has lowered its water release to 1,659 cubic meters per second.

Espinueva explained that the dam's management has succeeded in keeping the water level under the critical level of 290 meters.

Reports said more 20 villages were still flooded in Pangasinan, including the municipality of Rosales and Dagupan City.

Floods went as deep as 20 feet in the province due to heavy rains brought on by the storm and the release of water from San Roque dam, which catches water from upstream dams in Benguet province.

nancyk58
12-10-2009, 04:26 PM
SUMATRA: Thousands of people were homeless on the Indonesian island of Sumatra last week after two major earthquakes - that is why the Danish Red Cross received four million Danish kroner from DANIDA for the massive reconstruction work.

BURMA (aka. Myanmar): The wind continues to be frightening in Myanmar. Theme: A year has passed since Cyclone Nargis smashed into the Myanmar (Burma). Today the reconstruction of houses, schools and farms has started, but the horrors of last year are still haunting the survivors. Thousands are still traumatized by the disaster.

COOPERATION WITH ECHO: The EU's humanitarian aid department, ECHO, support Red Cross relief work in several places in the world.

Help for 10,000 victims of Typhoon Morakot. Typhoon Marakot, with its more than 160 km / h devastated the coasts of CHINA, PHILIPPINES and TAIWAN. Red Cross helps with everything from the evacuation and shelter to flip-flops and cookware.

TAIWAN: Floods isolate typhoon victims: Typhoon Morakot that devastated TAIWAN recently was accompanied by floods and mudslides. Red Cross assists with search and rescue work.

What the Danish Red Cross does:

SUMATRA: Danish Red Cross has sent the equivalent of one million Danish kroner to SUMATRA. A large part of the mones goes to putting up 50 large tents to serve as temporary schools. 241 schools were so damaged during the earthquakes that they can no longer be used.
In addition, the Danish Red Cross received 300,000 Danish kroner from the Danish embassy in Indonesia. They include the purchase of 2,000 blankets, 2,000 sarongs, 2,000 hygiene kits and 600 tarpaulins.

http://drk.dk/nyheder/nyheder/fire+millioner+kroner+til+jordskaelvsofre

nancyk58
12-10-2009, 05:20 PM
Very soon - probably from Wednesday - I will only be posting news item in UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA.

NANCY

nancyk58;3559175 earlier today Monday 12 October 2009:

I am creating a thread called "UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN THE SOUTHEAST ASIA".

WHY? I'll make it easy for those interested to have:

AN OVERVIEW OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

including

- what is going on in that region

- the relief efforts of the relief organizations

- some articles with reports for instance from the rescuers or someone from the
relief organizations being in the area to get an overview of the situation etc.

NANCY :)

nancyk58
12-10-2009, 06:49 PM
SPARKLE aka. IOSHI thinks that this important post needs reposting - and I fully agree, so here it is:

"I guess this needs another reposting:

http://moongirl.wordpress.com/2009/0...a-from-abroad/

Donating to Manila from abroad

September 28, 2009 by moongirl

Update: A million thanks to every single person who has forwarded me info. Many of them are in the Comments below, or on Facebook. This list is being updated constantly – please keep ‘em coming.

I’m not one for feeling helpless – and neither are the rest of the Filipinos around the world. When Typhoon Ondoy struck Manila this weekend and buried 80% of it underwater, everyone went online on Facebook and Twitter and started what my dad calls People Power 3.

If you’re outside the Philippines like me, and you want to help, here’s what you can do:

Donate Online

* PhilippineAid.com: http://www.philippineaid.com/
* Ayala Foundation: http://www.myayala.com/ondoy/
* World Food Programme: https://www.wfp.org/donate/ondoy
* TXTPower (Paypal): http://technology.inquirer.net/infot...ims-via-Paypal
* Ateneo Alumni Northeast, Inc: http://www.atenista-usa.org/site/fea...ondoy-victims/
* Xoom: http://ronaldredito.org/blog/321/ond...ion-using-xoo/
* HOPE Worldwide: https://www.hopeww.org/NetCommunity/...=1&erid=162143

Donate by Phone

* USA: Call the American Red Cross at 1-800-435-7669. Please choose the 3rd option (International Donation), then tell the operator that your donation is for the Ondoy (Ketsana) typhoon victims in the Philippines.

Donate Through Your Community

There might be people in your community gathering relief goods and donations. Find them and go.

* Australia (Sydney): Deliver donations to 303/5 Stromboli Strait, Homebush Bay 2127. message twitter.com/allorange for questions

* Australia: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1...w-you-can-help

* Austria: Cash: message Charmaine Taus (sacki@taus.us). she’s having a benefit concert on October 22! concert details to follow.

* Bangkok: The Philippine Embassy will be receiving only donations in kind (ie., used clothing, shoes, blankets, and the like, and canned goods) …anytime between 9am-5pm until Fri. For queries, please contact the Philippine Embassy at (02) 259-0139 up to 40 or (08) 992-65954, or at bangkokpe@gmail.com.

* Belgium: For those based in Belgium they can contact Shiera Catalan at +32485328811 if they want to donate goods for typhoon relief

* California (Carson/Hermosa Beach): We are collecting donations to send to flood victims in Manila. Our goal is to fill up a 40ft container in one week with new or used clothing,shoes, blankets,medicines,canned food items, etc. Dropoff Location : 205 West Torrance Blvd, Carson, CA 90745. We will be setting up a booth on Oct 3, 2009 at the Substance event in Hermosa Beach CA. THANK YOU and God Bless Manila. TWITTER (Socal4Ondoy)

* California (Cerritos): Our house is temp drop off point while we find a bigger venue. We’ll facilitate immediate shipment to Manila. Thank you in advance for your help. Pls pass. Dino & Jan Home:16622 Amberwood Way Cerritos, CA 90703; (562)404-0625

* California (Daly City): Please contact Ryan Leano (626)534-4971. Liwanag Cultural Center, Hillside Park Clubhouse, 222 Lausanne Ave., Daly City*, CA* 94014.

* California (LA): Relief goods accepted in LA! ANSWER ofc, 137 Virgil St, Rm 203, Los Angeles, CA

* California (LA): TULONG SA PILIPINAS (STP): Accepting donations cash or check. Send to People’s CORE, 1610 Beverly Blvd. Suite No 2, Los Angeles, Ca 90026. Donations more than $50 is tax deductible. Material donations drop off ( donations; shoes, clothes, canned goods. medicines etc. ) at ANSWER LA office at 137 Virgil St. Room 203 , Los Angeles, CA 900042.

* California (Oakland): Please contact Ryan Leano (626)534-4971. Asian Pacific Islander Youth Promoting Advocacy & Leadership. Attn: Armael Malinis, AnakBayan-East Bay. 310 8th Street, Suite 215. Oakland, CA 94710

* California (San Francisco): Stanford’s Pilipino American Student Union (PASU) is also collecting donations to be sent to the Philippines to help victims of Typhoon Ondoy (international name Ketsana). If you would like to make a donation, please contact AV David at avhdavid@stanford.edu or (650) 491-4561.

* California (San Francisco): http://naffaar8.com/typhoon-ondoy-ke...-francisco-ca/

* Canada: http://byncan.wordpress.com/2009/09/...ondoy-victims/

* Canada (Montreal): http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/...585/story.html

* Canada (Toronto): Filipinos and Friends in Toronto, here’s how to help the victims of Typhoon Ondoy (intl name Ketsana): http://pidctoronto.com/projects/typhoon also see: http://bit.ly/28PDXf Thank You!

* Germany: Contact Denise Matias at denise.matias@gmail.com.

* Hong Kong: Filipinos in HONG KONG… Here’s how you can help: Ateneo Almuni Association HK is calling for donations to support relief efforts for the victims of Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) in the Philippines. Contact: Mike Reyes at +852.67131869

* Illinois: Contact Raymond Maximo of Northern Illinois University – rmaximo1@niu.edu.

* London: Cash: Acct. Name: P. A. Cortez / Acct. Num.: 58099901 / Bank: HSBC UK / Sort Code: 400500

* Malaysia: For those in Malaysia, LBC is accepting donations in cash and kind. Their numbers are: 2026-8536 / 2070-0557. The office I know is at Kota Raya in KL.

* New Jersey: Sinugba Cafe – 561 Westside Ave. Jersey City, NJ 07304; or Casa Victoria – 691 Newark Ave. Jersey City, NJ 07306-2803 You can send CASH through Metro Bank acct. 3 189 14540 1 For BAYAN’s “BALSA” (Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayanan). For donations in New Jersey please contact: (201)621-3156-Yves Nibungco or (917)476-7855- Nick Cordero

* New York: Ondoy New York Disaster Relief drop off center @ Pandayan Center, 406 W 40th St. Between 9th and 10th Aves. New York, NY 10018 or call 212.564.6057.

* New York: NAFCON (Nat’l Alliance for Filipino Concerns)/SANDIWA Nat’l Alliance of Fil-Am Youth are now receiving relief donations (clothes, blankets, medical supplies, monetary). NY drop-off @ BAYANIHAN Filipino Community Center, 40-21 69th St. Woodside, NY 11377. Call (516)901-1832 or email sandiwa.national@gmail.com if you would like to help.

* Oregon: Cash: message Welo Chuidian Rivera (welo_rivera@yahoo.com), or check out her note: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=143295770052

* Singapore: Drop-off point for donations is Afreight Cargo, #03-09 Lucky Plaza, Orchard Rd. Contact Maureen Schepers 6235-1011. Get more information here: http://www.pinoysg.com/forum/viewtop...=664644#664644

*South Korea: For the Filipinos and concerned citizens in South Korea: Pease support PIKO (Pinoy Iskolars sa Korea) fund-raising campaign for the Ondoy flood victims in the Philippines. Let us all help by donating to KOOKMIN BANK ACCOUNT NUMBER (498101-01-232756). Your help counts!

* United Kingdom: Visit the OXFAM website "


THANKS IOSHI / SPARKLE.

nancyk58
12-10-2009, 06:55 PM
The series of wild winds / typhoons may have passed

but the devastations after

- the typhoons / floodings in the
Philippines and Vietnam

- the tsunami (in Tonga and
Samoa)

and

- the earthquakes on Sumatra,
Indonesia

are huge and so is the reconstruction work needed!

Therefore please HELP / DONATE !


NANCY


More updates of the situation in Southeast Asia later today or tomorrow.

Tonsu
12-10-2009, 10:57 PM
Thank you so much Nancy for your efforts.

Perhaps this thread could also be made a sticky for a while?




Now is the time where help from the outside world is really needed - with all these losses of human lives and damage to houses and infrastructure. A lot of reconstruction is needed. SO PLEASE HELP IF YOU CAN!

You can help / donate via several organizations such as for instance RED CROSS or UNICEF

Absolutely, many lives are at stake right at this very moment.

nancyk58
13-10-2009, 12:37 AM
News from GMA News.TV - saw them 23:30 in the evening, Central European time
Suits mulled vs San Roque dam operators over floods
(Update 2 - 12:48 a.m. Oct. 13) Legal suits are looming over the operators of San
Roque dam for allegedly failing to properly warn residents along the Agno river basin in northern Luzon that last week's release of water during the height of typhoon “Pepeng" would cause massive flooding.


RELATED STORIES

» Arroyo orders relocation of residents in Benguet, Mt. Province

» Creation of special body to rehabilitate cyclone-hit RP opposed

» UN reaffirms commitment to RP relief efforts

» Senate to hear P12B calamity fund Tuesday

» RP to import rice next year as typhoons cut harvest

» Senate cancels Christmas party; funds go to typhoon victims

Flood in Pangasinan blamed on San Roque dam 2009-10-12 21:00:10

'Pepeng' damage to agriculture worth P308 million 2009-10-12 20:59:31

nancyk58
13-10-2009, 04:37 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN THE SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 13 OCTOBER 2009

http://www.gmanews.tv/index.html

Residents of Taytay, Rizal wait in waist-deep flood for relief goods to be distributed Monday by World Food Programme Philippines. Veejay Villafranca-WFP

At the Puguis Elementary School in La Trinidad, Benguet, Tuesday, President Arroyo hands out relief goods to landslide survivors. Thom Picana

Air Force personnel help Catherine Vicente, a landslide survivor from Atok, Benguet after she was airlifted Tuesday to a hospital in Baguio. Dave Leprozo

Baguio woes to ease as three major roads partially reopen
Baguio City’s isolation caused by landslides and lowland floods is expected to ease with the partial reopening Tuesday of two more major roads leading there, allowing the delivery of limited supplies of food, fuel, and relief goods. Last weekend was the first time all roads to the tourist resort city were closed since the 1990 earthquake.

RELATED STORIES

» Fake branded clothes to be donated to cyclone victims

» Relief goods for flood victims continue to pour in from abroad

» Pepeng damage in Benguet almost P700M

» Senate panel OKs P12B supplemental budget for Ondoy victims

» Operasyon ng dam, budget sa kalamidad ipinasusuri sa Senado

Rain-loosened mountain soil endangers Ifugao hospital
LAGAWE, Ifugao – Typhoon Pepeng’s onslaught in northern Luzon has loosened the mountain soil in this capital town, which now threatens to bury the provincial hospital together with some 50 families who live within the hospital’s perimeter.
Citing reports from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), provincial officials said a nearby mountain slope is in precarious condition, and continuous rainfall of at least four days may induce a landslide that could cover the whole hospital structure. :(
Albert Indunan, Ifugao Governor Teodoro Baguilat’s executive assistant, told reporters that the ground itself on which the hospital building sits has also weakened due to the torrential rains brought by “Pepeng."
“MGB cautioned us that mountain soil and debris could totally engulf the entire hospital even for a few days of nonstop rainfall," Indunan said.
Ifugao’s 50-bed provincial hospital, located in Natuolan village along mountain slopes, was built in the 1980s. Indunan said the soil where the 30-year old provincial hospital building was constructed has become precarious.
“As among the ten areas in the country that are landslide prone, we who live in the Cordilleras know for a fact that the condition of the soil here is unstable," he added.
The recent typhoon that dumped record high rainfall in Northern Luzon has killed 238 in the Cordilleras alone as of last count.
The provincial government allayed fears of hospital patients and nearby residents, saying that preparations have already been made for the expected arrival of more rains in October and November.
At the same time, a new hospital building is expected to rise soon away from danger zone.
According to Indunan, the national government through the Department of Health has already committed 50 percent of the P100 million total cost for the construction of a new 75-bed medical facility in the capital town. - Floro Taguinod, GMANews.TV

OTHER REGIONS STORIES

Food shortage in islands off Cagayan feared - 10/13/2009 | 07:55 PM
Food and medical supplies in the islands dotting the Babuyan Chanel off the coast of Cagayan province are dwindling fast.

Pepeng damage in Benguet almost P700M - 10/13/2009 | 07:22 PM
Aside from recording the biggest number of deaths caused by typhoon “Pepeng," Benguet has also suffered millions of pesos in damage to infrastructure, agriculture, and private property.

High tide aggravates flooding in 3 Bulacan towns - 10/13/2009 | 10:38 AM
The high tide in Manila Bay on Monday worsened the flooding in three towns in Bulacan province on Tuesday, according to the head of the Central Luzon’s Office of Civil Defense.

ALPA near Mindanao threatens to become cyclone - 10/13/2009 | 07:48 AM :(
A weather disturbance near Mindanao that has intensified into an active low-pressure area (ALPA) is threatening to intensify into another tropical cyclone.

Arroyo orders relocation of residents in Benguet, Mt. Province - 10/13/2009 | 12:39 AM
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has ordered the immediate relocation of residents in landslide-prone areas in Benguet, Baguio City and Mountain Province.

Low pressure area spotted off Mindanao - 10/13/2009 | 12:24 AM
The country has yet to recover from the devastation wrought by "Ondoy" and "Pepeng" but state weather forecasters on Monday said it is monitoring another low pressure area (LPA) that is poised to enter the country.
In its 5 p.m. bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said that as of 2 p.m. Monday, the LPA was spotted 790 kilometers east of northern Mindanao."
Visayas and Mindanao will experience cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms. Luzon will have partly cloudy to at times cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers and thunderstorms," Pagasa said.
Light to moderate winds blowing from the Northeast would prevail over Luzon and Visayas coming from the Northeast and North over Mindanao, it added.
The coastal waters throughout the archipelago will be slight to moderate except during thunderstorms. - Aie Balagtas See, GMANews.TV

BAD NEWS: THE ALPA = ACTIVE LOW-PRESSURE AREA NEAR MINDANAO THREATENS TO BECOME CYCLONE :(

nancyk58
13-10-2009, 07:34 PM
After so many negative / tragic / bad news I think that it is nice with a positive post like this one from Sparkle aka. Ioshi:

QUOTE (posted by Ioshi aka. Sparkle):

News comment of an American dweller in the Philippines:

"I wish you all could see the amazing community spirit, charity and compassion in the Philippines. What I see happening here totally blows away the response to hurricane Katrina. People here have less to give, yet they are giving ABUNDANTLY. There is such a greater story than just the 'death toll' that the lame american media fails to capture."

I really like this American dweller's positive attitude.

He sees things from the positive angle:

- The community spirit

- charity

- People's wish to stand together and help each other!

I was uplifted after reading this post. :)

Thank you, Ioshi for posting this. :thumbsup:

nancyk58
14-10-2009, 01:59 AM
Unicef.org news (1:30am, 14/10-09 Central European Time):

Back to school in Samoa
UNICEF and partners provide a safe environment for tsunami-affected children

UNICEF in Emergencies
Philippines: Executive Director visits flood-stricken areas
Indonesia: UNICEF delivers hygiene kits to quake zone
India: Flash floods affect 2 million people
UNICEF seeks $3 million for children affected by Indonesian earthquake
UN Flash Appeal of nearly $75 million for assistance to victims of Ketsana/Ondoy
Back to school in Samoa: UNICEF and partners provide a safe environment for tsunami-affected children.

http://www.redcross.org/
Red Cross News
AmeriCorps Contributes to Red Cross Relief Efforts in American Samoa
A Texas-sized Show of Support for National Guard Troops
Red Cross Aids Storm-Plagued Philippines (see below)
Red Cross Blog
Disaster Online Newsroom
Red Cross Aids Storm-Plagued Philippines
Friday, October 09, 2009 —
Typhoon Parma is back. After cutting through the north part of the Philippines a week ago, it reversed course and returned on Friday morning as a tropical storm. Contending with widespread flooding, the global Red Cross network is now responding to immense humanitarian needs from this disaster as well as the recent Typhoon Ketsana.
Staff and volunteers with the Philippine National Red Cross are helping hundreds of thousands of people in evacuation centers across the country. The government estimates that nearly 40,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed by the storms.
“Multiple Red Cross responses during the past two weeks emphasize the value of our global network,” says Alex Mahoney, manager of disaster programs for Asia with the American Red Cross. “The Philippine National Red Cross was already on the ground, responding immediately to local needs. Meanwhile, we are sending financial assistance, supplies and a shelter specialist to support their relief operation.”
Specifically, the American Red Cross has mobilized aid to help those that need it most:
It is providing $950,000 in financial assistance and relief supplies to address the typhoons' impact in the Philippines and Vietnam.
It has tapped its pre-positioned stocks for both of these countries, sending thousands of insecticide-treated bed nets, jerry cans and blankets from its warehouse in Kuala Lumpur.
It has also sent an expert in shelter coordination to assist with local operations in the Philippines.
On the ground, the Philippine National Red Cross has been providing food aid to more than 40,000 families, as well as other relief items like hygiene kits.
You can help the victims of countless crises around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. Donations to the International Response Fund can be sent to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013 or made by phone at 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or online at www.redcross.org.
http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.1a019a978f421296e81ec89e43181aa0/?vgnextoid=949551d37a934210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCR D
On Oct. 9, the American Red Cross received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. government for typhoon relief in the Philippines. The grantor - the U.S. Agency for International Development - administers the U.S. foreign assistance program, providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 120 countries worldwide.

UNICEF NEWS

Unicef.org news (1:30am, 14/10-09 Central European Time):

Unicef.org news (1:30am, 14/10-09 Central European Time):

Back to school in Samoa

UNICEF and partners provide a safe environment for tsunami-affected children

UNICEF in Emergencies

PHILIPPINES: Executive Director visits flood-stricken areas
Indonesia: UNICEF delivers hygiene kits to quake zone

India: Flash floods affect 2 million people

UNICEF seeks $3 million for children affected by Indonesian earthquake

UN Flash Appeal of nearly $75 million for assistance to victims of Ketsana / Ondoy

Back to school in Samoa: UNICEF and partners provide a safe environment for tsunami-affected children.
____________________________
GMA News.TV:
» 40 landslides in the Cordillera claim over 250 lives
» Giants wallop Whopper, spoil Aguilar’s debut
» Gas gone, food dwindling in Baguio City
________
RED CROSS NEWS / http://www.redcross.org/ B]

[B]AmeriCorps Contributes to Red Cross Relief Efforts in American Samoa

A Texas-sized Show of Support for National Guard Troops

Red Cross Aids Storm-Plagued PHILIPPINES (see below)

Red Cross Blog

Disaster Online Newsroom [/B ]

[B]Red Cross Aids Storm-Plagued PHILIPPINES (Friday, October 09, 2009)
Typhoon Parma is back. After cutting through the north part of the Philippines a week ago, it reversed course and returned on Friday morning as a tropical storm. Contending with widespread flooding, the global Red Cross network is now responding to immense humanitarian needs from this disaster as well as the recent Typhoon Ketsana.
Staff and volunteers with the Philippine National Red Cross are helping hundreds of thousands of people in evacuation centers across the country. The government estimates that nearly 40,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed by the storms.
“Multiple Red Cross responses during the past two weeks emphasize the value of our global network,” says Alex Mahoney, manager of disaster programs for Asia with the American Red Cross. “The Philippine National Red Cross was already on the ground, responding immediately to local needs. Meanwhile, we are sending financial assistance, supplies and a shelter specialist to support their relief operation.”
Specifically, the American Red Cross has mobilized aid to help those that need it most:
It is providing $950,000 in financial assistance and relief supplies to address the typhoons' impact in the Philippines and Vietnam.
It has tapped its pre-positioned stocks for both of these countries, sending thousands of insecticide-treated bed nets, jerry cans and blankets from its warehouse in Kuala Lumpur.
It has also sent an expert in shelter coordination to assist with local operations in the Philippines.

On the ground, the Philippine National Red Cross has been providing food aid to more than 40,000 families, as well as other relief items like hygiene kits.

You can help the victims of countless crises around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need.

DONATIONS to the International Response Fund can be sent to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013 or made by phone at 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or online at www.redcross.org.
http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.1a019a978f421296e81ec89e43181aa0/?vgnextoid=949551d37a934210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCR D

On Oct. 9, the American Red Cross received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. government for typhoon relief in the Philippines. The grantor - the U.S. Agency for International Development - administers the U.S. foreign assistance program, providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 120 countries worldwide.
__________________________________

www.News.TV

Relief goods for flood victims continue to pour in from abroad
10/13/2009 | 09:15 PM
Relief goods and other forms of assistance continue pour in from abroad for the victims of tropical storm “Ondoy" and typhoon “Pepeng," the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Tuesday.

Among the donors are members of the Filipino community in Hawaii, who have just launched a campaign to collect donations.

Even Rep. Joey Manahan (District 29) told Philippine Consul General in Honolulu, Leoncio Cardenas, that he will join student groups in Hawaii in receiving donations until November.

Manahan will work with student leaders Richard Tabalno, president of Katipunan at University of Hawaii; and Niccolo Gruta, president of Kababayan at Hawaii Pacific University.

UH student organization Timpuyog will take part in the donation drive, while Katipunan will start receiving donations such as canned goods, usable clothing and other supplies starting October 13 until November, at the UH Student Center.

The Philippine Consulate General has offered to be a drop-off point for donations in kind.

Manahan also said LBC Foundation will help ship goods to Manila while Hawaiian Airlines and the US Pacific Command have made similar offers to fly to Manila all collected donations.

Cardenas extended the the Philippine government’s gratitude to the Filipino Community and the people of Hawaii for their overwhelming support to raise funds for the flood victims.

He also thanked the student leaders for their spirit of volunteerism and their passion to help the flood victims.

AID FROM ISRAEL
Meanwhile, an Israeli nongovernment organization, Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid (IsraAID), will send a team to the Philippines to assist in relief efforts.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said the team, scheduled to leave for the Philippines last Saturday, will include of a doctor, a nurse, and three paramedics.

“The group will stay in the Philippines for two weeks, after which another team from Israel will take their place," the DFA said.

IsraAID is a coordinating body of Israeli and Jewish NGOs based in Israel that are active in developmental and relief work.

It aims to provide humanitarian aid worldwide for people who are in need, regardless of race, religion, gender, age, nationality or disabilities.

The DFA said IsraAID’s team in the Philippines will be working in close coordination with the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC).

FUND FROM ITALY

Meanwhile, Filipinos in northern Italy sent to victims of tropical storm “Ondoy" (Ketsana) some €2,700 (P184,736) in excess funds from their Independence Day celebration last June.

Philippine Vice Consul Mary Luck Hicarte turned over the donation to Rodel Dimatulac, branch head of Metrobank-Milan, for deposit.

According to the DFA, the amount will go to the Philippine National Red Cross, which is actively involved in relief work.

Filipino community organizations agreed in a meeting last week to donate to the PNRC part of the excess funds of the 2009 Independence Day celebrations.

During the meeting, the Filipino community leaders agreed to pool information and to facilitate coordination on the many relief efforts being undertaken by the community organizations, including two benefit concerts featuring Filipino and Italian artists.

The consulate reported the receptiveness of remittance centers and cargo forwarding companies to its request for the waiving of remittance and shipment charges for donations.

It also reported the opening of a donation box within its premises and its acceptance of relief goods for shipment to Manila.

A TON OF GOODS FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Filipino community members and fellow expatriates at least one ton of relief goods for victims of Ondoy victims back home.

A report on UAE-based news site Khaleej Times (www.khaleejtimes.com) said the donations included canned goods and clothes collected by a money transfer firm.

Employees of Xpress Money, the global instant money transfer brand of the UAE Exchange Center, gathered the items from colleagues and customers.

“These donations are small ways to express our solidarity with our Filipino friends, who have been the victims of the devastation caused by the ferocity of the typhoon Ondoy. We would like to help them overcome this difficult period in whatever possible ways we can, be it in cash or kind," said Sudhir Kumar Shetty, an Indian national who is COO-Global operations for Xpress Money.

LBC Parcel will bring the items to the Philippines free of charge as part of its contribution, the report said.

Philippine community leaders in Abu Dhabi also contributed 20,000 dirhams (P252,953) from their community funds to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Meanwhile, the UAE Red Crescent Authority (RCA) has started accepting relief goods to be sent to the Philippines at four of its tents located across Abu Dhabi.

These include the Shaikh Khalifa Medical City, Carrefour Airport Road, Marina Mall and Municipality at Salam Street.

“Just write ‘relief items for the Philippines’ at the bag," advised Noel Servigon, consul general and charge d’ affaires at the Philippine Embassy.

’DONATION DAY’ IN SWITZERLAND
On Oct. 9,.Swiss people held a “Donation Day" for Ondoy and Pepeng as well as for victims of quake victims in Indonesia and flood victims in India, a DFA report said.

The “Donation Day" has so far raised the equivalent of P283.321 million for the victims in the three calamity-hit countries.

“Donations have reached Swiss Francs 6,254,451 and may still go higher," it said, citing a report from the Philippine Embassy in Berne.

The Swiss Solidarity Foundation, which organized the Donation Day, is the humanitarian arm of Swiss Radio and Television and the private print media.

It works with 30 partner groups to provide emergency relief in disaster areas. Their partners include Caritas, Medicins Sans Frontieres, Swiss Red Cross, Handicap International.

For its part, the Swiss Asian Chamber of Commerce (SACC) based in Zurich coordinated directly with the Swiss Solidarity Foundation to assist the Philippines.

SACC is composed of entities doing business in Asia, particularly Southeast Asia.

Philippine Ambassador to Switzerland Ma. Theresa Lazaro and Martin Kurer, SACC’s Philippine Chapter chairman, established the SACC Taskforce Asia (www.taskforceasia.ch), in close cooperation with the Indonesian ambassador in Switzerland and in coordination with the Philippine Swiss Business Council based in Manila, represented by Reiner Gloor.

The Philippine Embassy also conveyed the gratitude of Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., chair of the Philippine National Disaster Coordinating Council, to the Swiss people.

“I have been informed about the efforts of the Swiss people and the Swiss government’s assistance and I wish to extend my sincerest gratitude. I wish to specifically mention the efforts of Swiss Solidarity, Glueckskette and Radio DRS. Thank you," Teodoro said in his message.

HELP FROM DOWN UNDER
Down south in Australia, Filipinos in New South Wales also raised donations and collected relief goods for flood victims.

“Families gave grocery products and clothes while senior citizens donated their pensions. Young professionals and university students approached groceries for donations of canned goods and pharmacies for medicines. Many Filipino-Australian organizations undertook fund appeals, to assist the civic relief groups sheltering and assisting flood victims," the DFA said.

A Filipino language radio program made a two-day radiothon and raised 11,000 Australian dollars (P462,000) in pledges.

As of October 6, three metric tons (3,000 kilograms) of collected food donations were sent by air to the PNRC, Gawad Kalinga, and other civic organizations.

“A second shipment of relief goods, which is targeting six tons (6,000 kgs) of assorted relief goods, is being assembled for immediate shipment," the DFA said.

Filipino-Australians in Blacktown City, where there are 21,000 Filipino immigrants, are organizing a concert to raise more funds for the flood victims, said J. Anthony Reyes, acting head of post of the Philippine Consulate General in Sydney.

BOXES FROM UK
In the United Kingdom, the Philippine Embassy in London and members of the Filipino-UK Community have begun shipping collected donations to the Philippines.

The DFA said 24 large boxes packed with donated items were collected from the Embassy’s premises on October 8.

Subsequent collections from the embassy are scheduled for October 15 and 20.

“All goods will be placed in a container van donated by Wentworth International Movers for shipment to the Department of Social Works and Development (DSWD) in Manila," the DFA said. - GMANews.TV

nancyk58
14-10-2009, 01:18 PM
UPDATES ON SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA 14/10-09
http://www.gmanews.tv/index.html
62 towns in the nation's rice granary still flooded (10/13/2009 | 09:30 PM )
Three days after Typhoon Pepeng exited Philippine territory, vast areas in central Luzon remain flooded, with the nation's leading palay-producing province, Nueva Ecija, suffering from the most widespread flooding. Arayat town in Pampanga province - without the media attention directed at other towns - is enduring the deepest floodwaters, up to seven feet.
Data culled by GMA News Research from the Regional Office of Civil Defense for Central Luzon showed that as of Tuesday 23 out of Nueva Ecija's 32 towns, or nearly 72 percent, are still dealing with floods, although the waters are less than a foot deep or not as bad as those in adjacent towns of nearby provinces.
In 2008, Nueva Ecija topped the nation in rice production with 1,372,378 metric tons, more than 300,000 metric tons more than second leading producer Isabela. Nueva Ecija also led the nation in onion production.
A close study of the map shows that the provinces of Tarlac, Pampanga, and Bulacan still have a total of 11 towns that are submerged in at least two feet of water.
These include the towns of Arayat, Bacolor, Masantol, San Luis, Macabebe and Sto. Tomas in Pampanga; La Paz, Paniqui, Moncada and San Manuel in Tarlac province; and Calumpit in Bulacan province.
Tarlac is the country's seventh leading rice producer with over a half million metric tons in 2008.
In Pampanga, Arayat town suffered the worst flooding, with five of its barangays (villages) submerged in six to seven-foot deep floodwaters. This was followed by Bacolor and Masantol towns.
In Bulacan, Calumpit town was flooded by at least four feet, while in Tarlac, La Paz town remained submerged in at least three feet.
Meanwhile, floods in the following areas (orange) have already receded:
Palayan City, Nueva Ecija;
Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija;
Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija;
Licab, Nueva Ecija;
Sta. Ana, Pampanga; and
Guagua, Pampanga.
» DPWH sees full repair of roads to Baguio in 1 month
» Flooding in Albay province prompts evacuations
» NDCC: ‘Pepeng’ death toll now 375, damage breaches P8B mark
____________________________
BBC World Service Text TV: Tsunami Drill across Indian Ocean:
18 countries in the Indian Ocean region are taking part in an exercise to evaluate the response of the region's tsunami early warning systems. The test will simulate the earthquake that struck off the northwest coast of Sumatra 2004 when 250,000 people were killed - more than half of them in the Indonesian province of Aceh. The drill is taking place today on the World Disaster Reduction Day. ZDF Text TV also mentioned this drill taking place on the "Welttag zur Katastrophenbekämpfung".
ZDF Text TV: Suffering following natural disasters: UN: 2,3 mio people died.
According to information given by UN 2,3 mio. people died in the past 3 decades from 1975 to 2008. 8,000 earthquakes, storms, floodings, landslides and fires caused enormous human suffering and vast devastations. In particular people in the poor countries are struck by these disasters.
Danish DR1: INDONESIA: Those missing after the earthquakes now declared dead
300 missing are now declared dead, so that the official death toll now amounts to 1,115 people. Enormous relief operations are on-going to help thousands of people who are homeless due to the earthquakes. The heaviest earthquake measured 7,6 richter and damaged Padang severely - Padang is a city of more than 1 mio inhabitants.

Posted this:
UPDATES ON SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA 14/10-09

http://www.gmanews.tv/index.html

62 towns in the nation's rice granary still flooded (10/13/2009 | 09:30 PM )
Three days after Typhoon Pepeng exited Philippine territory, vast areas in central Luzon remain flooded, with the nation's leading palay-producing province, Nueva Ecija, suffering from the most widespread flooding. Arayat town in Pampanga province - without the media attention directed at other towns - is enduring the deepest floodwaters, up to seven feet.
Data culled by GMA News Research from the Regional Office of Civil Defense for Central Luzon showed that as of Tuesday 23 out of Nueva Ecija's 32 towns, or nearly 72 percent, are still dealing with floods, although the waters are less than a foot deep or not as bad as those in adjacent towns of nearby provinces.
In 2008, Nueva Ecija topped the nation in rice production with 1,372,378 metric tons, more than 300,000 metric tons more than second leading producer Isabela. Nueva Ecija also led the nation in onion production.
A close study of the map shows that the provinces of Tarlac, Pampanga, and Bulacan still have a total of 11 towns that are submerged in at least two feet of water.
These include the towns of Arayat, Bacolor, Masantol, San Luis, Macabebe and Sto. Tomas in Pampanga; La Paz, Paniqui, Moncada and San Manuel in Tarlac province; and Calumpit in Bulacan province.
Tarlac is the country's seventh leading rice producer with over a half million metric tons in 2008.
In Pampanga, Arayat town suffered the worst flooding, with five of its barangays (villages) submerged in six to seven-foot deep floodwaters. This was followed by Bacolor and Masantol towns.
In Bulacan, Calumpit town was flooded by at least four feet, while in Tarlac, La Paz town remained submerged in at least three feet.

Meanwhile, floods in the following areas (orange) have already receded:
Palayan City, Nueva Ecija;
Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija;
Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija;
Licab, Nueva Ecija;
Sta. Ana, Pampanga; and
Guagua, Pampanga.

» DPWH sees full repair of roads to Baguio in 1 month

» Flooding in Albay province prompts evacuations

» NDCC: ‘Pepeng’ death toll now 375, damage breaches P8B mark
____________________________

BBC World Service Text TV: Tsunami Drill across Indian Ocean:
18 countries in the Indian Ocean region are taking part in an exercise to evaluate the response of the region's tsunami early warning systems. The test will simulate the earthquake that struck off the northwest coast of Sumatra 2004 when 250,000 people were killed - more than half of them in the Indonesian province of Aceh. The drill is taking place today on the World Disaster Reduction Day. ZDF Text TV also mentioned this drill taking place on the "Welttag zur Katastrophenbekämpfung".

ZDF Text TV: Suffering following natural disasters: UN: 2,3 mio people died (in the past 3 decades).
According to information given by UN, 2,3 mio. people died in the past 3 decades from 1975 to 2008. 8,000 earthquakes, storms, floodings, landslides and fires caused enormous human suffering and vast devastations. In particular people in the poor countries are struck by these disasters.

Danish DR1: INDONESIA: Those missing after the earthquakes now declared dead
300 missing are now declared dead, so that the official death toll now amounts to 1,115 people. Enormous relief operations are on-going to help thousands of people who are homeless due to the earthquakes. The heaviest earthquake measured 7,6 richter and damaged Padang severely - Padang is a city of more than 1 mio inhabitants.

nancyk58
14-10-2009, 05:26 PM
NEWS FROM DANISH RED CROSS 14/10-09:

http://drk.dk/nyheder/nyheder/myggenet+til+tyfonofre

MOSQUITO NETS TO TYPHOON VICTIMS

After two severe typhoons hit the Philippines last month, the Danish Red Cross now sends emergency aid for the equivalent of 750,000 Danish kroner.

Responsible for page: Julie Lorenzen. Edited on 14 October 2009

It corresponded to a whole month's rain, when the typhoon "Ketsana" hit the Philippines on 26th September and laid much of the capital Manila under water. Following "Ketsana", the typhoon "Parma" ravaged in the northern part of the country and resulted in severe flooding and landslides.

Over six million people are affected by both natural disasters, at least 530 have died while more than 400 are wounded.

Emergency aid for the equivalent of 750,000 Danish kroner

The situation is now so serious that the Danish Red Cross sends emergency aid for the equivalent of 750,000 Danish kroner - the money will go to buy 11,000 mosquito nets, 3,050 water cans, 1,500 hygiene kits and 383 kitchen sets to the many victims. The money comes from the Foreign Ministry's trade allocation.

Appeals recently issued
The goods, Danish Red Cross sends to the Philippines, is a contribution to the appeal of just 34 million Danish kroner that the International Red Cross has just issued. Money from the appeal will go to help 200,000 people for one year with, among other, relief, clean water and medical care.

Diarrhea and skin diseases ravaging
The two typhoons have resulted in almost 20,000 families having lost their homes, while more than 46,000 houses have been destroyed. Many are still forced to live in their partially flooded homes.
The number of cases of diarrhea and skin diseases increases with the recession of the water masses.

Volunteers work around the clock
Thousands of volunteers from the Filipino Red Cross has since 26 September worked around the clock to help the many affected and traumatized people with i.a. first aid and psychological support.
____________________________

http://www.gmanews.tv/story/174656/downstream-no-time-to-escape-a-dams-deluge

Downstream, no time to escape a dam's deluge
ANDREO CALONZO and SOPHIA DEDACE, GMANews.TV10/14/2009 | 09:28 PM

Before the flood came the siren.
In the midst of Typhoon Pepeng’s powerful downpour, Gerald Lomibao, 23, a resident of Binmaley, a town four hours drive from San Roque Dam, heard the siren. Then barangay tanods rushed by to remind him that the siren meant that the dam was about to release water and Gerald and his family had three hours to evacuate to higher ground.

But in 15 minutes the flood had arrived, creeping steadily higher until the Lomibao family had to flee to an upper floor.

As the worst floods in the history of Pangasinan slowly subside, and residents ponder their ruined homes and property, the inadequacy of warning given by both the dam operators and local governments is only one issue that is spurring outrage from residents, senators, and activists,

Pangasinan’s provincial government and Senator Chiz Escudero have threatened to file law suits against the San Roque Power Corporation, which operates the dam along the Agno River. Senate hearings began Wednesday morning on the role the dam’s water release played in the flood.

The region received a record amount of rainfall starting October 8, compelling the dam operators to release enormous flows of water that eventually found its way into the homes of the Lomibaos and ten of thousands of Pangasinan residents. A dam that fills up and overflows is in danger of collapsing.

“With or without the dam, standard operating procedure," said Romualdo Beltran, the director for Dam, Reservoirs and Waterways Division the National Power Corporation (Napocor), which owns the San Roque Dam. Beltran spoke at a forum on the flood at the University of the Philippines Diliman campus on Tuesday.

Engineering professors at the forum questioned the timing of the water release. "Why did they have to wait for the water to almost overflow before opening the gates?" Guillermo Tabios III of the National Hydraulic Research Center asked. "They should have released water as early as October 4, when the water already exceeded 280 meters."

Beltran said no one knew that Pepeng would bring a 100 year rain, meaning rainfall that occurs only once every century. The heaviness of the downpour filled up the reservoir so quickly that all six gates of the dam had to be opened.

Pangasinan provincial administrator Rafael Baraan, in the midst of relief operations in his still-flooded province, lamented the rate of release.

They told us they will release water by Thursday afternoon. They said they would release 2,500 cubic meters per second. But by 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. Friday, they were already releasing 5,072 cubic meters of water.

“Why would they release so much water in so little time?"

It’s that same water that Gerald Lomibao and his family had no time to escape. At the time of this posting Wednesday evening, the Lomibaos and four other families were huddled on the second floor of the Lomibao home, with waist-deep water barely moving on the ground floor. – GMANews.TV

nancyk58
14-10-2009, 11:44 PM
Danish Text TV (TV2) at 20:38: EARTH QUAKE HITS TSUNAMI-RAVAGED SAMOA

The earthquake measured 6,0 richter and hit an area near the western part of Samoa in the Pacific Ocean according to the US Geological Surveillance Center. It is less than 2 weeks after the series of tsunamis hitting the group of islands after a quake that measured 8 richter. The epicenter of the quake is west of Apia in the western part of Samoa.

nancyk58
15-10-2009, 03:12 PM
PHILIPPINES

www.GMA News.TV

New cyclone moving toward NLuzon-Taiwan area

10/15/2009 | 06:54 PM
A cyclone that may hit Philippine territory this weekend is heading towards the Northern Luzon-Taiwan area, state weather forecasters said Thursday.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the cyclone, which it said is a tropical depression, has maximum sustained winds of 55 kph.

“The tropical depression over the Marianas Islands was estimated at 1,870 km east of Visayas with maximum sustained winds of 55 kph. It is moving west-northwest at 35 kph in the general direction of central and northern Luzon-Taiwan area," it said in an advisory posted on its Web site Thursday afternoon.

The weather system “is expected to further intensify before it enters the Philippine area of responsibility this weekend," Pagasa said.

Filipinos are still reeling from the effects of tropical cyclones “Ondoy" (international name Ketsana) and “Pepeng" (Parma).

Earlier, Pagasa weather bureau chief Nathaniel Cruz said the cyclone will be named “Ramil" once it enters the Philippine area of responsibility.

It is still in the Philippine Sea and has not entered our area of responsibility. It is still far away," Cruz said in an interview on dzRH radio.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said the cyclone, code-named Tropical Storm 22W, was making its closest approach to the Southern Marianas and is moving rapidly west at around 25 miles per hour (mph).

Meanwhile, Pagasa said the low-pressure area that passed through Bicol this week was estimated at 550 kms north-northwest of Puerto Prinsesa, Palawan. It said the LPA is embedded along the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) affecting Luzon and Visayas.

"Northern and Central Luzon will experience cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms while the Western section of Southern Luzon and Visayas will have mostly cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms," it said in its 5 p.m. bulletin.

The rest of the country will be partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers and thundrstorms, it said.

Moderate to occasionally strong winds coming from the Southwest and South will prevail over Palawan, Visayas and Mindanao and coming from the Southeast and East over the rest of the country.

Coastal waters throughout the archipelago will be moderate to occasionally rough. - GMANews.TV
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Benguet’s capital becomes a ‘Valley of Death’

By MARIA ELENA GONZALES 10/15/2009 | 02:37 PM

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Death is in the valley.

The stench of death now surrounds the so-called “salad bowl of the north" as the toll from landslides unleashed by typhoon “Pepeng’s" rains last week continues to rise.
La Trinidad Mayor Artemio Galwan has been going from wake to wake, consoling his constituents while keeping tab of tasks that need his immediate attention.
In this highland town, 109 perished at the height of Pepeng. Four massive landslides in Benguet alone have caused irreparable damage and the search for those buried in mud continues, with the death toll rising to 189 on Thursday.

Arroyo orders deployment of more nurses vs leptospirosis
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has ordered the health department to deploy more nurses and health workers to help address the growing number of leptospirosis cases in cyclone-affected areas. In the National Capital Region, which was battered by Ondoy last Sept. 26, the DOH said 429 suspected cases of leptospirosis have been admitted in 10 hospitals.

Evacuees at PhilSports Arena slowly going home

Rains trigger another landslide in Benguet

Angat Dam releases water; residents in Bulacan towns evacuate 10/15/2009 |
08:08 AM
Officials of Norzagaray town in Bulacan ordered evacuation of at least 95 families Wednesday night, hours before the National Power Corp. (Napocor) released water from Angat Dam early Thursday

Senate OKs P12B budget for calamity victims

Ad Congress pulls out of Baguio, cutting revenues for city's rehab

Bond proceeds to fund repair, reconstruction

Frequent RP visitor Kobe urges storm-hit Pinoys to be strong

Storm chaser: My relationship with Pepeng

Heavy rains stop in Albay, but people remain on alert
10/15/2009 | 10:05 AM

Heavy rains that flooded and forced the evacuation of families in many areas in Albay province since late Tuesday have stopped, but residents there remained on alert

Angat opens 2nd gate; officials allay fears of flooding
10/15/2009 | 01:08 PM
A second gate of the Angat Dam in Bulacan province was opened Thursday morning as the water of the reservoir was nearing critical level. Officials promptly assured no massive flooding would take place in surrounding areas.
Jaime de Silva, a senior technician in Angat, was quoted in a radio dzBB report as saying that the National Power Corp. ordered them to open a second gate at 10 a.m. as water level reached 213.70 meters.
The water level at the Angat Dam is considered critical when it reaches 214 meters, according to de Silva. As scheduled, dam technicians opened the first gate at 6 a.m. Thursday.
De Silva said rains were not strong Thursday but the continuous flow of water coming from the mountains surrounding the Angat Dam still forced them to open a second gate.
According to state weather forecasters, the low pressure area currently in Philippine territory was last spotted at 2 a.m. at 290 kilometers north-northwest of Puerto Princesa in Palawan.
A tropical storm just outside Philippine territory is expected to enter the country over the weekend. Storm 22W was about 140 miles south-southwest of Guam as of 10 a.m. -

RP welcomes US House resolution supporting disaster relief effortsANDREO C. CALONZO, GMANews.TV 10/15/2009 | 08:21 PM
The Philippine government welcomed on Thursday a resolution filed in the United States House of Representatives urging the US federal government to support local relief efforts to help victims of two consecutive weather disturbances that hit the country in the past weeks.

Malacaňang on Thursday expressed gratitude for US House Resolution 800 filed by California 12th District Rep. Jackie Speier in the US Congress, which calls on US President Barack Obama to continue assisting the Philippines in its efforts to address the deaths and damage to property caused by tropical storm “Ondoy" (Ketsana) and typhoon “Pepeng" (Parma).

"We are very happy and thankful for the resolution," deputy presidential spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo told GMANews.TV in a phone interview.

Fajardo said the move was also very timely since President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo recently appealed to rich countries to assist the Philippines in rehabilitation and relief efforts after rains brought by Ondoy and Pepeng caused massive damage to infrastructure, agriculture and private property.

She also said she hopes that Obama and the US government will "heed" Speier’s call and pass the resolution.

"If it will be successful, it will be a start of a good move that will make other countries follow as well," she said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs also thanked Speier and the rest of the international community for their efforts in extending help to those affected by the twin cyclones that devastated the country.

“We are grateful to Representative Speier and other friends for their support and solidarity with our people during these difficult times," Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ed Malaya said in a separate interview.

But Philippine House of Representatives Speaker Prospero Nograles said it would have been better if Speier’s resolution directed actual financial support to the government in its relief efforts.

“Thanks but better with appropriations. It will be more meaningful and will help us out," Nograles said in a text message sent to GMANews.TV.

Speier introduced in the US Congress on October 6 the resolution entitled “Expressing sympathy for the citizens of the Philippines dealing with Tropical Storm Ketsana and Typhoon Parma," encouraging the US government to work closely with Philippine officials to improve the country’s disaster mitigation techniques.

The resolution, which garnered 39 co-sponsors in a day’s time, also urged the US government help in relief efforts in the Philippines in terms of logistical, transportation and financial assistance.

Speier’s resolution is scheduled for a vote on Wednesday (Thursday past midnight in Manila).

The US Embassy had earlier offered an initial relief aid of US100,000 and sent its military servicemen, along with their boats and choppers to help in rescue operations for victims of the two tropical cyclones. – Aie See, Jam Sisante and Joseph Ubalde, GMANews.TV

High tide aggravates flooding in 3 Bulacan towns (13 October, 2009)

The high tide in Manila Bay on Monday worsened the flooding in three towns in Bulacan province on Tuesday, according to the head of the Central Luzon’s Office of Civil Defense.

700 families evacuated as floodwaters swamp Bulacan town
__________________

http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/philippines_51369.html

Tsunami-affected children back to school (by David Youngmeyer)
APIA, SAMOA, 12 October 2009 – UNICEF is working closely with the Samoan Government’s Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture to ensure that tsunami-affected children are able to resume their education as soon as possible.

nancyk58
15-10-2009, 05:11 PM
UNICEF NEWSLETTER received per e-mail Thursday 15 October, 2009 :

Emergency update: Children in Asia are still struggling for their lives

From: UNICEF Denmark (e-nyhedsbrev@unicef.dk)
Sent: 15. October 2009 15:31:53

The earth shakes no more, and the water has receded. Yet the world is changed.

Millions of children in ASIAa and in SAMOA are affected and many are struggling to survive and move forward after natural disasters a few weeks ago.

You can help them. Make your contribution here.

UNICEF is fully engaged in helping the children and help useless.

We vaccinate against infectious diseases spreading quickly through the contaminated water.

We ensure that children are quickly back to school.

We protect the many children who are now alone and in danger of exploitation and abuse.

The need for help is enormous. And the extent of the disaster is not yet clear everywhere. UNICEF responded quickly, but the need in the next month exceeds the funds available to us at the moment.

Help us so we can continue our work to ensure these children's lives!

Thank you for your support.

Best regards

Steen M. Andersen,
Secretary General
UNICEF Denmark

I received a similar letter a week ago - one option was to donate money per telephone which I did so that my contribution could be of use as soon as possible.
________

GMA News.tv

Rains trigger another landslide in Benguet

10/15/2009 | 08:22 AM

Rains since Wednesday triggered another landslide in Benguet province early Thursday, setting back repair of a key highway and prolonging the isolation of a town there.

A report by radio dzBB's Carlo Mateo said the landslide occurred along Km 18 of the Halsema Highway in Tublay town, forcing officials to close that portion to traffic.

No one was reported injured in the incident, the report said.

The report quoted Public Works Cordillera head Roy Manao as saying they were planning to open the stretch of the highway between Km 18 and Km 26.

It added that the landslide prolonged the isolation of areas in Atok town, including Caliking and Topdac villages.

Benguet was among the areas in Northern Luzon affected by heavy rains causing landslides and floods as typhoon "Pepeng" (Parma) made its third landfall last week.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council's 6 a.m. report showed that Benguet landslides death toll has already hit 243, while 37 remain missing.

A whole community in Puguis village in La Trinidad town was buried in thick mud, rocks and loose soil when rain-induced landslide struck on the evening of October 8. - GMANews. TV

Some Benguet evacuees back in their homes despite danger 2009-10-15 20:36:41
Napocor admits existing protocol in releasing water from dams obsolete 2009-10-15 20:36:03

nancyk58
16-10-2009, 08:47 AM
Red Cross Volunteers Offer Emotional Support to Grieving American Samoans By Christi Harlan

Thursday, October 15, 2009 — As schoolchildren on American Samoa prepared to return to classes for the first time after the Sept. 29 tsunami, American Red Cross worker Tim Serban fielded a special request.

“We met with a teacher of preschoolers who is facing the reality of school starting and (wants to know) what to say or do to help the students process the grief over those who don't show up for school,” Serban wrote in an e-mail describing his first day on American Samoa. “That will be our call tomorrow, as we have been requested by local leaders to begin to meet with teachers and help them address their grief just before they step into the classroom.”
Serban is the volunteer spiritual care adviser among the 88 American Red Cross workers who flew to American Samoa to help with recovery from the tsunami. While his fellow Red Cross workers assist with residents’ physical recovery from the tsunami, Serban and his partners in Red Cross mental health are addressing the psychological and spiritual needs of the residents. Their work as part of Red Cross Disaster Services is supported by donations to the Disaster Relief Fund of the American Red Cross.

Since his arrival Oct. 3, Serban has spent much of his time on the island addressing the special needs of children, particularly those who lost classmates in the waves. It is hard work:
“Tomorrow will begin again with the children who lost their classmate,” Serban wrote. “They will go with their teachers for a site visit to the location where their 11-year-old classmate last lived. She was lost with her mother when the waves came through. And the children will bring part of themselves to leave at the site. Then we teach teachers about grief, and the preschoolers and then my mental health colleague will go back to a high school to train teachers about Psychological First Aid. And I wrap up tomorrow with a few site visits to families and then work with leaders of Teen Challenge on Samoan TV at 6:30 p.m.”
The focus on children gained special poignancy on Sunday, Oct. 11, which was “White Sunday” in American Samoa, an annual day of celebration when children are honored in church services by their families and members of their communities—all of whom are expected to wear their very best all-white clothes to mark the day.
The White Sunday celebration this year was tinged with grief, as some families on the island had buried their children just two days earlier in ceremonies that are also rich in tradition.
For American Samoans, Serban wrote, such a ceremony “means digging their own child's grave, which is in the front yard of the family home. Then bringing family together and hosting them in what would have been your home, but is now uninhabitable….
There are not many options for alternatives,” Serban said. “Tradition, culture, and history mandate that, for one to have honor, they would do these things….They welcome every bit of support and advice for caring for their children and themselves. The little we provide is much when you have limited access to such support.”

Serban, who is director of mission and spiritual care at Providence Health System in Everett, Wash., previously worked with the American Red Cross in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, and Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav. He is one of 285 disaster-trained, board-certified chaplains, including rabbis, priests and ministers, who work with the American Red Cross on spiritual care.

The American Red Cross added spiritual care to its disaster services after the crash of TWA Flight 800 and the passage of the Aviation Family Disaster Assistance Act of 1996, according to Earl E. Johnson, the volunteer partner coordinator for the Red Cross spiritual care response team.
“Spiritual care was originally a team that responded to air disasters,” Johnson said. “Our mission expanded after Sept. 11 to include critical events with mass fatalities. That’s why the American Red Cross, as a humanitarian organization, is involved in facilitating and coordinating spiritual care with partners in the faith community. Death is more than a mental health issue.”
Serban has seen that firsthand on American Samoa, where his work with the men of the villages and communities has been particularly important.

On his first day on the island, he traveled to the hard-hit area of Leone: “We’re tasked with the job of reaching out to key men in the local community who have faced the greatest loss ever: their children. How as a father would you face the grief of losing your children as they fled their school to try to make it home? How would you handle the deep grief of not only losing your home but also facing the reality that you could have lost your entire family? How do you celebrate the fact that all (of your family) survived except your little angel, your only daughter, who was just six years old? These were just some of the realities we walked into today.”

In the village of Tafuna, Serban has maintained his work with the sixth graders at South Pacific academy whose 11-year-old classmate died in the tsunami, joining them last week for a seaside service to honor their classmate with a Samoan farewell song.
“It was a very deeply precious moment as the whales breached in the sea behind them—something that rarely is seen in this area. One whale came very close and blew its spray. The kids saw it as a sign from their friend that she is safe and at peace—a sight that no one could experience without the gift of tears….”
About an hour after the service, the island was placed under another tsunami watch, then a full warning.
“Just when you think the nerves are settling down on this island of grief, you experience what we experienced today—a tsunami warning as we were working with the fears of the early childhood educators. Their students, homes and people were lost….
“The grief was very evident, and the emotional concerns were palpable, just at the minute we looked out the classroom window to see a sea of children in uniforms pouring out of their schools and walking quickly on the road uphill towards us….Within a minute, all were piled into cars and into the backs of pickup trucks on their way toward the jungle mountaintops.
“The clouds hovered like fog around the top and, as we followed a steady stream of vehicles up the mountain, every 100 to 200 feet a young man stood holding a hammer-like bolt next to an empty rusty oxygen tank….each beating a steady and constant sound like a gong that echoes through the village. Just as one sound fades, another gets louder.”
The tsunami warning was cancelled, but its effects required additional work by Serban and Red Cross mental health workers.
“There were visible signs that the warning had more than rattled the nerves of many,” he wrote on Thursday. “Teachers and students alike were impacted….One of the things I said to a group of teachers was that they needed to be honest and truthful, and if a student asked ‘could this happen again?’ to tell the truth and say ‘we don't know.’ It could happen, but this is what we are doing to be safe and you need to let us know what helps you to feel safe….
“We are working in Pago Pago with families and individuals in need. The emotional aftermath is very real. It is great working together with the excellently trained mental health members and collaborating partners within the community. No one is an island.”

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

AmeriCorps Contributes to Red Cross Relief Efforts in American Samoa
"Service is something I always wanted to be a part of," said Ashley SaverinoRead

American Samoa: A Long-term Recovery Operation

http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.1a019a978f421296e81ec89e43181aa0/?vgnextoid=1bfe81b94a454210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCR D
______________________

www.GMA News.TV

House OKs proposed 2010 budget on 2nd reading


Black Eyed Peas singer brings aid to Philippines: by TERESA CEROJANO, Associated Press10/15/2009 | 05:54 PM

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Black Eyed Peas singer apl.de.ap has flown to his native Philippines following devastating back-to-back storms to perform a benefit concert and deliver much-needed aid.
Apl planned to stage the concert Thursday evening in Manila during a brief trip to the country.
"I just want to tell everybody that my heart goes out to you guys and I will try my best to help out," he told reporters ahead of the event.

A Los Angeles resident whose real name is Allan Pineda Lindo, apl said he was concerned when he saw television footage of the devastation and decided to make a brief visit.

The worst flooding in 40 years struck the rice-growing northern Philippines and the capital Manila late last month when a typhoon after a storm dumped heavy rains that triggered landslides and inundated towns, killing 712 people and affecting more than 7 million.

In addition to a concert with local artists, apl brought canned goods from California, donated cash and appealed for more money for victims from around the world.

The hip-hop singer, who was adopted at 14 and moved to the United States, said he remains proud of his roots.

Even before his storm outreach, apl was involved in projects in his native country.
He recently performed in a music video, created in partnership with the Philippine Department of Tourism and MTV Asia, singing a new rap song, "Take U to the Philippines," which features the country's white sand beaches, mountains and bustling cities.
"I love our culture, and you know I wanna share that all over the world," he said. "I'm not ashamed of who I am, I'm very proud to be Filipino." - AP

Group questions San Roque Dam’s flood control capability

Ad Congress pulls out of Baguio, cutting revenues for city's rehab

GMANews.TV

PHILIPPINE FLOODS HIGHLIGHT NEED FOR URGENT ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE 10/15/2009 | 02:24 PM
BANGKOK - As the Philippines was struggling to recover from the aftermath of two tropical cyclones, delegates from 177 countries were meeting in Thailand’s capital to iron out a comprehensive climate change agreement that is set to be finalized this December in Denmark.

Scientists and environmentalists emphasized the urgent need for world leaders to halt the worsening of climate change and address its disastrous impact, which may include more frequent extreme weather events like tropical storm Ondoy, which ravaged Manila recently.

“[Developed] countries must act now with urgency to moderate these storms and spare the whole world from the impoverishing and devastating impacts of climate change, especially to low-lying archipelagic island nations like the Philippines," said Presidential Adviser on Climate Change Heherson Alvarez at a press conference.

Alvarez headed the Philippines’ 27-member delegation to the Bangkok Climate Change Talks. The delegation also included officials from the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources, Science and Technology, Energy, and Agriculture, as well as representatives from non-government and people’s organizations.

GMA News and Public Affairs producer Pia Faustino filed the video report (can be seen at GMA News), part of a series of reports that she is doing for GMANews.TV on climate change until the pivotal UN climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Among the topics under negotiation until December are new emissions reduction targets for wealthy countries along with sustainable development actions, financial assistance, and technology transfer options for poorer countries that are hit hardest by the effects of climate change. - GMANews.TV

RP takes part in high-level climate change meet

Arroyo to sign Climate Change Act on Oct 30, Legarda says

Climate change behind twin disasters in RP – UN official

Rich and poor countries divided on climate deal

Experts not blaming climate change for ‘Ondoy’

nancyk58
16-10-2009, 10:46 PM
PHILIPPINERNE: GMA News.TV:

Pepeng death toll now at 419, surpasses Ondoy’s 10/16/2009 | 11:50 AM
The death toll from typhoon "Pepeng" (Parma) has surpassed that of tropical storm "Ondoy" (Ketsana), according to figures from the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) Friday.


In its 6 a.m. report, the NDCC said Pepeng’s death toll was at 419, mostly buried by landslides in Baguio City and the provinces of Benguet and Mt. Province.


Ondoy’s death toll has been placed at 341, mostly from floods.


NDCC said Pepeng killed at least 333 in Cordillera region - 288 in Benguet alone - and 71 in Ilocos, 10 in Central Luzon, and four in Bicol.
Most of the deaths in Cordillera were due to landslides while the rest in other regions were due to drowning, it added.At least 51 were still missing while 184 were reported injured.

Pepeng, which made landfall thrice in northern Luzon starting Oct. 3, affected at least 662,274 families or 3,106,978 people in 4,585villages in 361 towns and 35 cities and 27 provinces.

Of these, 15,629 families or 74,868 people are still staying in 168 evacuation centers.

Some 4,040 houses were destroyed while 34,843 were damaged.

Damage to property was estimated at P10.437 billion, including P3.402 billion in infrastructure and P7.032 billion in agriculture.

The NDCC said power has been fully restored in Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte, but power interruption is still experienced in Aringay, Bauang and Caba towns in La Union.

Power interruptions are also being experienced in 14 towns in Pangasinan province, it added.

On the other hand, telecommunications services in Pasig City may be disrupted due to a damaged underground cable of PLDT.

Telecommunication lines of PLDT and Digitel in Cagayan Valley were partially restored.

In northern Luzon, Pangasinan officials are verifying reports of an artificial dam at the top of Caraballo Mountain ridge that may cause flooding and mudflow in Caurdenataan and Don Montano villages in Umingan, Pangasinan.


"Hundreds of residents in the threatened area had been evacuated by Philippine Army (and) local government units. The remaining residents have been alerted for possible evacuation," the NDCC said. - GMANews.TV



Residents protest alleged dumping of flood waste on riverbank


Storm 'Ramil' enters RP area of responsibility – Pagasa


Sen. Loren Legarda grills officials of National Power Corp. and San Roque Power Corp. during a Senate hearing on dam protocols Friday. Benjie Castro

Dr. Carlo Arcilla of the UP-NIGS discusses last week's flooding of Pangasinan during Friday's Senate hearing on 'Pepeng'. Benjie Castro

National Power Corp. president Froilan Tampinco justifies the need to release water from San Roque Dam at Friday's Senate hearing. Benjie Castro

-------------------------

LEPTOSPIROSIS
• a bacterial infection caused by a corkscrew-shaped bacterium called leptospira
• occurs through direct contact with the urine of infected animals or by contact with a urine-contaminated environment such as surface water, floodwater, soil, and plants
• affects both humans and animals
• leptospira have been found in rats, insectivores, dogs, cats, cattle, pigs and horses
• bacteria enter through broken skins, through eyes, nose or mouth exposed to contaminated water although less frequently through animal bites, handling infected animal tissues or swallowing contaminated food or water
• an occupational hazard for people who work outdoors or with animals, such as rice and sugar-cane field workers, farmers, sewer workers, veterinarians, dairy workers and military personnel
• a recreational hazard to those who swim or wade in contaminated waters. In endemic areas the number of leptospirosis cases may peak during the rainy season and even may reach epidemic proportions in case of flooding.

SYMPTOMS
Incubation period for the bacteria lasts 7 to 12 days. During this period, the following symptoms may be felt (although sometimes it can also be asymptomatic):
• high fever
• severe headache
• chills
• muscle pain
• vomiting
• jaundice
• redness in the eyes
• abdominal pain
• hemorrhages in skin and mucous membranes (including pulmonary bleeding)
• diarrhea
• rash

However, if these aren't treated, they may develop into kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, and respiratory distress.

PREVENTION
• reduce the rat population with the destruction of their habitats -- maintain a clean home
• avoid immersion in natural waters such as rivers, lakes and canals
• avoid immersion in floods
• use protective footwear or clothing when immersion to natural waters or floods is inevitable
• provide clean drinking water

Source: GMA News Research, Department of Health, World Health Organization


DOH: LEPTO SPIKING IN RIZAL AND METRO MANILA, KILLS 89

Leptospirosis, a usually rare bacterial infection, has afflicted more people in Metro Manila and Rizal in the last two weeks than it typically does in an entire year, according to Health Secretary Francisco Duque at a press conference Friday morning. He attributed the spike to large numbers of people wading in floodwaters teeming with bacteria that causes the disease.


Public hospitals required to accept leptospirosis patients


LEPTOSPIROSIS, OTHER DISEASES HOUND FLOOD VICTIMS
AIE BALAGTAS SEE, GMANews.TV10/14/2009 | 04:01 PM
Leptospirosis, a usually rare bacterial infection, has afflicted more people in Metro Manila and Rizal in the last two weeks than it typically does in an entire year, according to Health Secretary Francisco Duque at a press conference Friday morning. He attributed the spike to large numbers of people wading in floodwaters teeming with bacteria that causes the disease.

At the height of tropical storm “Ondoy," 24-year-old Gerald Samson braved the floods to save his neighbors from drowning in the murky floodwaters of Santolan, Pasig City. Little did he know that his selfless act would eventually cost him his precious health.

In an interview with GMA News' John Consulta, Samson, who saved the lives of at least 15 people, turned to the camera and begged for rescue. Doctors at the Rizal Medical Center said he is infected with leptospirosis and is already in critical condition.

Samson and Gonzales are only two of the hundreds of patients downed by leptospirosis, a disease usually caused by exposure to water contaminated with the urine of infected animals. In humans it causes a wide range of symptoms, and some infected persons may exhibit no symptoms at all.

According to the Department of Health, at least 28 people have already succumbed to leptospirosis this year. About 812 cases have also been recorded from January to October 11. Of these, 375 are from Metro Manila
According to the Medical City hospital in Pasig, it is experiencing shortage of rooms because of the sudden increase in the number of leptospirosis cases. The Medical City is one of the top hospitals in the country.

Most of the patients are male whose ages range from 31 to 40. The report said many of them have waded through the floods during the storm
Other threats
Apart from the threat of leptospirosis, flooding victims are also in danger of acquiring diarrhea, cholera, Influenza A(H1N1), and dengue.

In Pasig City Elementary School, GMA News’ Trisha Zafra reported that a lot of children ages two and below are infected with diarrhea due to contaminated tap water.

DOH Epidemiology Center chief Eric Tayag assured that that the government is now monitoring cases of diarrhea and cholera due to the possibility that their drinking water may be contaminated.

He also said that the government is coming up with solutions for the increasing leptospirosis cases in the country.

Nonetheless, he said it is also important for evacuees to take necessary precautions. He advised residents wading in floodwaters to see a doctor immediately when they encounter symptoms such as chills, red eyes or yellow skin, and not to wait until it is too late.

He also said residents should boil their drinking water or at least use a chlorine solution to stave off diseases from contaminated water, such as diarrhea and cholera.

On the other hand, Tayag warned residents the stagnant water can also bring about the killer disease dengue.

He also advised those in evacuation centers to practice good hygiene and treat their surroundings like their own homes.

As of Oct. 13, the National Disaster Coordinating Council said 45,129 families or 216,941 people displaced by storm Ondoy are staying in 443 evacuation centers mostly in Metro Manila and the provinces of Rizal and Laguna.

Of those affected by typhoon Pepeng, 16,583 families or 80,262 people are still in 245 evacuation centers mostly in northern and central Luzon. - GMANews.TV
_______________________

INDONESIA

Earthquake victims in Indonesia, need help
Indonesian Red Cross needs the equivalent of DKK 93 million to help the 100,000 victims in the disaster area in Sumatra. Work will take 6 months.

Responsible for page: Nis Sperling. Created 16 October 2009

Over 700 people have been killed, 2400 wounded and around 20,000 families are affected by the two earthquakes that hit the island of Sumatra in Indonesia a few weeks ago.

20,000 families in Sumatra need help
The two earthquakes in Indonesia have destroyed houses, roads and sewers in many villages. Right now up to 20,000 families still urgently need help.
Therefore the Red Cross in Indonesia now asks for more money so that they can rebuild the water supply, toilets, and provide medical and psychosocial support to the many survivors.
Local aid workers estimate that it takes six months of efforts before the people in the disaster areas can get something resembling a normal life.
Residents block road for help
"We're not sure that aid reaches the most remote villages," said Bob Mckerrow from the International Red Cross.
Staff and volunteers from the Indonesian Red Cross were among the first to reach the disaster zone. Since then, they have worked around the clock. Yet there are areas where help does not arrive. It lacks both hands and resources.
In some places the situation is so desperate that the inhabitants are blocking the roads used by Red Cross in order to get access to emergency relief. Furthermore, it is difficult to get goods over to the shops in the larger areas.

There is an overview of the disaster
"We tried to make us a better view through overflights. This enables us to assess the damage more accurately, "explains Bob Mckerrow.
Aid workers now have a good overview of the area but they need more money if they are to reach all the affected families.

http://drk.dk/nyheder/jordskaelvsramte+i+indonesien+mangler+hjaelp

Red Cross News

Red Cross Volunteers Offer Emotional Support to Grieving American Samoans
http://www.redcross.org/
__________________________________________________ _

Danish TV1 Text TV on 16/10-09:

Earthquake in INDONESIA:
A heavy sub-marine earthquake in Indonesia in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra. As the earthquake was sub-marine and taking place in the Sunda Strait, there is not much material damage. It measured 6,4 Richter and did not trigger any tsunami. The inhabitants fled into the streets as a precaution. It is only a little more than 2 weeks ago that another area of Sumatra was hit by an earthquake that cost 1,000 human lives.

nancyk58
17-10-2009, 12:21 PM
UPDATE OF THE SITUATION IN THE SOUTHEAST ASIA on 17 OCTOBER 2009

GMA NEWS.TV - THE SITUATION RIGHT NOW IN THE PHILIPPINES

'Ramil' intensifies into typhoon, evac urged

10/17/2009 | 09:15 AM
After entering Philippine territory, tropical cyclone "RAMIL" (international code name “LUPIT") intensified into a typhoon, but may not directly affect the country until Tuesday or Wednesday.

But this early, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) warned residents in northern and central Luzon to voluntarily evacuate early.

We have to repeat our advise to those living near mountain slopes to evacuate early," Pagasa head Prisco Nilo said in an interview on dzRH radio.

It will be impossible for government to individually evacuate people in so short a time. If you live near a high-risk area, please evacuate to prevent loss of life," he added.

He said it is still too early to say where “Ramil" will head, saying it may be northern Luzon or Central Luzon. A third possibility is that the typhoon will head towards Taiwan.

Either way, he said “Ramil" will bring much rain to the areas it will pass. If it passes central Luzon, it may bring rains to Metro Manila, he added.

BE PREPARED

But Pagasa weather bureau chief Nathaniel Cruz said residents in northern and central Luzon should not fall into a false sense of security, as “Ramil" could be gathering more strength.

It may make itself felt on Tuesday or Wednesday but weather conditions can change, and ‘Ramil’ may speed up," Cruz said on government-run dzRB radio.

He also said the relatively mild winds in Cagayan and parts of Luzon are not from a “weak" typhoon but from the inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ).

Cruz added the longer “Ramil" stays in the water and does not make landfall, the more it can gather strength.

Once it hits, we should be ready for strong winds and rains," he said.

HEIGHTENED ALERT

For its part, the Philippine Coast Guard said it is on alert in the areas expected to be affected.

Coast Guard commandant Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo said going on alert is “automatic" for them, especially in the wake of recent killer tropical cyclones “Ondoy" (Ketsana) and “Pepeng" (Parma).

Even when it was still a low-pressure area we are already preparing," Tamayo said in an interview on dzBB radio.

He said the Coast Guard will be on heightened alert in areas under Signal No. 1, and full alert in areas under Signal No. 2.

As of 2 a.m. Saturday, Pagasa said “Ramil" was estimated at 850 kms east of Virac, Catanduanes with maximum sustained winds of 120 kph and gustiness of up to 150 kph and is moving west-northwest at 20 kph.

In its 5 a.m. bulletin Saturday, Pagasa said “Ramil" continues to move towards northern and central Luzon.

“Bicol Region and the Eastern sections of Visayas and Mindanao will experience mostly cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms. The rest of the country will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms," it said.

But in its 11 p.m. advisory Friday that “Ramil" is not due to directly affect any part of the country “within the next 36 hours."

Pagasa’s 11 p.m. advisory forecast it to be 580 kms east-northeast of Virac, Catanduanes Saturday evening, and 420 kms northeast of Virac, Catanduanes Sunday evening.

By Monday evening it forecast “Ramil" to be 380 kms east of Casiguran, Aurora.

Meanwhile, Pagasa said light to moderate winds blowing from the southwest and southeast will prevail over Luzon and coming from the southwest and west over the rest of the country.

Coastal waters throughout the archipelago will be slight to moderate except during thunderstorms. - GMANews.TV

--------------------

RAMIL'S WINDS MIGHT RIVAL PEPENG'S; NO WORD ON RAIN

MARK D. MERUEÑAS and ANDREO C. CALONZO, GMANews.TV 10/17/2009 | 11:43 AM

(As of 4 p.m.) Typhoon Ramil's slow hovering over the Pacific Ocean might allow it to gather wind strength that would rival, if not surpass, that of Pepeng, with Pagasa officials forecasting a late Tuesday or early Wednesday landfall in northern Luzon. But there is still no forecast about rainfall, which is how Pepeng did its most damage.

This was the latest warning issued by the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) in a briefing before Saturday noon.

Pagasa expects RAMIL (international name LUPIT), last spotted at 780 kilometers east of Virac, Catanduanes, to make landfall on Tuesday in northern Luzon, which typhoon 'Pepeng' (Parma) had battered two weeks ago.

Ramil could become stronger than Pepeng," said Pagasa chief Prisco Nilo.

Ramil’s slow movement gives it more time to gather strength at sea," he added.

Weather forecasters are also not discounting the possibility of Ramil’s turning into a supertyphoon.

(Ramil could turn into a supertyphoon)," said weather sciences bureau chief Nathaniel Cruz said, adding that a cyclone could only be categorized as a supertyphoon once it achieves strengths of at least 215 kph.

Ramil currently packs maximum sustained winds of 130 kph near the center with gustiness of 160 kph, and is expected to intensify as it approaches land.

Pepeng roared in and out of Luzon for 10 days before exiting the Philippine area of responsibility last Saturday.

Before making its first landfall in the Cagayan province on Oct. 3, Pepeng packed maximum sustained winds of 175 kph. It exited into the South China Sea the next day, but it made another landfall over Ilocos Norte after being pulled back on Oct. 6 by tropical cyclone "Quedan" (Melor), which was blowing toward southern Japan.

A relatively weaker Pepeng returned for a third landfall on Oct. 8 before exiting the country two days later.

Pepeng affected at least 662,274 families or 3,106,978 people in 4,585 villages in 361 towns and 35 cities and 27 provinces.

Don't be complacent

Government warned residents, particularly those in the northern regions, against letting the sunny weather lull them into a false sense of security.

Pagasa advised people living in high-risk areas to evacuate as early as now.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde, meanwhile, voiced concern over reports that residents living beside esteros or waterways and creeks in Quezon City have started returning to their homes.

He said it is time for people to learn the lessons from the onslaughts of “Ondoy" (Ketsana) and Pepeng.

“God forbid that situation, but it’s time we learn from the lessons of ‘Ondoy’ and ‘Pepeng.’ Let us not tempt fate so much anymore," he said on government radio.

Remonde reiterated President Arroyo’s instructions to local government officials and the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) to “enhance" their preparations.


Forced evacuations in Benguet

In the northern province of Benguet, where at least 288 were killed in Pepeng-triggered landslides, police officers were going house-to-house to tell people to leave the affected communities before the latest storm, Gov. Nestor Fongwan said.

Other Benguet communities identified as hazardous also were ordered evacuated, Fongwan said.

Disaster officers urged local officials to tell residents to immediately evacuate at the first sign of landslides, Cordillera regional civil defense chief Olive Luces said.

"Some people are just really stubborn and refuse to leave," she said, adding that survivors of Pepeng's landslides told of watching water seep from the walls and floors of homes before the ground collapsed around them.

Military choppers were airlifting food supplies to areas unreachable by land to prepare for Ramil, she said.

Excess water

To prepare for Ramil’s arrival, Pagasa had also advised dam managers to go on with the release of water in at least seven major dams in Luzon.

Because we are anticipating Ramil's landfall, we are continuing the opening of spillways and the rate of the water release," Pagasa weather specialist Max Peralta told GMA News.

Relief caravan postponed

Meanwhile, the threat of bad weather has prompted the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to postpone a relief caravan to areas affected by “Ondoy" and “Pepeng."

DSWD Secretary Esperanza Cabral said her agency has instead decided to speed up the distribution of relief goods to typhoon-hit areas.

We have put off the relief caravan of 100 trucks for now. In the meantime, the DSWD will deliver goods to typhoon-hit regions so they can have stocks of relief goods to use," she said.

She said they continue to distribute relief goods in Northern Luzon and in some parts of Metro Manila that are still flooded.

Health officials say 1.7 million people exposed to floodwaters in and around metropolitan Manila were being threatened by leptospirosis, a disease spread by water contaminated with urine of infected animals. The disease has killed 90 of 1,027 reported cases, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said.

Pagasa, in its 11 a.m. advisory on Saturday, said “Ramil" intensified further as it continued to move toward the northern and Philippines.

As of 10 a.m., Ramil was estimated at 980 km east-southeast of Casiguran, Aurora or at 780 km east-northeast of Virac, Catanduanes.

Ramil packed maximum sustained winds of 130 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 160 kph, and is moving west-northwest at 13 kph.

By Sunday morning it is expected to be 700 km east of Casiguran, Aurora. By Monday morning it is expected to be 470 kmseast-northeast of Casiguran, Aurora or at 510 km east of Tuguegarao City.

By Tuesday morning it is expected to be 240 km east of Tuguegarao city in Cagayan province.


“This disturbance will not affect any part of the country within the next 36 hours," Pagasa said.

____________

US Pinoys brave cold in charity walk for RP cyclone victims

Floods prompt revision of protocol on release of water from dams

PAGASA: STORM 'LUPIT' INTENSIFIES AS IT NEARS BICOL

Pepeng death toll now at 419, surpasses Ondoy’s
|

nancyk58
18-10-2009, 01:23 AM
Leptospirosis deaths soar to 89

Philstar.com - Saturday, October 17

MANILA, Philippines - The death toll from leptospirosis reached 89 as cases of the flood-borne disease in Metro Manila and flooded provinces rose tenfold in the past three days, the Department of Health (DOH) reported yesterday.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the number of leptospirosis admissions in public hospitals in Metro Manila alone soared from 140 on Oct. 12 to 1,027 as of Oct. 15.

Duque added that the 89 leptospirosis deaths brought to 8.6 percent the fatality rate from last year’s 7.5 percent.

“Cases of leptospirosis have really shot up these past few days. In fact, the Metro Manila figure even exceeded the 812 nationwide admissions in government hospitals for the whole of last year,” Duque disclosed.


SOME HEADLINES FROM GMA NEWS.TV - the situation in the Philippines

» Release of water from Magat Dam continues as ‘Ramil’ nears

» NDCC alerts Luzon regions as typhoon ‘Ramil’ gains strength

» 'Ramil' intensifies into typhoon, evac urged

» Storm 'Ramil' enters RP area of responsibility – Pagasa

» US Pinoys brave cold in charity walk for RP cyclone victims

Top 5 illnesses affecting Evacuation Centers:
1). Athlete's Foot
2). Fever
3). Coughs
4). Colds
5). Tetanus.
PNRC Hotline: 527-0000/143 [twitter.com/philredcross]


All models show 'Ramil' will hit N. Luzon: PAGASA

MANILA - Based on "Lupit's" (local name: "Ramil") current speed and direction, the typhoon will hit northern Luzon, as shown in all typhoon track models used by weather bureau Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

"All the models we are using have a unanimous forecast that the typhoon would hit northern Luzon," PAGASA administrator Prisco Nilo reported during a National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) briefing on Saturday afternoon.

As of 4 p.m., PAGASA's website said the typhoon has slowed down further, moving northwest at a speed of 13 kilometers per hour (kph). It was spotted 940 kilometers east of Casiguran, Aurora, packing stronger center winds of 140 kph and gusts of up to 170 kph.

Nilo said the worst-case scenario, based on the worst-case global forecast system model of the United States, is that the typhoon's rainband will continue to grow bigger as it moves closer to the country.

This means that when Ramil makes landfall, it will slow down further and bring more rains over the northern provinces, he added.

He said the expected landfall of the typhoon in northern Luzon is Wednesday night (October 21).


Nilo said the typhoon will most likely cross northern Luzon provinces for three days, from October 21 to October 23 (Friday).

Areas under threat
He said that before the typhoon starts its movement away from land, its rains would put the Cordillera Administrative Region and Pangasinan "under threat."

The Cordilleras suffered the most number of deaths during the onslaught of tropical storm Pepeng (Parma) due to landslides, while 38 towns of Pangasinan were hit by deep floodwaters.

By Saturday (October 25), Nilo said the typhoon would already move out and head towards sea.

Nilo said there were other US forecast models that predict a variety of Ramil's movements.

He said only one of the models predicts that Ramil will head straight to Taiwan. This scenario is still remote based on the typhoon's current movement.

The PAGASA administrator said they have been closely monitoring Ramil's movement since October 15 so as to warn critical areas as earliest as possible.

He said dams along waterways in northern Luzon have been spilling since Friday to give the reservoirs enough buffer to absorb Ramil's predicted heavy rainfall.

The weather bureau's dam monitoring indicated that San Roque dam's managers, who have been blamed for the massive flooding in Pangasinan, have increased its water release from 620 cubic meters per second at 6 a.m. to 768 cms at 4 p.m.

As of 4 p.m., two gates of Angat dam were releasing 234 cms of water; Ipo dam at 315.4 cms; Ambuklao, 120 cms; Binga, 295 cms; Pantabangan, 220 cms; and, Magat, 676 cms.

N. Luzon is the same area that typhoon Peping ravaged. Hopefully, it willl not cause as much damage and loss of lives as Peping.

nancyk58
18-10-2009, 11:05 AM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA on 18 October 2009

'RAMIL’ INTENSIFIES FURTHER, SLOWLY MOVES TOWARDS NORTH LUZON (10/18/2009 | 07:52 AM - Updated 11:40 a.m.)
Typhoon “Ramil" (Lupit) intensified further as it continued its northwest path Sunday morning, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said.
In its 11 a.m. advisory, the state weather bureau said Ramil now packs maximum sustained winds of 170 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 210 kph.
Pagasa chief Prisco Nilo said in a press conference, however, that even as Ramil gained strength, it has slowed down and is forecast to remain stationary because a high pressure area near Hong Kong is affecting its speed.


Nilo said that Ramil might make landfall over extreme Northern Luzon or in Cagayan province on “Wednesday evening or Thursday morning."


On Sunday, Ramil is estimated to be 1,060 kilometers east-southeast of Aparri, Cagayan or 1,010 km northeast of Casiguran, Aurora.
Pagasa predicts that Ramil will be 1,060 km east of Aparri Cagayan on Monday morning; 820 km east of Aparri on Tuesday morning, and 490 km east of Aparri on Wednesday morning.
_________________________

Govt agencies brace for disaster as 'Ramil' heads toward North Luzon (10/18/2009 | 04:47 PM)

As typhoon “Ramil" (Lupit) roars and gathers strength over the Pacific Ocean, Philippine disaster-response agencies set up possible evacuation centers, organize quick-reaction teams, place hospitals and health personnel on 24/7 duty and move packed goods to areas in north Luzon that might be hit by the cyclone.

In a coordinated pre-positioning of relief and rescue logistics, government line agencies are bracing for a disaster waiting to happen in northernmost Luzon, even as the state weather bureau expected that Ramil would spare the National Capital Region.

In a media briefing Sunday morning, Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) chief weather forecaster Prisco Nilo said that the typhoon might hit north Luzon in three days, with sustained winds of 175 kph and gusts of 210 kph.

BLUE CODE ALERT
Government hospitals in most parts of Luzon went on blue alert Sunday in preparation for typhoon 'RAMIL' (LUPIT), which is expected to hit the country Wednesday or Thursday.
The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said the Department of Health (DOH) had sent alert memos to six Luzon regions the typhoon threatens to hit, namely Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Southern Luzon, Metro Manila and Cordillera.
“DOH ... maintained blue alert code with manpower on duty; prepositioned medicines and medical supplies," the NDCC said in its 6 a.m. update, posted on its Website Sunday noon.

A CODE BLUE ALERT means medical personnel will be on duty 24 hours a day, and that hospitals and community health units are prepared to accept an influx of casualties.

Quick-response team
On Sunday morning, the Philippine Army said that it has already formed a special contingent to respond to possible emergency situations that Ramil might bring in the coming days.
Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner Jr, public affairs chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said that the Army Contingent for Emergency Battalion is composed of about 500 soldiers.
“It was commissioned yesterday (Saturday) to help especially in terms of disaster relief," Brawner said in an interview on dzBB radio. He added that the battalion is currently based in Metro Manila, but would be sent to provinces that Ramil could hit.

NAVY ON RED ALERT AS TYPHOON 'RAMIL' HEADS TOWARD NORTHERN LUZON:

As parts of Luzon brace for the arrival of typhoon “Ramil" (Lupit), the Philippine Navy said Sunday it has put its forces in Northern, Central and Southern Luzon on red alert status.
Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo said their forces in these areas are ready to pre-position assets and equipment for possible search and rescue operations.
We have been on red alert since Saturday," Arevalo said in an interview on dzBB radio, adding they have learned some lessons from responding to victims of flooding caused by past cyclones including “Ondoy" (Ketsana) and “Pepeng" (Parma).
He said they are particularly waiting for calls to pre-position especially in the Cagayan-Aparri area, where Ramil is expected to hit.
But Arevalo admitted that Navy personnel have been strained and their resources are getting thin after the efforts they exerted in the last two cyclones. “Our resources are getting thin, and our people are getting fatigued," he said.
But in the meantime, he said they are preparing their equipment and vehicles, including choppers, Islander planes, 18 M-35 trucks, 18 rubber boats, and amphibious vehicles and trucks.
He also said their personnel are equipped this time with ropes and mountaineering equipment for possible rescue operations.
Arevalo said that in having the Navy’s Southern Luzon unit go on red alert as well. “We are not taking any chances. The weather path of the storm could change." - GMANews.TV

LOOMING DISASTER AMID RUBBLES

Typhoon Ramil is threatening to batter Luzon even as the residents there are still grappling with the deadly aftermath of storm Ondoy which struck on Sept. 16 and triggered the worst flooding in Manila in over 40 years. It was followed by typhoon Pepeng on Oct. 3, which lingered for a week, drenching northern mountain provinces and causing landslides that buried many homes.

The two storms killed 773 people and inundated the homes of more than 7 million. Hundreds were still in emergency shelters in landslide-hit Benguet province, 130 miles (210 kilometers) north of the capital, Manila, when news of the new typhoon spread.

About 20 tons of rice, canned sardines and noodles were being packed and will be delivered to far-flung mountain townships in advance in case landslides again cut off transport in Benguet, a gold-mining and vegetable-producing region of more than 300,000 people, disaster-response officer Olive Luces said.


RAMIL, which was almost stationary at 1,060 kilometers off the northern Philippine coast, could clip the northern Philippines on Wednesday or veer toward Taiwan. Metropolitan Manila, which enjoyed sunny weather Sunday, will likely be spared, Nilo said. - GMANews.TV, with a report from the Associated Press

_________

I N D O N E S I A :

The Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende on 17 October 2009, citing the News Agency "Reuters"

HEAVY EARTHQUAKE NEAR JAVA IN INDONESIA (REUTERS)

JAKARTA: Indonesia has been struck by a new heavy earthquake - this time in the Sunda Strait near the island Java. The earth tremors made buildings sway in the capital, Jakarta. The swaying buildings triggered panic in some areas where the inhabitants ran out of their homes and offices. Indonesia is situated in an area with much seismic activity known as "The Pacific Ring of Fire".

nancyk58
18-10-2009, 09:50 PM
GMA News.TV and AP / THE SITUATION IN THE PHILIPPINES:

As 'Ramil' heads for RP, govt vows to be ready this time (10/18/2009 | 04:47 PM - Updated 9:08 p.m.)

As Typhoon RAMIL gathers strength, the government intends to avoid repeating the disaster of being ill-prepared: Agencies are setting up evacuation centers, placing health personnel on 24/7 duty, and moving packed goods to northern Luzon, where the storm is expected to make landfall. All hope the storm doesn't live up to its international name, LUPIT.

In a coordinated pre-positioning of relief and rescue logistics, government line agencies are bracing for yet another disaster in northernmost Luzon, even as the state weather bureau predicted that Ramil would spare the National Capital Region.

If it makes landfall in the country, "RAMIL" would be the third storm to hit Luzon in less than a month. Both Ondoy and Pepeng lost a lot of their wind strength by the time they made landfall but dumped record-setting amounts of rain.

Any storm that would approximate those first two would compound one of the most destructive sequences of disasters in the nation's history, with unprecedented flooding in Metro Manila, towns around Laguna Lake, and major cities in northern Luzon, and dozens of landslides in the Cordillera mountains. Pepeng isolated Baguio City for the first time since the 1990 earthquake; access was re-established last week.

In a media briefing Sunday morning, Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) chief weather forecaster Prisco Nilo said that the new typhoon might hit north Luzon in three days, with sustained winds of 175 kph and gusts of 210 kph.

As of 5 p.m. Sunday, Ramil maintained its strength and stayed stationary off Aparri, Cagayan Sunday afternoon, Pagasa said in its advisory.

Ramil is expected to be 1,200 kms east of Aparri, Cagayan by Monday afternoon. By Tuesday afternoon it is expected to be 830 kms northeast of Aparri, Cagayan or at 980 kms east of Basco, Batanes. By Wednesday afternoon the forecast for the location is 630 kms east of Basco, Batanes.

Government hospitals in most parts of Luzon went on blue alert Sunday in preparation for the looming disaster. A Code Blue alert means medical personnel will be on duty 24 hours a day, and that hospitals and community health units are prepared to accept an influx of casualties.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said the Department of Health (DOH) had sent alert memos to six Luzon regions the typhoon threatens to hit, namely Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Southern Luzon, Metro Manila and Cordillera.

“DOH... maintained blue alert code with manpower on duty; prepositioned medicines and medical supplies," the NDCC said in its 6 a.m. update, posted on its Website Sunday noon.

In Pangasinan, one of the provinces badly hit by typhoon "Pepeng" last week, all city and municipal mayors had been ordered to prepare possible preemptive or forcible evacuations of families in low-lying areas.

"You are advised to stay alert, be proactive, and to take all precautionary measures to secure your respective constituents and to prevent unnecessary casualties," provincial administrator Raffy Baraan quoted Governor Amado Espino Jr's order in a text message.

Espino had likewise directed all police units in the province to coordinate with their respective mayors as soon as possible.

Quick-response team
On Sunday morning, the Philippine Army said that it has formed a special contingent to respond to possible emergency situations that Ramil might bring in the coming days.

Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner Jr, public affairs chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said that the Army Contingent for Emergency Battalion is composed of about 500 soldiers. “It was commissioned yesterday (Saturday) to help especially in terms of disaster relief," Brawner said in an interview on dzBB radio.

The Philippine Navy, on the other hand, said that it has put its forces in Northern, Central and Southern Luzon on red alert status. Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo said their forces in these areas are ready to pre-position assets and equipment for possible search and rescue operations.

We have been on red alert since Saturday," Arevalo said in an interview on dzBB radio, adding they have learned some lessons from responding to victims of flooding caused by past cyclones including Ondoy(Ketsana) and Pepeng (Parma).
He said they are particularly waiting for calls to preposition especially in the Cagayan-Aparri area, where Ramil is expected to hit.

Arevalo admitted that Navy personnel have been strained and their resources are getting thin after the efforts they exerted in the last two cyclones.

In the meantime, he said they are preparing their equipment and vehicles, including choppers, Islander planes, 18 M-35 trucks, 18 rubber boats, and amphibious vehicles and trucks.

Looming disaster
Ramil is threatening to batter Luzon even as the residents there are still grappling with the deadly aftermath of storm Ondoy which struck on Sept. 26 and triggered the worst flooding in Manila in over 40 years.

Ondoy was followed last Oct. 3 by typhoon "Pepeng,", which lingered for a week, drenching northern mountain provinces and causing landslides that buried many homes.

The two storms killed 773 people and inundated the homes of more than 7 million. Hundreds were still in emergency shelters in landslide-hit Benguet province, 130 miles (210 kilometers) north of the capital, Manila, when news of the new typhoon spread.

About 20 tons of rice, canned sardines and noodles were being packed and will be delivered to far-flung mountain townships in advance in case landslides again cut off transport in Benguet, a gold-mining and vegetable-producing region of more than 300,000 people, disaster-response officer Olive Luces said.

RAMIL, which was almost stationary at 1,060 kilometers off the northern Philippine coast, could clip the northern Philippines on Wednesday or veer toward Taiwan. Metropolitan Manila, which enjoyed sunny weather Sunday, will likely be spared, Pagasa said. - AP and GMANews.TV

nancyk58
19-10-2009, 04:29 PM
UPDATE OF THE SITUATION IN THE SOUTHEAST ASIA on 19 October 2009

Asia-Pacific Disasters Children's Appeal

(source: http://www.unicef.org.uk/emergency/emergency_detail.asp?emergency=62)

In the last week of September, three separate natural disasters hit the Asia-Pacific region: Typhoon KETSANA, which caused flooding in the PHILIPPINES capital MANILA and later hit VIETNAM and CAMBODIA, the SAMOA tsunami, which affected American Samoa, SAMOA and TONGA, and the SUMATRA earthquake, which caused devastation in INDONESIA.

Sumatra earthquake

On 30 September, two earthquakes struck off the coast of West Sumatra. Over 1,000 people are now known to have died and a further 1,000 are missing. A semblance of normality is starting to return to the city but hopes of finding more quake survivors, especially in remote villages, are fading. Rescue workers continue to arrive but heavy rain and collapsed buildings are hindering their work.

UNICEF estimates that up to 180,000 children have been affected, and is working to provide assistance for up to 50,000 families. This includes supplying water pumps, water storage equipment, jerry cans, hygiene kits, soap and toothbrushes. We are also providing protective services and safe places for children and have supplied 250 school tents, 60 schools-in-a-box kits and recreational kits to support the return to school of nearly 70,000 children.

Much remains to be done and UNICEF needs more than £1.5 million to support immunisation campaigns to prevent the outbreak of disease, to re-establish clean water and sanitation and to ensure that children who have lost their parents are adequately cared for in their communities.


PHILIPPINES floods

On 26 September, Typhoon Ketsana hit Manila, capital of the Philippines, deluging it with 45 cm (18 inches) of rain in 12 hours. A state of calamity has been declared and the Philippines Government has appealed for immediate international assistance. The death toll of the storm, known locally as ‘Ondoy’, has risen to over 300. More than 3 million people have been affected, with about 200,000 sheltering in evacuation centres. Over 1 million of these are children.

UNICEF is calling for £8 million in funds to respond to the disaster. The priority needs are food, drinking water, household items, bedding, and clothing. There is also an urgent need for water, sanitation, hygiene and health care. Access to the worst-affected areas and the restoration of water services and electricity will require extensive clearing operations. We also need to return schools being used as evacuation centres to their original purpose and provide education and protection to displaced and affected children.

So far, UNICEF has supplied £90,000 worth of food and other items, via the Department of Social Welfare and Development. We have also distributed hygiene kits, essential medicines, water purification tablets, portable toilets and family kits containing blankets and soap.

Samoa tsunami

On 29 September, American Samoa, Samoa and Tonga were hit by a tsunami, following an 8.3 magnitude earthquake striking of the coast of Samoa. Over 170 people have been killed in the three countries. In Samoa alone, up to 15,000 people have been affected, 9,000 of them children. Of these, 6,500 people, including up to 4,000 children, have been forced to leave their homes. It is reported that 40 villages have been affected, 20 of which were completely destroyed.

UNICEF is calling for £125,000 to fund the emergency response. We have already sent urgent immunisation supplies to Samoa and Tonga to guard against the outbreak of disease, along with supplies of oral rehydration salts and water purification tablets. We are planning to set up nutrition, water and sanitation programs and are working with Samoa and Tongan partners to provide protection for women and children.

Find out more
Donate now to our Asia-Pacific Disasters Children's Appeal
Fundraise for the Asia-Pacific Disasters
Read the latest news on these natural disasters
View a photo gallery of children affected by the disasters
View a photo gallery of the Sumatra eathquake
Audio: UNICEF's response to flooding in Manila
Audio: Preparing for natural disasters in the Philippines to a friend

©2009 UNICEF UK Registered Charity No:1072612

Current emergencies: Asia-Pacific Disasters Childrens Appeal


UNICEF rapid response team on the ground in Samoa

News item 06 October 2009 (the contents still apply)

A team of six emergency personnel is currently conducting rapid assessments in SAMOA to ensure that the urgent needs of children are met following the earthquake and tsunami that struck the Pacific Island nation on Tuesday, September 29.

UNICEF Pacific Representative, Dr. Isiye Ndombi said “From experience, UNICEF knows that in an emergency children are the most affected. It is therefore essential they have access to clean water, proper sanitation facilities, are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles and are able to resume education.”

“Our key relief priorities and response are in the areas of water and sanitation, health, education and protection,” he said.


Children displaced by the floods in the Philippines are living in schools rather than attending classes

UNICEF delivers life-saving gift after Indonesia earthquake (News item 09 October 2009)

The children and families in the Agam district of Indonesia’s West Sumatra experienced not one massive natural disaster last week but three successive blows.

First, on 30 September, an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter-scale destroyed most of the houses at the small hamlet nestled in the mountainous surroundings of Maninjau Lake. Then an aftershock caused the limestone cliffs to cave in. Later, several nights of torrential rain triggered a landslide burying the remaining rubble in a deluge of mud.

Today, the quake survivors received some of the 40,000 hygiene kits being rushed by UNICEF to the province, each containing soap, detergent, toothbrush, tooth paste, towels and buckets, and all vital to staving off disease.

UNICEF's FIRSTHAND ACCOUNT OF THE SITUATION IN WEST SUMATRA 5 Oct.2009

Angela Kearney, UNICEF’s Representative in Indonesia, describes the situation in Pariaman, WEST SUMATRA, following the recent earthquake.

"I've travelled to the Pariaman province in West Sumatra to visit a village 70km outside of PADANG CITY. This area was one of the worst affected by the recent earthquake that shook Indonesia and shattered the lives of thousands of children here. As UNICEF’s Representative for Indonesia, I'm here to talk to the families affected by the disaster and to ensure that UNICEF’s aid relief is working.
"Ironically Pariaman means 'safe area', but it is painfully clear on arrival that the recent earthquake has brought DEVASTATION and RUIN to the local residents. Buildings are destroyed, families are homeless and daily life has been brought to a standstill.


Nearly 70,000 children return to classes after earthquake 5 October 2009

Less than one week after a major earthquake devastated the Indonesia province of WEST SUMATRA, nearly 70,000 children have returned to classes in the city of Padang, according to local education authorities, as UNICEF rushed school supplies to the region.

UNICEF facilitates return to school for children in Padang, Sumatra

UNICEF's firsthand account of the situation in Samoa

UNICEF mobilises nearly £1 million in aid for Asia-Pacific disasters

UNICEF Pacific mobilises support for children in Samoa and Tonga

http://www.unicef.org.uk/press/news_detail.asp?news_id=1391

___________________

INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS / ICRC

Heavy rains, flash floods, storms and landslides continue to cause widespread devastation in many Asian countries. Across South and East Asia, volunteers and staff from the Red Cross and Red Crescent have been responding to the disasters by helping rescue people, distributing emergency relief and providing essential services, such as health care and clean water.

This year's destruction comes following three particularly harsh storm and flood seasons in 2006, 2007 and 2008, which left many poor residents struggling to recover.

http://www.ifrc.org/what/disasters/response/asia-floods/index.asp
____

PHILIPPINES:
With two events in Washington D.C., world-renowned singer-stage actress Lea Salonga managed to raise $19,000 (P889,200) for victims of tropical cyclones “Ondoy" (Ketsana) and “Pepeng" (Parma).

DSWD vows ‘politico-proof’ distribution of relief goods

Pagasa eyes raising storm signals starting Tuesday noon

nancyk58
20-10-2009, 06:05 AM
UPDATE OF THE SITUATION IN THE SOUTHEAST ASIA on 19 October 2009

UPDATES FROM GMANews.TV


EVACUATE WHILE THERE IS STILL TIME, NLUZON RESIDENTS TOLD

Residents in northern Luzon provinces, particularly those living in landslide-prone areas, are being advised to evacuate this early and not wait for typhoon “RAMIL" (international name LUPIT) to make landfall, according to Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., who also heads the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC).
He said the advice specially goes to residents of Benguet and Mt. Province due to their mountainous terrain.

The two provinces, including the popular mountain resort city of Baguio, were the worst-hit by landslides at the height of typhoon “Pepeng" (Parma) two weeks ago, killing more than 300 people and cutting off many areas from outside supplies and relief efforts due to road closures.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) on Monday said RAMIL would probably wreak havoc on the same areas that were battered by Pepeng.

“The mayors should identify the safe places in their areas [to evacuate the residents]," Teodoro said.

In preparation for Ramil, which is expected to make landfall this Thursday, the government has started pre-positioning relief goods and search and rescue assets in areas that are likely to be hit by the typhoon.
“We have reinforced our food stocks especially in areas that are in danger of being cut off like Batanes, Cagayan Valley," Teodoro said.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), for its part, has placed its units in North Luzon under blue alert status, the second highest in the military’s three-tiered alert level system.

“We have pre-positioned our different units in areas where rescue operations may be needed. We are now on blue alert for the possible arrival of typhoon Ramil," said AFP public affairs office chief Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner.

“Our rubbers boats are pre-positioned. The Navy and then the Air Force are also making their own actions to position their aircraft on possible areas [that may be hit by Ramil]," he added. - GMANews.TV


‘RAMIL’ LIKELY TO HIT AREAS BATTERED BY 'PEPENG' - PAGASA (10/19/2009 | 08:50 PM )

The state weather forecaster on Monday expressed fears that typhoon "RAMIL" (international name: LUPIT) will probably wreak havoc on the same areas that were battered by typhoon "Pepeng" (Parma) two weeks ago.

In an interview with GMA News, Nathaniel Cruz, weather bureau chief of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said "Ramil" continued to move towards "extreme northern Luzon," which covers the provinces of Cagayan, Apayao, Ilocos Norte, and Batanes.

"It's cause for concern because the tools we use really show the increased possibility of 'RAMIL' hitting northern LUZON," Cruz said in a separate phone interview.

As of 4 p.m. Monday, "RAMIL" was sighted 1,070 kilometers east of Aparri, Cagayan and packing peak winds of 195 km per hour (kph), with gusts of up to 230 kph. It is forecasted to move west northwest at 17 kph.

Cruz said the current cyclone is much stronger than "PEPENG" that reached peak winds of 175 kph.
In a press conference, Pagasa chief Prisco Nilo said “RAMIL’s" strength could even intensify into 200 kph before it makes landfall in Cagayan province on Thursday morning or afternoon. “We expect it to gather strength," Nilo said.

Cruz said if "Ramil" would not change its course, the storm will slam into the provinces of Cagayan, Apayao, and Ilocos Norte, and will also affect the provinces of Isabela, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ilocos Sur, Abra, La Union, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Benguet, and Pangasinan.

People in these areas can expect bad weather especially on Thursday as the typhoon approaches. Based on our estimates, it's possible that starting tomorrow [Tuesday] afternoon cloudiness and rains will be felt in the two areas of eastern Luzon especially Cagayan Valley. – Aie Balagtas See and Sophia M. Dedace,
GMANews.TV


RAMIL SUSTAINS STRENGTH, HEADS FOR NLUZON SLOWLY

"RAMIL" (international name: LUPIT) maintained its strength as its moves northwest slowly toward Northern Luzon, state weather forecasters said Monday noon.
Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) chief Prisco Nilo said the typhoon might affect the Cagayan-Isabela area starting late Wednesday even as its landfall is expected Thursday morning.

Citing information from their instruments, Nilo said the effects of the typhoon will likely be felt late Wednesday in the Cagayan-Isabela area.

PAGASA EYES RAISING STORM SIGNALS STARTING TUESDAY NOON

State weather forecasters do not expect to raise storm warning signals over any area in Luzon threatened by typhoon "Ramil" (Lupit) until Tuesday noon.

Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) chief Prisco Nilo said Monday that rains may start falling over the eastern part of Northern Luzon Tuesday.

We do not expect Ramil' to have any effect on the country until Tuesday noon," Nilo said in an interview on dzXL radio.

Nilo said the cyclone remains on course to make landfall on extreme Northern Luzon, likely in Northern Cagayan.

On the other hand, Pagasa forecaster Ben Oris said the typhoon has started moving again, and is heading for provinces in North Luzon. It is heading for Northern Luzon, Cagayan, Isabela, Ilocos and La Union," he said in an interview on dzBB radio.

nancyk58
20-10-2009, 10:57 AM
RED CROSS / RED CRESCENT OVERVIEW OVER RELIEF WORK IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC


INDIA: Hidden dangers in murky waters - News story 15/10/2009

Decreasing the Destructiveness of Disasters is our only choice - Opinion piece 14/10/2009

INDONESIA: Helping those who need it most - News story 13/10/2009

Aid flown into SUMATRA, but PHILIPPINES needs more help - Press release 12/10/2009

INDONESIA: SUMATARAquake: Aid worker's diary VII - News story 12/10/2009

INDONESIA: Searching for loved ones - News story 09/10/2009

INDONESIA:SUMATRA quake: Aid worker's diary VI - News story 09/10/2009

INDONESIA earthquakes: Red Cross Red Crescent appeal revised to 19 million Swiss francs - Press release 08/10/2009

SUMATRA quake: Aid worker's diary - News story 08/10/2009

SUMATRA quake: Aid worker's diary IV - News story 07/10/2009

SAMOA: Hands and feet of tsunami response - News story 06/10/2009

SUMATRA quake: Aid worker's diary III - News story 06/10/2009

ASIA disasters: Four urgent appeals now seek 18 million Swiss francs - Press release 05/10/2009

SAMOA: Humanitarian diary - News story 05/10/2009

SUMATRA quake: Aid worker's diary II - News story 05/10/2009

VIETNAM Humanitarian Diary - News story 05/10/2009

ASIA Disasters: Two Urgent Appeals launched for 8 million Swiss francs - Press release 03/10/2009

Humanitarian diary: SAMOA News story 02/10/2009

VIETNAM: From water everywhere to mud everywhere - News story 02/10/2009

We need a global strategy to deal with natural disasters - News story 02/10/2009

INDONESIA: Double quake rocks WESTERN SUMATRA - News story 01/10/2009

Four deadly disasters strike ASIA PACIFIC - Press release 30/09/2009

Red Alert for Red Cross as strong quake and tsunami batters SAMOA - News story
30/09/2009

VIETNAM: Lives saved, livelihoods destroyed - News story 30/09/2009

VIETNAM: Bracing for typhoon KETSANA - News story 29/09/2009

Typhoon KETSANA: Rescue teams save hundreds in Metro MANILA as VIETNAM prepares for the worst - News story 28/09/2009

Philippines: Rescue teams save hundreds from floods in MANILA - News story 27/09/2009

‘H2P’ expands to include VIETNAM - News story 23/09/2009

INDONESIA: Creating evacuation routes - News story 17/09/2009

Swift aid to survivors of ferry accident - News story 07/09/2009

SUMATRA quake: Aid worker's diary I - News story 05/09/2009

SRI LANKA: “Binning” farewell to disaster - News story 04/09/2009

INDONESIA: Red Cross volunteers respond to WEST JAVA earthquake - News story
03/09/2009

MALDIVES tsunami survivors move back to “beloved island” - News story 28/08/2009

MALDIVIAN Red Crescent rises from the Tsunami - News story 18/08/2009

Red Cross supports search and rescue effort as hundreds remain missing in TAIWAN - News story 17/08/2009

Red Cross races to help typhoon survivors in East Asia - News story 14/08/2009

Community Recovery and Reconstruction Partnership (CRRP) boost living standards in eastern Sri Lanka - News story 13/08/2009

Red Cross responds as typhoon Morakot cuts across East Asia - News story 10/08/2009

Help on hand for survivors of TONGAN ferry tragedy - News story 06/08/2009

Red Cross Red Crescent complete 44,000 new homes for tsunami survivors - News story 05/08/2009

INDONESIA: Toilets and tap stands change lives in Nias - News story 30/07/2009

NEPAL: Diarrhoea outbreak kills hundreds - News story 29/07/2009

PAKISTAN: uncertainty and insecurity linger with IDPs - News story 28/07/2009

MONGOLIA diary – Sanitation and learning key to flood recovery - News story 27/07/2009

MONGOLIA Diary – Assistance vital when disaster strikes the most vulnerable - News story 24/07/2009

MONGOLIA Diary – relief arrives, but clean-up deferred - News story 22/07/2009

PAKISTAN: Amidst growing heat, relief emerges - News story 21/07/2009

INDONESIA: Volunteers respond to hotel bombings - News story 17/07/2009

SRI LANKA: Reducing the risk of dengue - News story 17/07/2009

BANDA ACEH: From survivor to volunteer - News story 13/07/2009

CHINA: Red Cross brings relief after floods - News story 07/07/2009

PAKISTAN: the worsening plight of displaced children - News story 30/06/2009

BANGLADESH: IFRC calls for 2.35 million Swiss francs to help nearly 37,000 families - News story 26/06/2009

Red Cross builders brace for PHILIPPINE storms - News story 26/06/2009

SRI LANKA: A taste of success - News story 26/06/2009

The Red Cross at work in NEPAL speech 24/06/2009


http://www.ifrc.org/news/press.asp

nancyk58
20-10-2009, 11:54 AM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 20 OCTOBER 2009


WATERWAY SETTLERS BRACE FOR BOTH 'RAMIL' AND DEMOLITION

(by JUN VERZOLA with GMA NEWS RESEARCH10/20/2009 | 05:05 AM )


As typhoon RAMIL, the fourth typhoon to enter the country in 30 days, starts to threaten LUZON, nearly 108,000 urban poor families living as “informal settlers" along Metro Manila waterways are unsure which disaster will befall them first.

Will it be another monster flood rushing across their makeshift communities? Or will it be forced evacuation and eventual relocation under a government program aimed at clearing the clogged waterways of the metropolis?

In the wake of the double-whammy cyclones “ONDOY"and “PEPENG" that hit the country since late September, President Arroyo had ordered the forced relocation of urban poor communities living near waterways and other danger areas in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.

In particular, the disastrous killer floods that engulfed wide swaths of Metro MANILA at the height of “ONDOY" brought again to the fore the long-standing question about the role of these urban poor communities. The shanty-towns and their garbage block the flow of water, thus worsening the impact of typhoons, so goes the criticism.


EXTENT OF INFORMAL SETTLERS ALONG METRO WATERWAYS
Growing urban poor populations live in the numerous nooks and crannies of Metro MANILA – that much is true.

According to records of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), 544,609 families in Metro Manila are considered informal settlers as of September 2007 – the latest data so far. The number includes those families living in danger zones, government lands and private lands, and represents about 21 percent of the 2.6 million households in Metro Manila.

Of this figure, 107,997 families (19.83 percent) live in danger zones, particularly along the rivers, creeks, tidewater estuaries (esteros) and other waterways, as well as along railways, roadways or sidewalks and aqueducts, and under bridges.

Many waterways also teem with informal settlers. The Manggahan Floodway – a flood control project of the Department of Public Works and Highways built in 1986 to absorb the excess water from Marikina River and divert it to Laguna Lake – is host to at least 1,800 informal-settler families, based on an MMDA FCMS estimate.

GMA News Research identified 291 barangays that are at great risk from flooding due to their proximity to clogged drainage. The barangays have a population of more than 3 million residents as of the 2007 census.

Metro Manila barangays are at risk due to flooding.

Even before “ONDOY," Mrs. Arroyo had issued Executive Order No. 803 on June 19, 2009, creating the Metro Manila Inter-Agency Committee for Informal Settlers (MMIAC). The MMIAC is tasked with overseeing the relocation and housing program for informal settlers in Metro Manila.

The government realizes that it would need at least P30 billion in 10 years to relocate the half-million-plus informal settlers in Metro Manila. But for now, the MMDA and other agencies are focusing on urban poor communities along the waterways.

DPWH officials also said recently that the clearing of waterways would be carried out not just in Metro Manila but in other flood-prone areas of the country.

Meliton Juanico, an environmental planner and chairman of the Department of Geography at the University of the Philippines Diliman, stresses the importance of relocating the families living in the danger zones because “they hamper the free flow of our drainage."

Professor Juanico wants to give particular focus to monitoring easements, or strips of open land on both sides of a river bank. He says that in urban areas, the required easement under the Water Code is three meters on either side of the river bank, where there should be no building or establishment.

The laws that we have are very lax. These laws are good but they are not being implemented, and also not being evaluated," he says.

The UP professor mentions the Tullahan River, Diliman Creek, Culiat Creek, San Juan River, Taguig River, and Marikina River as among the waterways that should be cleared of informal settlers to lessen flooding.
"In early times, Manila was being flooded too, but during those times, no people lived along the rivers’ ebb so the water flowed smoothly, and was easy to drain," he says.
Juanico ads that Mrs. Arroyo’s directive on the relocation of informal settlers is nothing new, (but what is lacking is) political will on the part of local governments.

For me, the powers of MMDA and LLDA must be expanded. The approach to the problem of informal settlers should really be wholistic, inter-town, and must involve all parties concerned with the Marikina watershed.

An alternative view
The urban poor communities that stand to be ejected from the said “danger zones" would like to offer another view.
“Technically, there is nothing wrong with the relocation of the families living along the areas that the government deems as danger zones," says Jon Vincent Marin, spokesman of the urban-poor group Kadamay, in an interview by online news site Bulatlat.

Urban poor organizations recognize the direct threat that typhoons bring to them, Marin says, but relocation is not enough. “If they will be relocated to areas where there are no social services and job opportunities, then there is something wrong with the relocation," he says.

Marin insists that most relocated families would eventually return to the metropolis and live along the riverbanks and waterways, because conditions in the relocation areas are worse than along Metro Manila’s congested waterways.

[B]“We should all remember that the poor communities living along the riverbanks and waterways are only there because of poverty, lack of job opportunities, livelihoods, and social services," he said. “They are not dust that the government can sweep under the rug."

Another urban poor leader affiliated with the women’s group Gabriela said, “If the victims are relocated to an area, but without livelihood and social services, it is no different from a calamity hitting the victims again." - GMANews.TV with GMA News Research


PAGASA: ‘RAMIL’ TO HIT 4 PROVINCES; 7 AREAS UNDER SIGNAL 1 (10/20/2009 | 08:07 AM )

At least four provinces in Northern Luzon may be hit hardest by typhoon “RAMIL" (LUPIT) when it makes landfall later this week, state weather forecasters said Tuesday.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) has placed seven areas under Signal No. 1 as the cyclone drew near North Luzon Tuesday.
"Based on our data as of this morning, it will likely hit Cagayan, Apayao, Ilocos Norte and Batanes," Pagasa head Prisco Nilo said in an interview on dzXL radio.

Also, Nilo said RAMIL will be more powerful than tropical cyclone “PEPENG" (PARMA), which devastated Northern Luzon and lingered around the area for a week, making landfall three times.

Earlier, Defense Secretary and National Disaster Coordinating Council head Gilberto Teodoro Jr. called on those living in risk-areas in northern Luzon provinces to evacuate already before it’s too late.

The warning was specifically addressed to residents in landslide-prone areas in Benguet and Mt. Province in the mountainous Cordillera region.

The two provinces, including the popular mountain resort city of Baguio, were the worst-hit by landslides at the height of typhoon Pepeng two weeks ago. The typhoon killed more than 300 people and isolated many areas due to road closures and destroyed infrastructure.

Preparing for Ramil’s imminent onslaught, local government units, local disaster coordinating units and various national government agencies are bracing for the typhoon.

MORE POWERFUL THAN ONDOY, PEPENG

In the radio interview, Nilo said typhoon Pepeng had winds of 175 kph when it made landfall while storm “Ondoy" (Ketsana), which came a week earlier, had winds of 85 kph. But the approaching RAMIL has winds of 195 kph near the center.

"Ramil is more powerful than the two cyclones preceding it, with rains estimated at 20 to 25 milliliters per hour. It can cause floods and landslides," he said.

However, he said there is still a chance Ramil would change course and head for Taiwan.

Pagasa forecaster Arnel Gonzales said that while their data shows Ramil is likely to make landfall in Cagayan province Thursday, atmospheric conditions could still cause the cyclone to go to Taiwan.

Gonzales also said that it is possible Ramil would turn into a super-typhoon once its winds near the center reach 215 kph or higher.

Atmospheric factors change so its track may still change," he said in an interview on dzBB radio.

RAMIL's LOCATION
In its 5 a.m. advisory, Pagasa said Ramil maintained its strength as it continues to move toward Northern Luzon.

As of 4 a.m., it was estimated at 890 km east northeast of Aparri, Cagayan, with maximum sustained winds of 195 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 230 kph.

Ramil is forecast to move west at 17 kph and be 560 km east-northeast of Aparri in Cagayan by Wednesday morning, and 160 km east northeast of Aparri Thursday morning.

By Friday morning it is expected to be 40 km west of Laoag City.

Areas under Storm Signal No. 1 are the Batanes Group of Islands, Cagayan, Calayan, Babuyan Islands, Apayao, Kalinga, and Isabela.

Meanwhile, Pagasa said the whole country will experience mostly cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms.

METRO MANILA MUST PREPARE, TOO

Pagasa weather bureau Chief Nathaniel Cruz said that METRO MANILA might not be spared from the effects of RAMIL, as the cyclone might have an “event radius" of about 500 kilometers.

In an interview on dzBB on Monday, he asked outdoor advertisers in Metro Manila to put down their billboards. That could be part of our preparations.
The National Capital Region must prepare for powerful winds, and that large billboards must be put down as they might pose a danger if they collapsed, he added.

REGIONAL PREPARATIONS
Meanwhile, Northern Luzon officials continued to prepare for Ramil’s onslaught. In Ilocos Norte, Laoag City Mayor Michael Fariñas said he has held a staff meeting in the provincial government, to ensure enough relief goods are stockpiled.

In Benguet, authorities preemptively evacuated families to avoid a repeat of the devastation caused by tropical cyclone Pepeng, according to a report on dwIZ radio. Several residents in Benguet were killed after being buried in landslides caused by Pepeng.

The Philippine Air Force said it continues to airlift relief items to Northern Luzon in preparation for Ramil.
“Our role is more of transportation. We had transported relief goods to Batanes," PAF spokesman Col. Gerardo Zamudio Jr. said in an interview on dzXL radio.

Meanwhile, while government prepares material resources to head off possible loss of life, Church officials in Bicol made their preparations through prayer.

The Legazpi Diocese in Albay published an “Oratio Imperata" (obligatory prayer) as a full-page ad in the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper.
It said the prayer is to be recited at mass after communion.

“We turn to you our loving father and beg forgiveness for our sins ... We ask that we, our loved ones and our hard-earnied possessions, be spared from the threat of calamities, natural and man-made," the prayer said. - GMANews.TV

nancyk58
20-10-2009, 09:16 PM
PHILIPPINES NEWS from GMA News.TV


FOOD FINALLY ARRIVE IN ISOLATED ISLANDS OFF CAGAYAN
(by FLORO TAGUINOD, GMANews.TV10/20/2009 | 04:44 PM)

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya – FOOD and other RELIEF SUPPLIES have at last reached islands off Cagayan province that were isolated by typhoon “Pepeng," just in time before the expected arrival of another typhoon.

Russian military helicopters came to the islands of Babuyan Claro and Calayan to deliver relief goods to hungry residents Monday, officials said. The giant helicopters commissioned by the United Nations were sent to the islands upon the request of officials in Cagayan.

Earlier, Bonifacio Cuarteros of Cagayan’s Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC), expressed fear that food and medical supplies in the islands of Fuga, Babuyan Claro, Batanes and Calayan have become scarce due to lack of means to transport relief goods to the said islands.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), typhoon RAMIL, which originated from the central Pacific islands, could strike the northeastern tip of Luzon and the Batanes Islands Tuesday night.

According to Calayan Mayor Joseph Llopis, there are only small motorized boats available in his island but doubted if it can weather the already rough seas which was made even turbulent by the inclement weather. He said that their two big boats which are only a two-tonner and a three-tonner will take at least 16 hours of sea travel to reach Aparri and back. Travel time from Babuyan Claro to Santa Ana is almost the same. Even then, the mayor was not sure if it can survive battering waves since the islands are situated where the Pacific Ocean and South China Sea intersect.

Initial efforts by the PDCC, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Philippine Navy (PN), to distribute food and medical supplies to the islands were not very successful due to aging sea vessels.

Some 1,200 residents in Babuyan Claro received packs of food but it was only good for some 500 individuals.

According to Chief Superintendent Roberto Damian, Cagayan Valley police director, the airlifted supplies flown-in by Russian piloted helicopters to Babuyan Claro, consisted of FOOD and other BASIC NEEDS.

More sorties are simultaneously conducted by the Russian pilots in remote Fuga and Calayan. The relief assistance also included blankets, kitchen utensils and toiletries.

“We will be able to deliver goods for some 1,200 families in Calayan and 451 families in Fuga," he said adding that some 500 food packs came from Malacañang, while the rest were from an American religious group called the Samaritans.

The helicopters arrived in Tuguegarao City on Friday and carried a total of 13,000 kilograms of relief goods. The operations staging point is in Claveria town. - GMANews.TV


PAGASA: 'RAMIL' TO BE FELT TUESDAY NIGHT; SIGNAL 2 IN 5 AREAS - 10/20/2009 | 12:16 PM

The effects of typhoon "Ramil" (Lupit) will be felt starting Tuesday evening as the cyclone approaches the northern Luzon area, which is still recovering from the destruction caused by successive weather disturbances the past three weeks.

In a radio interview, Nathaniel Cruz, weather sciences bureau chief of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Service Administration (Pagasa), said storm signals have been hoisted over 15 areas in northern Luzon. Under signal no. 2 are the Batanes Group of Islands, Cagayan province, Calayan Islands, and Isabela province. Areas placed under signal no. 1 are the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Apayao, Abra, Kalinga, Mt. Province, Ifugao, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Aurora, and Polillo Island.

In the same radio interview, Cruz said the effects of Ramil could be felt as early as Tuesday night, as it is expected to hover on Cagayan province, then over Apayao, then Ilocos Norte, before exiting to the South China Sea.

Although Ramil is only passing through northern Luzon, weather for the rest of the island (Luzon) would be likewise affected, he added.

Articles on Samoa a little later

nancyk58
20-10-2009, 09:50 PM
http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem / The following 3 articles from American Red Cross about the situation in SAMOA:

JUMPSTART KITS ARRIVE IN AMERICAN SAMOA (Tuesday, October 20, 2009)

On Saturday, American Red Cross Jumpstart Kits arrived in American Samoa, an area that is recovering from the September 29 tsunami. The kit has items to help disaster victims with their short-term, immediate requirements, as well as aid for the long term. Each kit contains two blankets, a combination hand-crank radio, flashlight and cell phone charger, a mesh laundry bag, a first aid kit, note pad and pen, work gloves, face masks and a bath-in-a-bag all in one convenient, durable Red Cross backpack. Diapers, baby formula, towels, brooms and feminine hygiene products—all of which are in short supply on the island also arrived Saturday evening. The delivery included bolts of fabric that could be cut into lava-lava—the traditional skirt-like garment that is worn by men and women on American Samoa.

There are more than 300 workers from the American Red Cross, representing chapters on American Samoa, Hawaii and across the U.S. mainland, providing assistance to those affected by the tsunami. The workers have distributed the new supplies to villages across American Samoa, along with tuna, rice, noodles and water.

AMERICAN SAMOA's CHILDREN GIVEN SAFE SPACE TO LAUGH AGAIN - Monday, October 19, 2009

In a corner of the convention center on American Samoa, little girls sat down with crayons and paper under the watchful eyes of American Red Cross workers and drew pictures of their homes.
“One drew a cat on top of her house with water all around it,” said Red Cross worker Susannah Fulling of St. Louis. “One drew a picture of sharks and fish all around her house. They didn’t say this is a drawing of my house in the tsunami (but) I think that’s their way of expressing their fear.”
Fuller is among 300 workers from Red Cross chapters in American Samoa, Hawaii and the U.S. mainland who have joined other relief workers to help those affected by the September 29 tsunami.

The American Red Cross has teamed with partner organizations to specifically address the needs of children after disasters, whether for physical safety, specialized food and clothing, or attention to mental health and spiritual care.

On American Samoa, the Red Cross and Save the Children - a partner organization for more than two years—stocked and staffed a “Safe Space” play area in the convention center where families lined up to apply for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance.Catholic Charities, a long-time partner of the Red Cross, is sorting and distributing clothing donations. Red Cross workers are repackaging specialty supplies that arrived over the weekend, including diapers, baby formula, school supplies and Mickey Mouse dolls.
And Red Cross specialists in mental health and spiritual care are working with members of the faith-based community on American Samoa, helping children from preschool to high school deal with the loss of family members and classmates who were among the reported 34 killed in the tsunami.
Elizabeth Cutter, an American Red Cross volunteer from Oak Park, Ill., saw children’s needs firsthand when she and other volunteers traveled to villages on American Samoa to build round tents, called yurts, to serve as temporary housing for families whose homes had been damaged or destroyed. The volunteers also gathered information about family size and necessities.

Early last week, Cutter, Fulling and Lindsey Stailing, all Red Cross volunteers as well as members of the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, left field work temporarily to work with children in the convention center. Work was actually play, as children and volunteers took up beach balls, blocks, tea sets and crayons.

“Most of us don’t ask about the tsunami, and that’s intentional,” Stailing said. “A few children were drawing pictures, and saying, ‘We miss Aunt So-and-so’ or ‘We miss Grandpa.’ That would bring them to talk about it.

“Two boys told their stories in a very serious way—very mature—and they were only 8 or 9. One was running away from the waves. Another was farther up the hill, and he watched the waves take out his church and his neighbor’s houses….They are very resilient.”

But even the most resilient may need additional help dealing with disaster. On American Samoa, six mental-health specialists and one spiritual care adviser from the American Red Cross are working with teachers, churches, parents and kids to help children recover. Within two weeks of arriving on American Samoa, the specialists met individually with almost 460 children, visited 13 classrooms and spoke at school assemblies attended by 2,200 students.

Washington state residents Tim Serban, Marysville, a Red Cross spiritual care adviser and mental-health worker Lyle O’Neal of Spokane spent last Thursday with 300 middle school students in the village of Aua, east of the American Samoa capital of Pago Pago.

“All of these kids were either at school or home at the time of the earthquake (that triggered the tsunami) and beneath a huge mountain with a nearly completely vertical drop,” Serban said in an e-mail. “Almost all saw a landslide happen as the sheer rocks fell….By the time the tsunami hit, most were safe high up on the mountain….No students were lost, but many have friends who lost homes or know at least two people who have died.”

Serban and O’Neal listened to children in Aua describe emotional aftershocks which are still causing sleepless nights so O’Neal suggested that children and adults plan their dreams. “Rather than simply letting thoughts and images of the earthquake and tsunami fill their minds just before bedtime, we suggest that they draw their favorite place or image or happy dream and put it under their pillows and, before they go to sleep, think about the happy picture,” Serban said.

He and O’Neal are scheduled to return to the school to find out if the dream planning helped, but Serban left the village with his own sense of peace: “When you spend your day with children,” he said, “you are renewed.”


RED CROSS STRIVES TO HELP DISASTER'S VULNERABLE POPULATION

Partner organizations lend a hand in caring for children after a disaster. Save the Children and Church of the Brethren Children’s Disaster Services have agreements with the Red Cross to assist children in shelters. The Red Cross sets up the shelter, Save the Children sets up special safe spaces for kids and provides art materials, books, games and toys, and Church of the Brethren provides workers to run supervised activities for the children.

For example, during the ongoing relief effort in AMERICAN SAMOA , the Red Cross and Save the Children worked together to set up a play area in the convention center where families lined up to apply for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance. Special supplies were sent in, including diapers, baby formula, dolls and school supplies. Red Cross mental health and spiritual care specialists helped children deal with the loss of family members and classmates.

To help those with disabilities, the Red Cross can install temporary ramps and set up accessible bathroom facilities if a shelter does not meet accessibility standards. Items such as wheelchair transferable cots and commode chairs are now stockpiled to be used when needed.

Today the Red Cross has more than 5,000 licensed mental health professionals who volunteer as part of the mental health response during a disaster. All Red Cross disaster workers are trained in psychological first aid to identify stress symptoms in children and adults. And plans are in the works for a new course to train people how to increase their own resilience in a disaster.

Fra: www.redcross.org / media@usa.redcross.org - Tuesday, October 20, 2009

http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.1a019a978f421296e81ec89e43181aa0/?vgnextoid=127c95bd89074210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCR D
SAMOA

nancyk58
21-10-2009, 11:42 AM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASION ON 21 OCTOBER 2009

DANISH TV2 TEXT TV, p. 130: TREMENDOUS TYPHON THREATENING THE PHILIPPINES

The Philippines prepares for yet another typhoon named "LUPIT" which is threatening to hit the northern part of the Philippines tomorrow Thursday or Friday.

It has slowed down a bit and does not hit the Philippines today Wednesday as it had been previously announced based on calculations. But LUPIT has maintained its tremendous power that will cause substantial damage and devastation if it hits land.

"We are taking all possible measures to meet/cope with the typhoon and are prepared to take action wherever and whenever needed", so Grace Padaca who is the Governor of the northern province Isabella.

nancyk58
22-10-2009, 01:25 AM
CIVIC GROUP TO SET UP 50 MORE SHELTER BOXES IN N LUZON –
By Maria Elena Gonzales 10/22/2009 | 02:01 AM

BAGUIO CITY – In a bid to declog evacuation centers here, the Rotary Club wants to set up shelter boxes and is searching for sites here in the Cordillera region for setting up shelter boxes.

Rolando Villanueva, Rotary district governor of Region I, II, III and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) said his group has fifty more shelter boxes to be set up, and is eying the Atok area in Benguet and the Tadian area in Mountain Province.Each shelter box supplies an extended family of up to 10 people with a tent and essential equipment to use while they are displaced or homeless.

Villanueva said each shelter box can provide emergency shelter needs for as many as 10 people if needed. “It is a temporary solution to declog the evacuation centers that we have," he added.

There are 87,700 affected families equivalent to 424,888 persons in CAR, while there are 16 existing official evacuation centers that house 310 families comprising 1,409 persons. La Trinidad has the most number of evacuation centers with seven, one each for Atok, Bokod and Itogon towns, five for Tublay, and one for Tadian in Mountain Province.

On the other hand, Villanueva said the club has been able to set up seven shelters at the Veterans area in Wangal, La Trinidad, 27 in Itogon town, and 24 in Tublay. The beneficiary families have been using the tents since.

There are 25 shelter boxes set up at the Benguet State University compound at the Strawberry Fields. These have remained empty, however, awaiting kitchen and bathroom provisions to be set up by the local government unit.

Villanueva said the recipients can use the tents for as long as they need it, adding that no pressure of return is being imposed. “We bring it to where the greatest of need is."

The ShelterBox, which supplies the said shelter boxes, is an international disaster relief charity that delivers emergency shelter, warmth and dignity to people affected by disaster worldwide

“One tent costs $1,000," Villianueva said. - GMANews.TV


SUNNY WEATHER REPORTED IN CAGAYAN DESPITE RAMIL's APPROACH

by Floro Taguinod, GMANews.TV - 10/21/2009 | 04:37 PM

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya – Cagayan province experienced sunny weather on Wednesday despite warnings that typhoon Ramil would hit the northern part of the province late Thursday or early Friday.

But disaster management officials warned residents against complacency, saying it’s better to be prepared than to be sorry.

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, Ramil (international name: Lupit) was spotted by weather forecasters at 510 km east northeast of Aparri, Cagayan with maximum sustained winds of 175 kph near center and gustiness of up to 210 kph.

As Ramil draws closer, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) placed northern Cagayan as well as Batanes and the Calayan and Babuyan Islands under storm Signal No. 3. The rest of Cagayan and the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Apayao, Abra, Kalinga, and Isabela were under Signal No. 2.

In the regional center of Tuguegarao City, it was business as usual and some residents even expressed doubts that the feared typhoon would affect them at all.

In a phone interview at past noon on Wednesday, businesswoman Susan Gammad said that Tuguegarao’s temperature was hot and that the sun was up early.

“The students were sent home from school because Pagasa raised Storm Signal Number 2 here, and there is no sign of any disturbance," she told GMANews.TV.

Cadel Trilles of radio dzCV also told GMANews.TV that the province generally had sunny weather.
Nonetheless, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) told residents not to take things in stride.

OCD regional director Melchito Castro said that pre-emptive evacuation of residents living in low-lying areas of Cagayan and Isabela were going on and that the provincial government of Cagayan was getting ready for any eventuality.

GOOD WEATHER?

Castro said relief goods, rescue equipment and facilities have been readied by his agency in coordination with the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Councils (PDCC).

“Let us not be deceived by the good weather," he said, stressing that storm signals are raised precisely because of oncoming weather anomalies.


The region has suffered heavy destruction in properties, agriculture and infrastructure from typhoon Pepeng, which slammed into Cagayan on Oct. 3 with maximum sustained winds of 175 kph.


Pepeng exited into the South China Sea the next day but returned twice to northern Luzon, bringing nonstop rains that caused DEADLY LANDSLIDES in BENGUET, BAGUIO and MOUNTAIN PROVINCE and DISASTROUS FLOODS in PANGASINAN.


Learning lessons from the experience, the OCD in the Cordillera region was also on heightened alert even if Pagasa raised only storm Signal No. 1 over Benguet, Baguio, Ifugao and Mountain Province.

Relief and rescue teams from Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija were also on alert for possible landslides especially in the Carranglan area bordering the two provinces.

In Dagupan City in Pangasinan, municipal social welfare development officer Asuncion Salcedo said evacuation centers around the city were ready to house evacuees, while some 5,000 relief goods have been repacked by personnel from the Municipal Disaster Coordinating Council.

Meanwhile, PDCC officials in Cagayan announced that they will be coming out with a complete list of evacuees soon in compliance to the government’s zero-casualty program in times of calamities. - GMANews.TV


THE HAZARDS OF GIVING

by Ivan Mayrina - 10/21/2009 | 10:51 PM

Reporters are taught to maintain an emotional distance from the subjects we cover. But like dams, we have our spilling levels. In that flooded community, I was not able to steel myself against a SEA OF HUNGRY PEOPLE. TV reporter Ivan Mayrina feels the terror of distributing relief goods to a DESPERATE CROWD in Barangay Pinagbuhatan in PASIG in the wake of "ONDOY."
The words “hazard" and “giving" are not often used in the same sentence. But on the morning of September 30, 2009, I knew first-hand what a strange mix it indeed was.

It had been five days since tropical storm “Ondoy" dumped a month’s worth of rain in six hours, leaving many parts of Metro Manila in a sorry, submerged state. Covering Marikina City and neighboring Rizal province in the last four days, looking for post-“Ondoy" “face" stories, already felt like a year’s worth of heartbreaking stories.

We reporters were taught to maintain an emotional distance from the subjects we cover. But the devastation we were made to cover was too much. And like dams, we have our spilling levels.

My assignment was a relief distribution effort in Sitio Nagpayong in Barangay Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City. The city I knew mainly for its malls and the Ortigas business district was one of the areas badly hit by “Ondoy."

We tagged along the city government’s relief operations team, aboard a 6X6 military truck loaded with goods for the flood victims.

On the way to the area, I knew I was in for a good story. Sitio Nagpayong, bordering the towns of Taytay and Cainta in Rizal, was a depressed area and perennially flood-prone.

On top of that, help was on its way for the first time in five days.

So I kept my eyes wide open for possible angles. Should I go for another tear jerker? Or should I lighten up a bit? After all, it had been five days of crying. A brief light moment wouldn’t hurt.

The sitio was 10 kilometers away from the control base of the relief operations at Eusebio High School. The truck passed through roads where people waded through knee to waist-deep floods. And so I told my ever reliable cameraman Kim Sorra to watch out for creative modes of transport. “If it floats, then chances are you will find it in Pasig" was the mid-spiel running in my head.

Kim’s lens captured all that I needed: People on top of banana trunks tied together to form a makeshift raft. A floating rickshaw made up of plastic drums, a chair and a beach umbrella, manned by two chiseled bodies. Like cars, flood transport instantly had trims and variants. Economy and business class. Clever.

But that did not prepare me for what lay ahead.

Our truck cruised through the flooded streets, until it was getting harder and harder for us to proceed. Seeing that the truck carried relief goods, people blocked our way. But the goods were not for them—yet.

Journalists often encounter images that stand out and tell a story. What I saw were some of them. Instantly, I knew that my AV (audio-video package) would be full of ironic images.

Some people were selling stuff, but no one had the money to buy. People wanted to go back to work and make money, but couldn’t. People did not want to overcharge others for extraordinary transport services, but had to compensate for their own needs.

So the truck went on, literally inching its way through the streets to reach its destination.

We finally made our way to Sitio Nagpayong. The water was waist deep. Down I went, hoping to get the killer sound bites — audio clips from interviewees that drive home the point.

The best sound bites came when the first of about 800 relief bags were given out. People were restless, even rowdy. Gutom. Hungry.

Representatives of the city government, with Army escorts, tried to put some order into the distribution. But after a while, everyone knew it was impossible.

It was then that I felt PANIC. People swarmed our truck, climbing from all directions. For a moment there, I thought they could turn the truck over.

Some of them were pleading to be given one bag. But most had that determined look of a person who had been reduced to his most basic instincts.

It was then that I realized that giving is not as easy as it seems.
How does one set a standard in giving? hat will you consider? Age? Gender? What if all of them had been contending for days with the cold, fatigue, hunger and thirst?)

As reporters, we should maintain a safe, detached distance from the story—to facilitate our impartiality and insulate us from emotion. But I was not able to steel myself against that SEA OF HUNGRY PEOPLE, their eyes burning with eagerness to grab whatever was within reach.

There was an old woman slugging it out with others in the waiting crowd. When a bag thrown at the throng landed near her, she held it with all her might, as if her very survival depended on it.

There were many others like her, old people pounding the truck’s sides, begging. There were burly men cajoling. Some even carried small children.

When I could no longer ignore the hands and fingers poking my sides, asking for a bag, I grabbed some and gave them away.

We all felt safe as soon as we handed out the last bag of goods.

That day, I probably handed out 50 bags, fed 50 families. But I disappointed at least 50 more families. In the end, we didn’t have enough to give. - GMANews.TV


SIGNAL NO. 3 UP IN 4 AREAS AS ‘RAMIL’ MOVES CLOSER TO RP

by Sophia M. Dedace, GMANews.TV - 10/21/2009 | 01:55 PM

(As of 9 p.m.) The state weather bureau hoisted Storm Signal No. 3 at noon on Wednesday in the northernmost part of the Philippines as typhoon "Ramil" moved closer to the country.

Placed under Signal No. 3 were Cagayan, the Calayan and Babuyan islands, and Batanes.

Earlier in the day, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) chief Prisco Nilo said Ramil might make landfall on Friday or even spare the Philippines and head for Taiwan instead.

"At this time the probability is growing that Ramil may change course slightly and head for Taiwan," Nilo said early Wednesday morning.

In its 5 p.m. weather bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Ramil was last spotted 455 kilometers east-northeast of Aparri, Cagayan.

Pag-asa placed under Signal No. 2 the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Apayao, Abra, Kalinga, Isabela, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Benguet and La Union.

Under Signal No. 1 were Ilocos Sur, Mt. Province, Ifugao, Benguet, La Union, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Aurora, northern Quezon, and Polilio islands.

Packing maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometers per hour (kph) with gusts of 210 kph near the center, Ramil was spotted at 510 kilometers east-northeast of Aparri, Cagayan at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

It was moving west-southwest at 15 kph and was expected to be 190 km northeast of Aparri in Ilocos Norte on Thursday morning.

Pagasa weather sciences division chief Nathaniel Cruz said that if Ramil makes landfall, it would directly strike Cagayan, Apayao, and Ilocos Norte.

The nearby provinces would be affected by Ramil’s winds," Cruz said in an interview on GMA’s Flash Report.


FOUR DAMS TO RELEASE WATER

To avoid a repeat of what happened two weeks ago when dams in northern Luzon faced the threat of overflowing due to non-stop rains spawned by typhoon “Pepeng," some dams have started releasing water since Sunday in preparations for Ramil's entry to the country.

On Wednesday, four major dams were still releasing water: Ambuklao Dam in Benguet, San Roque Dam in Pangasinan, Pantabangan Dam in Nueva Ecija, and Magat Dam in Isabela.

nancyk58
22-10-2009, 12:30 PM
UPDATE OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 22 OCTOBER 2009

'Ramil' slows down; Pagasa hints landfall delayed anew

nancyk58
22-10-2009, 08:46 PM
THE SITUATION IN THE AMERICAN SAMOA

UPS PARTNERS WITH THE RED CROSS TO PROVIDE RELIEF

Thursday, October 22, 2009 — On Saturday, UPS delivered food and relief supplies to communities affected by the earthquake and tsunami in AMERICAN SAMOA. Additional supplies are scheduled to arrive in November by ocean freight.

The shipments by UPS, which is a member of the Annual Disaster Giving Program of the American Red Cross, are supporting the ongoing relief efforts of the Red Cross in AMERICAN SAMOA in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that struck on September 29.

In addition to our annual contribution, one of the strengths UPS brings is using our network to position needed supplies to support local recovery efforts,” said Ken Sternad, president of The UPS Foundation. "By donating funds, coordinating volunteer activities and moving supplies, UPS has been able to help provide some relief to those in need.”

American Red Cross Jumpstart Kits were a part of this latest shipment to American Samoa. The kit has items to help disaster victims with their short-term, immediate requirements, as well as aid for the long term. Each kit contains two blankets, a combination hand-crank radio, flashlight and cell phone charger, a mesh laundry bag, a first aid kit, note pad and pen, work gloves, face masks and a bath-in-a-bag all in one convenient, durable Red Cross backpack.

Diapers, baby formula, towels, brooms and feminine hygiene products—all of which are in short supply on the island also arrived Saturday evening. The delivery included bolts of fabric that could be cut into lava-lava—the traditional skirt-like garment that is worn by men and women on American Samoa.

“Thanks to the generosity of our Annual Disaster Giving Program members, we are able to mobilize human and material resources at a moments notice to provide lifesaving services,” said Jeffrey Towers, chief development officer at the American Red Cross. “These funds, coupled with the support of the American public, are critical during hurricane season and enable the Red Cross to rush immediate relief to disaster victims before the first donation has been given. There are more than 300 workers from the American Red Cross, representing chapters on American Samoa, Hawaii and across the U.S. mainland, providing assistance to those affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN RED CROSS:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families.

The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.1a019a978f421296e81ec89e43181aa0/?vgnextoid=e8f8da1ce2c74210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCR D#


UPS and the American Red Cross Team Up to Send Relief Flight to American Samoa

Members of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program Provide Support

National Headquarters
2025 E Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20006
www.redcross.org

Contact: Public Affairs Desk
FOR MEDIA ONLY
media@usa.redcross.org
Phone: (202) 303-5551

WASHINGTON, Thursday, October 22, 2009 — UPS is delivering 70 tons of food and relief supplies to communities affected by the earthquake and tsunami in AMERICAN SAMOA, as a UPS relief flight has delivered the first payload to assist the ongoing recovery efforts, with additional supplies scheduled to arrive in November by ocean freight.

The shipments by UPS, which is a member of the Annual Disaster Giving Program of the American Red Cross, are supporting the ongoing relief efforts of the Red Cross in AMERICAN SAMOA in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that struck on September 29.
When disaster strikes, the Red Cross mobilizes volunteers and supplies into affected areas to shelter, feed and provide mental health counseling to disaster victims and emergency personnel.

“Thanks to the generosity of our Annual Disaster Giving Program members, we are able to mobilize human and material resources at a moments notice to provide lifesaving services,” said Jeffrey Towers, chief development officer at the American Red Cross. “These funds, coupled with the support of the American public, are critical during hurricane season and enable the Red Cross to rush immediate relief to disaster victims before the first donation has been given.”

Since the Annual Disaster Giving Program’s inception in 1997, members have pledged donations to the Red Cross in advance of major disasters to ensure an immediate response will meet the needs of people who are affected by disasters of all sizes, at no cost and regardless of income. This year’s members provided more than $20 million in funding for the Disaster Relief Fund.

“In addition to our annual contribution, one of the strengths UPS brings is using our network to position needed supplies to support local recovery efforts,” said Ken Sternad, president of The UPS Foundation. "By donating funds, coordinating volunteer activities and moving supplies, UPS has been able to help provide some relief to those in need.”

Individuals can join forces with companies who are members of the Annual Disaster Giving Program and help provide food, shelter, counseling and other assistance to the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like the recent earthquake and tsunami in AMERICAN SAMOA. Log-on to RedCross.org or call 1-800- RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make a donation.

Other members of the Annual Disaster Giving Program include Altria Group, Inc., American Express, AXA Foundation, ConAgra Foods, FedEx Corporation, GE Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation, John Deere Foundation, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Merck & Co., Inc., Morgan Stanley, Nationwide Insurance Foundation, Raytheon, Ryder Charitable Foundation, State Farm, State Street Foundation, Target, The TJX Companies, Inc. and UnitedHealthcare.

About The UPS Foundation

Founded in 1951 and based in Atlanta, Ga., The UPS Foundation’s major initiatives include programs that support community safety, nonprofit effectiveness, economic and global literacy, environmental sustainability and diversity. The UPS Foundation pursues these initiatives by identifying specific projects where its support can help produce a measurable social impact. In 2008, The UPS Foundation donated $46.9 million to charitable organizations worldwide. Visit community.ups.com for more information about UPS's community involvement.


About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

nancyk58
22-10-2009, 09:19 PM
'Ramil' slows down; Pagasa hints landfall delayed anew (10/22/2009 | 07:57 AM)

Typhoon "Ramil" (Lupit) slowed down anew Thursday and may not make landfall until at least this weekend, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said.

In its 5 a.m. advisory, Pagasa said Ramil would still be some 110 km east of Aparri in Cagayan by Sunday morning, given the cyclone’s present movement.

"‘Ramil’ slowed down from 15 kph to about 3 kph. So it will take longer before making landfall," Pagasa head Prisco Nilo said in an interview on dzXL radio.

When asked when "Ramil" will make landfall, he said, “it may make landfall MONDAY."

But he also said it is an indication the typhoon may eventually change course. He, however, did not elaborate.

On the other hand, Nilo said landfall may still occur during the weekend as it is also possible "Ramil" will again speed up within the day.

DIFFERENT PATHS

For its part, Japan Meteorological Agency's forecast indicated Ramil remains on course to make landfall in northeast Luzon.

The JMA's 5:40 a.m. (Manila time) forecast indicated it may even have an impact to as far as Central Luzon, with a storm warning area of 280 km.

Meanwhile, Pagasa said Ramil was moving west southwest "slowly" and may be 250 km east of Aparri in Cagayan Friday morning, and 180 km east of Aparri Saturday morning.

As of 4 a.m. Thursday, Pagasa said Ramil was about 350 km east northeast of Aparri with maximum sustained winds of 160 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 195 kph.

Areas under storm signal No. 3 are Batanes Group of Islands, Cagayan, Calayan Island, Babuyan Islands, Apayao, Kalinga, and Isabela.

Areas under storm signal No. 2, meanwhile, are Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, Mt.
Province, Ifugao, Benguet, La Union, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, and Aurora.

Those under signal No. 1 are Pangasinan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, Northern Quezon, and Polillo Islands.

"Northern Luzon will experience stormy weather while Central Luzon will have rains and gusty winds with moderate to rough seas. The rest of the country will be cloudy with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms," it said.


PREPARATIONS

Noting that people in flood- and landslide-prone areas are now more cooperative than before, Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) spokesman Lt. Col. Ernesto Torres Jr said that they are now ready for Ramil’s onslaught.

In an interview Thursday on dzXL radio, he said the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines have been tasked to guard the vacated areas against looters, as many families had refused to leave their homes before because of the threat of looting.

Also, Torres noted governors and mayors in northern Luzon had ordered evacuations in coastal areas, riverbanks and landslide-prone areas.

He said in a separate interview over GMA News' Unang Hirit that local disaster coordinating councils have identified the areas prone to floods and landslides.


"In every province and municipality, local coordinating councils have conducted hazard mapping to identify hazardous areas where landslides and flooding occur", he said.

In its 6 a.m. report, the NDCC said 37,123 firefighters, police and public works personnel have been pre-positioned in Luzon.

Last Tuesday, the Department Interior and Local Government issued a regional memorandum reiterating the government’s “Zero Casualty" policy.

In Cagayan Valley, the local Social Welfare Department forged an agreement with Smart Communications to set up a free communication system for families affected by Ramil.

In Cagayan, radio dzBB’s Carlo Mateo reported at least 50 families had been preemptively evacuated in Aparri town, after a seven-meter storm surge destroyed part of a breakwater.

Also, radio dzXL reported that some bus firms in Metro Manila had canceled trips to Cagayan since Wednesday night for fear their buses may be stranded due to winds, rains and floods. - GMANews.TV


Arroyo calls for PRAYERS as ‘RAMIL’ slows down and weakens

NDCC: FAMILIES IN DISASTER-PRONE AREAS NOW ‘MORE COOPERATIVE’

Families in areas at risk of floods and landslides are now “more cooperative" in leaving their homes in anticipation of the coming of typhoon “RAMIL" (LUPIT), disaster management authorities said.

RAMIL STILL CLOSE TO NORTH LUZON LANDFALL BUT MIGHT ALSO VEER AWAY

(10/22/2009 | 09:20 PM )

(Updated 11:34 p.m.) After doing a slow snake dance for several days across the Pacific on its way to Northern Luzon, now feinting north, now near-stationary, now driving west, Typhoon Ramil is still expected to hit land along the northern Luzon coast on Friday night or Saturday morning, the state weather bureau said in its latest weather bulletin. But other national agencies tracking the storm think it has started to veer away to the north or northeast.

Typhoon Ramil remained excruciatingly close to the northern Luzon coast, spotted at 150 kilometers east of Aparri, Cagayan and slowly moving west, according to the 11 p.m. weather bulletin of the the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

The weather agency's chief forecaster Nathaniel Cruz said Ramil has further weakened to maximum sustained winds of 120 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 150 kph.


Asked why the typhoon is weakening and slowing down, Cruz said this is due to two factors: the effect of its being close to a mountainous land mass, and the overall atmospheric environment in the area.

However, the Integrated Multi-Agency Tropical Cyclone Forecast map issued at 10:00 p.m. (Manila time) predicted that Ramil will tend to veer away from extreme northern Luzon in a northeasterly direction, toward Taiwan and the Ryukyu islands.

The multi-agency map combines the forecasts of six weather forecasting agencies: those of the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO), the Korean Meteorological Administration (KMA), China’s National Meteorological Centre (NMC), and the joint Fujian-Taiwan China Meteorological Administration (CMA).
Public storm signal No. 3 remains hoisted over Batanes, Cagayan, Babuyan Islands, Calayan Island, Apayao and Ilocos Norte.

Under signal No. 2 are Ilocos Sur, Kalinga, Isabela, Abra, and Mountain Province.

Signal No. 1 now includes only Ifugao, Benguet, La Union, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino and northern Aurora.

Public storm signals elsewhere have been lowered.

Pagasa likewise said that three dams continue to release water as of posting time, namely Pantabangan dam in Nueva Ecija and the Binga and Ambuklao dams in Benguet. – Andreo C. Calonzo and Jun Verzola, GMANews.TV

(For details about the current status of various dams, see: Status of Monitored Major Reservoirs in Luzon.)


RISING SEA LEVELS, BROWNOUTS MARK COMING OF ‘RAMIL’ (10/22/2009 | 11:25 PM)

Rising sea level that forced the evacuation of 65 families and power interruptions heralded the coming of typhoon "RAMIL" (international name LUPIT) in Cagayan Valley, the National Disaster Coordinating Council said Thursday night.

In its 6 p.m. report, the NDCC said some 65 families or 182 people were evacuated after a 20-meter seawall collapsed in San Antonio village in Aparri town Tuesday. The evacuees included 41 from Maura village and 24 from San Antonio village.

Sixteen families were preemptively evacuated from Pilig Abajo village in Cabagan town in Isabela province to the town gymnasium.

The NDCC also noted unscheduled power interruptions in areas managed by the Cagayan Electric Cooperative since 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) indicated "Ramil" may make landfall in Cagayan Friday after it accelerated Thursday afternoon.

Meanwhile, three dams in Northern Luzon - Ambuklao, Binga and Pantabangan - remained open as of 4 p.m., the NDCC said.

Ambuklao Dam kept four gates open, with water flowing at 29 cubic meters per second. Its reservoir water level was 740.98 meters, below the 752-meter spilling level.

Binga Dam kept one gate open with water flowing at 201 cubic meters per second. Its reservoir water level was at 571.85 meters, below the 575-meter spilling level.

Pantabangan Dam kept one gate open with water flowing at 200 cubic meters per second. The reservoir water level was at 218.35 meters, below the 221-meter spilling level.

Angat, Ipo, La Mesa, San Roque, Magat and Caliraya dams were closed as of 6 p.m. - GMANews.TV

http://www.gmanews.tv/story/175345/rising-sea-levels-brownouts-mark-coming-of-ramil

Tonsu
23-10-2009, 11:32 AM
Thank you so much for the updates Nancy, but my goodness, when will this ever end? :(

The Red Cross id doing TREMENDOUS work, I hope people will support it as much as possible.

nancyk58
23-10-2009, 07:07 PM
RED CROSS HELPING THE PHILIPPINES

http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.1a019a978f421296e81ec89e43181aa0/?vgnextoid=5ba195bd89074210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCR D#

RED CROSS MOBILIZES RELIEF SUPPLIES AND VOLUNTEERS AHEAD OF PHILIPPINES TYPHOON

THIRD TYPHOON IN A MONTH threatens to cause more flooding and landslides in the Philippines

By Eric Porterfield, Sr. Press Officer, American Red Cross

Tuesday, October 20, 2009
As residents in the flood-weary Philippines continue to recover from two recent typhoons, another storm heads for the NORTHERN LUZON REGION. TYPHOON LUPIT is expected to make landfall as a category 1 or 2 storm on Thursday with wind speeds in excess of 110 mph.

“Thousands of people are still living in evacuation centers, mostly schools, or living on the second floor of their homes as the first floor is still under water,” says Cristina Hammond, American Red Cross disaster specialist in the Philippines.

The PHILIPPINES RED CROSS STAFF and VOLUNTEERS who have been preparing for and responding to typhoons for four weeks are pre-positioning more relief supplies and putting specially trained search and rescue teams with rubber boats on standby prior to the typhoon’s landfall. The Red Cross operations center in Manila is working hand-in-hand with weather forecasters and running around the clock to plan before the storm.

“Operations center staff are discussing how best to prepare and how to send reinforcements to help local staff and volunteers who are exhausted and that might also be affected by the storm,” adds Hammond.

Within the last month, two other storms have hit the Philippines. Typhoons KETSANA and PARMA caused severe flooding and landslides, affecting 6.3 million people and killing 773.

The AMERICAN RED CROSS has sent two disasters specialists and committed $900,000 to the Philippines to assist with the ongoing relief operation, including $100,000 of RELIEF SUPPLIES such as kitchen kits, blankets, jerry cans for collecting clean water and mosquito nets and a $500,000 grant from the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance.

YOU can HELP the VICTIMS of countless crises around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need.

DONATIONS to the International Response Fund can be sent to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013 or made by phone at 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or online at www.redcross.org.


GMA News.TV on Friday, 23 October 2009

Ramil almost stationary; landfall delayed to Sunday

More families evacuated in Cagayan, Ilocos areas as Ramil nears

Pagasa: Ramil to make landfall late Friday or early Saturday


[COLOR="Lime"]RAMIL WEAKENS INTO A TROPICAL STORM

10/23/2009 | 06:43 PM

State weather forecasters decreased the number of areas under Storm Signal No. 3 as Typhoon Ramil weakened into a tropical storm Friday afternoon.

In its 5 p.m. bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Ramil's strength has decreased, now with maximum sustained winds of 105 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 135 kph.

Ramil remains almost stationary with its center 110 kms east northeast of Appari in Cagayan, Pagasa said. The Japan Meteorological Agency, however, showed the cyclone veering further away from northern Luzon.

Repeatedly asked in an earlier media briefing about exactly when Ramil is expected to make a landfall, Pagasa spokesman Nathaniel Cruz emphasized that the exact time and place of the landfall is already immaterial, since even at the storm’s current position, northern Cagayan and the outlying islands are already feeling its full fury.

Earlier at 10 a.m., Pagasa said Ramil packed maximum sustained winds of 120 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 150 kph, prompting the state weather bureau to place under Signal No. 3 (where the strength of winds range from 101 kph-185 kph) the Batanes Group of Islands, Cagayan, Calayan Island, Babuyan Islands, Apayao, and Ilocos Norte.

But as of 5 p.m. only Northern Cagayan, the Batanes Group of Islands, Calayan Islands, and Babuyan Islands remained under storm Signal No. 3

Areas under storm signal No. 2 (60-100 kph winds) are the rest of Cagayan, Ilocos Norte and Apayao, while under Signal No. 1 (30-60 kph winds) are Ilocos Sur, Abra, Kalinga, Mt. Province, Isabela, Ifugao, Quirino, and Northern Aurora.

As in previous advisories, Pagasa reminded residents in low-lying areas and near mountain slopes under storm signals to take precautions against possible flashfloods and landslides.

It also reminded those living along the coast in areas under signals No. 2 and No. 3 against storm surge and big waves generated by the typhoon.

According to Pagasa, Ramil is expected to be 105 km northeast of Aparri by Saturday afternoon, 115 km northeast of the same area by Sunday afternoon, and 140 km north northeast of Aparri by Monday afternoon.

RAMIL comes on the heels of two cyclones that devastated parts of NORTHERN LUZON: tropical storm "ONDOY," and typhoon "PEPENG." Both caused massive flooding and loss of lives in Metro Manila and other Luzon areas.

Johanna Camille Sisante, GMANews.TV


SIGNAL NO. WIND SPEED DURATION

Signal No. 1 30 - 60 kph Expected in 36 hours
Signal No. 2 61 -100 kbp Expected in 24 hours
Signal No. 3 101-185 kbp Expected in 18 hours
Signal No. 4 186 kph above Expected in 12 hours

nancyk58
24-10-2009, 04:16 AM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA – SATURDAY 24 OCTOBER 2009

As Typhoon Ramil (international name Lupit) continued to close in on northern Luzon, authorities in Cagayan and Ilocos Norte provinces preemptively evacuated more families in coastal areas. - 23 October 2009

Cagayan Governor Alvaro Antonio said Friday that at least 300 families from low-lying and coastal areas had been brought to various designated evacuation centers. Those living near the foot of mountains and near the Cagayan River and its tributaries are also being evacuated.

“We’re more prepared now," he said in an interview on dzXL radio.

The province was among the hardest hit areas by tropical cyclone Pepeng (Parma), which made landfall in northern Luzon thrice earlier this month.

Antonio said he already gave local officials in the province instructions to ensure zero casualty.

Earlier, radio dzBB’s Carlo Mateo reported that as of 6 p.m. Thursday, 187 families or 995 people were evacuated, including those from Sta. Ana, Gonzaga, Aparri and Pamplona towns.


LATEST ARTICLE

Erratic Ramil may not make RP landfall

10/24/2009 | 09:52 AM

Tropical storm Ramil (Lupit) continues to move slowly away to Japan and might not make its expected landfall in northern Luzon, the state weather bureau said Saturday.


According to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), Ramil's Sunday landfall might not push through as it zigzags north-northeast and slowly out of the Philippine area of responsibility.

"It might not hit Luzon," Pagasa weather bureau chief Nathaniel Cruz told GMANews.TV on Saturday morning.

Although the cyclone is on a slow but steady path out of the country, Cruz said a landfall from Ramil is hardly necessary since it has already battered parts of the Cagayan province with strong winds and rains in the past few days.

"It already made landfall in a way, because of the swath of rain," he said.

Despite Ramil's recent movement, at least two areas remained under Storm Signal No. 3 as of 4 a.m. Saturday.

“Extreme Northern Luzon will have stormy weather. Central Luzon and the rest of Northern Luzon, Palawan and Eastern Visayas will be cloudy with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms. The rest of the country will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms," Pagasa said in its 5 a.m. bulletin.

It added moderate to strong winds blowing from the northwest to southwest will prevail over the rest of Luzon, and coastal waters along these areas will be moderate to rough.

Elsewhere, winds will be light to moderate blowing from the west to southwest with slight to moderate seas except during thunderstorms.

Pagasa’s forecast on the course of Ramil appeared to jibe with that of the Japan Meteorological Agency, whose 5:45 a.m. forecast indicated Ramil will move north-northeast away from the country.

However, the JMA forecast indicated winds from “Ramil" are still likely to affect parts of Northern Luzon.

Pagasa’s 5 a.m. advisory said “Ramil" was 240 km northeast of Aparri, Cagayan or 150 km east-southeast of Basco, Batanes as of 4 a.m.

“Ramil" packed maximum sustained winds of 105 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 135 kph.

It is forecast to move north-northeast slowly and be 200 kms east-northeast of Basco, Batanes Sunday morning, and 310 kms east-northeast of Basco, Batanes Monday morning.

By Tuesday morning it is expected to be 420 kms northeast of Basco, Batanes.

Areas under Storm Signal No.3 include the Batanes and Calayan Islands. Areas under Signal No. 2 include Northern Cagayan and Babuyan island.

Under Signal No. 1 are the rest of Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, and Apayao.

However, Pagasa reminded residents in low-lying areas and near mountain slopes under storm signals to take precautions against possible flashfloods and landslides.

It also advised those living along the coast in areas under signals #2 and #3 to be on alert against storm surge and big waves.

Pagasa also said strong to gale force winds are expected to affect seaboards of Central and Southern Luzon.

“Fishing boats and other small seacraft are advised not to venture out into the sea while larger sea vessels are alerted against big waves," it said. - Joseph Holandes Ubalde, GMANews.TV

Build decent evacuation centers, bishop urges govt10/24/2009 | 09:45 AM

In the wake of recent cyclones, a Catholic bishop urged the government to build decent and permanent evacuation centers in areas often affected by natural calamities.


NDCC remains on alert as Ramil moves away
10/24/2009 | 09:26 AM

Although tropical storm Ramil (Lupit) appears to move away from northern Luzon, the government's disaster officials remained on alert Saturday for a possible U-turn by the cyclone.

From: GMA News.TV

nancyk58
24-10-2009, 08:28 AM
From GMA News.TV Saturday 24 October 2009 at 9:26 Danish time

After scare, 'Ramil' spares Luzon, heads for Japan

After keeping much of Luzon on edge for over a week, Tropical Storm Ramil (Lupit) continued its erratic path but away from the mainland and towards Japan Saturday morning, sparing the Philippines a third disaster in less than a month.
RELATED STORIES

» No weather disturbance to affect RP as Ramil exits

» Pinoy kids sell their toys, raise P22K for typhoon victims

nancyk58
24-10-2009, 06:29 PM
PHILIPPINES – source: GMA News.DK

AFTER SCARE, 'RAMIL' SPARES LUZON, HEADS FOR JAPAN (Updated on 10/24/2009, 11:19AM)

After keeping much of Luzon on edge for over a week, Tropical Storm Ramil (Lupit) continued its erratic path away from the mainland and towards Japan Saturday morning, sparing the Philippines a third disaster in less than a month.

In its 5 p.m. advisory, Pagasa said Ramil was 425 km northeast of Basco, Batanes as of 4 p.m., maintaining its maximum sustained winds of 95 kph near center and gustiness of up to 120 kph.

Only the province of Batanes was under Storm Signal No. 1 as storm signals elsewhere were lowered.

Pagasa said Ramil is forecast to move northeast at 15 kph and be 700 km northeast of Basco, Batanes or 100 km of Okinawa, Japan on Sunday afternoon.

“It might not hit Luzon," Pagasa weather bureau chief Nathaniel Cruz told GMANews.TV on Saturday morning. Cruz said that even though Ramil has not directly crossed northern Luzon as earlier forecast, it has battered parts of the Cagayan province with strong winds and rains in the past few days. Its effect had also been felt largely in the Calayan, Babuyan and Batanes island groups in extreme northern Philippines. "It already made landfall in a way, because of the swath of rain," he said.

Pagasa also said that Pantabangan Dam in Nueva Ecija has stopped releasing water as Ramil move further away from the country. The Ambuklao and Binga Dams in Benguet, however, continue to release water as of posting time.

By Monday morning Ramil is expected to be 950 km northeast of Basco, Batanes or at 230 km east of Okinawa, Southern Japan.

Pagasa reminded residents in low-lying areas and near mountain slopes under storm signals to take precautions against possible flashfloods and landslides.

It also reminded those living along the coast in areas under signals #2 and #3 to be on alert against storm surge and big waves.


GOOD NEWS

In a separate interview with QTV's Balitanghali Saturday, Cruz said their monitoring showed no weather disturbance was trailing behind tropical storm Ramil in the Pacific Ocean.

Cruz said this would mean the country would be free from any low pressure area at least in the next two to three days, during which time the country is expected to have fair weather.

"This is a good news for us that we see no weather disturbances aside from Ramil," Cruz said.

But the Pagasa official still advised the public not to let their guards down saying weather activities happening at sea could become unpredictable.

Cruz also said that even if Ramil is on its way out of Philippine territory, fishermen are still discouraged from setting sail since water in affected areas could still become turbulent. - with Joseph Holandes Ubalde and Andreo Calonzo, GMANews.TV


No weather disturbance to affect RP as Ramil exits

(by Mark D. Merueñas, GMANews.TV - 10/24/2009 | 01:16 PM)

After weeks of being visited by tropical cyclones, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the country could experience FAIR WEATHER in the next few days.

Nathaniel Cruz, weather sciences bureau chief, told QTV's Balitanghali Saturday that their monitoring showed no weather disturbance was trailing behind tropical storm Ramil in the Pacific Ocean.

Tropical Storm Ramil (Lupit) continues to move slowly away to Japan and is unlikely to make its expected Sunday landfall in northern Luzon.

Cruz said this would mean the country would be free from any low pressure area at least in the next two to three days. "This is a good news for us that we see no weather disturbances aside from Ramil," Cruz said. But the Pagasa official still advised the public not to let their guards down saying weather activities happening at sea could become unpredictable.

Cruz said for the remaining two months of the year, the public could still expect two to three more tropical cyclones to arrive in the country. Annually, the Philippines is visited by between 20 to 21 cyclones.

He also said that while Ramil is on its way out of Philippine territory, fisherfolks are still discouraged from setting sail since water in affected areas could still become turbulent.

Ramil was last spotted 340 km northeast of Basco, Batanes as of 10 a.m., with maximum sustained winds of 95 kph near center and and gustiness of up to 120 kph.

Batanes was placed under Storm Signal No. 2, while Calayan and Babuyan Islands were placed under Storm Signal No. 1 as storm signals elsewhere were lowered.

Forecasters said Ramil is currently JAPAN-bound and is expected to be 230 kms east of Okinawa by Monday. GMANews.TV


Pinoy kids sell their toys, raise P22K for typhoon victims

Despite their young age, Filipino children in China managed to raise P22,807 for victims of cyclones Ondoy (Ketsana) and Pepeng (Parma) by selling used toys and belongings.


Blamed for disaster, floodway settlers are immovable force

(by Johanna Camille Sisante, GMANews.TV) - 10/24/2009 | 06:18 PM

A month after ‘Ondoy’, communities obstructing the nine-kilometer-long Manggahan Floodway – one of the nation’s largest flood control structures -are still there, setting the stage for a repeat of the flooding that occurred when water quickly breached its banks. Jam Sisante reports.

nancyk58
24-10-2009, 09:39 PM
I N D O N E S I A

BBC World Text TV on 24 October 2009:
STRONG QUAKE HITS OFF INDONESIA

A magnitude 7 earth quake has hit off the Coast of INDONESIA according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). The quake was reported to have occurred in the BANDA SEA near the Maluku Islands to the east of East Timor.

The quake struck at a depth of 92 miles / 148 km, USGS reported. Indonesian authorities issued a tsunami alert.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, one of the most active areas for earthquakes and volcanic activity in the world.


ZDF Text TV: Indonesian authorities issued tsunami alert after a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The quake shook the eastindonesian Maluku islands, and the epicentre was 165 km under the bottom of the sea. No reports of any tsunamis or devastation on land.

On 30 September a magnitude 7.6 earthquake on the westcoast of SUMATRA caused devastation. More than 1,100 people were killed, and hundreds of people were wounded.


Text TV from the Norwegian Channel TV2:

TSUNAMI ALERT IN INDONESIA.

The quake hit off the coast of the eastern INDONESIA.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) measured the quake at 7.0, whereas the Indonesian authorities measured it at 7.3.

In September 2009 PADANG on the island of SUMATRA was hit by a heavy quake that caused substantial damage and devastation and cost more than 1,000 human lives.

nancyk58
25-10-2009, 10:44 AM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA SUNDAY 25 OCTOBER 2009

GMA News.TV

Plans drawn up for RP's post-disaster assessment

10/23/2009 | 01:33 PM

Post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA) is being scheduled by the government and its development partners to determine the extent of the damage caused by storms Ondoy and Pepeng and to draw up reconstruction and recovery plans.

The Finance department and the World Bank, in a joint statement issued on Thursday, said the assessment would cover a gamut of sectors, infrastructure, impact assessment, and overall disaster preparedness.

"The huge tasks at hand — both in terms of short-term recovery and long-term reconstruction — demand no less than a concerted response from all sectors of society and the global community," Finance Secretary Margarito B. Teves said.

World Bank Country Director Bert Hofman said: "The PDNA will serve as a framework by which the country could mobilize greater support from the broader global community for recovery and reconstruction..."

The government, widely criticized for its rescue and relief response, is currently scrambling to secure rehabilitation funding, proposing the issuance of P50 billion in reconstruction bonds and the realignment of existing multilateral loans.

Other participating development partners are the United Nations, Asian Development Bank, and the European Commission.

Agreement on the PDNA was said to have been reached the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund-World Bank annual meeting in Istanbul earlier this month.

A team of local and international experts are already meeting with state agencies and local governments to plan for the assessment. The results of the PDNA are expected to be completed within November.

The initiative seeks to assess the damage, losses, and needs of calamity-struck areas, and to mobilize resources. It is also expected to result in recommendations for short, medium, and long-term recovery and reconstruction.

Mr. Teves said the multi-sectoral reconstruction commission formed recently by Malacañang would be meeting with the development partners and the private sector.


Ondoy devastated parts of Metro Manila and nearby provinces last September 26, while Pepeng hit the country on October 3. Both storms caused some P27.7 billion worth of damage and killed over 850 people.



The government and its development partners are also planning to devote this year’s Philippine Development Forum to raise donations for devastated areas. The annual event is scheduled for next month.

- Alexis Douglas B. Romero, BusinessWorld

nancyk58
25-10-2009, 10:27 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA SUNDAY 25 OCTOBER 2009


PAGASA: ‘RAMIL’ TO EXIT RP SUNDAY, BUT RAINS STILL LOOM

(10/25/2009 | 07:55 AM ) From GMA News.TV

Tropical storm “RAMIL" (LUPIT) continued to move farther away from Philippine territory, heading toward JAPAN on Sunday morning. But rains still loom over Extreme Northern LUZON and other parts of the country.

In its 5 a.m. advisory, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said there is no indication of Ramil making a U-turn.

"We expect it to exit Philippine territory later on Sunday. It is heading for the southern islands of Japan," Pagasa forecaster Lenny Ruiz said in an interview on dzBB radio.

He also said there is no low-pressure area or weather disturbance now within the Philippine area of responsibility.

As of 4 a.m., Ramil was 560 km northeast of Basco, Batanes, with maximum sustained winds of 95 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 120 kph, Pagasa said.

It is forecast to move northeast at 15 kph and is expected to be 860 km northeast of Basco, Batanes or at 200 km east-southeast of Okinawa, Southern Japan Monday morning.

Pagasa’s 5 a.m. weather bulletin said “Extreme Northern Luzon will experience mostly cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms. The rest of the country will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms."

Moderate to strong winds blowing from the Northwest to Southwest will prevail over Northern Luzon and coastal waters along these areas will be moderate to rough, it added.

Elsewhere, winds will be light to moderate coming from the Northwest to Southwest with slight to moderate seas except during thunderstorms.

On the other hand, Pagasa warned strong to gale force winds associated with Ramil will still likely affect the seaboards of Northern Luzon. - GMANews.TV


"]‘RAMIL’ SLOWS DOWN IN EXIT FROM RP; U-TURN STILL FEARED[/B]

(10/25/2009 | 05:50 PM)
Tropical storm "RAMIL" (international name LUPIT) slightly slowed down Sunday afternoon as it continued to exit Philippine territory. State weather forecasters however remain wary of a sudden U-turn.

In its 5 p.m. advisory, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration indicated it is not discounting a "recurvature" by "Ramil."
"Unless recurvature occurs, this is the final bulletin on this weather disturbance," it said.

A 4:40 p.m. forecast by the Japan Meteorological Agency indicated "Ramil" was heading northeast and is not likely to make a U-turn.


Philippine authorities are wary of a U-turn made by a cyclone similar to the case of "PEPENG" (PARMA) earlier this month. "PEPENG" eventually made landfall thrice in NORTHERN LUZON, causing floods and landslides, and killing more than 400 people.


As of 4 p.m., Pagasa said "Ramil" was 780 km northeast of Basco, Batanes or at 175 km southeast of Okinawa, Southern Japan. It packed maximum sustained winds of 95 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 120 kph, and was moving east-northeast at 15 kph.

Pagasa forecast "Ramil" to be 370 km east-northeast of Okinawa, Southern Japan by Monday afternoon.

GMANews.TV


JAPAN, THAILAND DONATE TO RP CYCLONE VICTIMS

(10/26/2009 | 12:11 AM )

The Philippines received a major boost from two key partners of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in disaster management efforts during the Asean summit in Thailand.

Malacañang on Sunday announced that Japan would donate three Doppler radars to the Philippines to complete the 12-radar system the Philippines needs in weather forecasting capabilities.

“Included of course are the technical support and Official Development Assistance (ODA)," a Palace statement quoted Press Secretary Cerge Remonde, who accompanied President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to the Asean summit, as saying.

The Palace said Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama also relayed to Mrs. Arroyo his condolences to the victims of cyclones “ONDOY" (KETSANA) and “PEPENG" (PARMA), which killed more than 700 people and left billions worth of damages in agriculture and infrastructure.

He also wished the country’s immediate recovery during a bilateral meeting with Mrs. Arroyo on the sidelines of the 15th Asean Summit.
For her part, Mrs. Arroyo congratulated Hatoyama on his election as Prime Minister and on his party’s historic victory. She said she is looking forward to a strategic partnership of the Philippines and Japan under his leadership and invited him to visit the Philippines.

While in Thailand, Mrs. Arroyo also received Thailand’s commitment to donate 620 metric tons of rice for the victims of the tropical cyclones. The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs made assurance that 100 metric tons of rice, as well as medicines, will be sent to the Philippines by the end of the month.

Another 520 metric tons of rice, this time upon the initiative of the Thai trade representative and coursed through the Asean Plus 3-East Asia Emergency Rice Reserve, will follow in February 2010.

On the other hand, Malacañang said a Philippine public-private sector body heading the reconstruction of infrastructure wrecked by the two cyclones may benefit from a $15-billion commercial credit from the People’s Republic of China.

The commercial credit will be available to the 10 Asean member-nations in the next three to five years, although the Palace said the decision rests on the newly created commission.

Trade Secretary Peter Favila pointed out that the commission, not the government, is making a study on the actual damage and the cost needed to fund the rehabilitation program.

At the Asean summit, Mrs. Arroyo proposed that the release of fund from the $120-billion Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM) to a distressed Asean member must be quick and with less conditions.

GMA News.TV

nancyk58
26-10-2009, 01:35 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA


Brewing storm likely to hit RP in 3 days – Pagasa

(by Sophia M. Dedace, GMA News.TV
10/26/2009 | 06:02 PM )

After Typhoon Ramil spared the Philippines over the weekend, another weather disturbance is threatening to hit the country within the next three days, the state weather bureau said Monday afternoon.

Prisco Nilo, head of the Philippine, Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the cyclone (named Tropical Depression 23) could enter Philippine territory on Thursday October 29 or Friday October 30.

It would be named SANTI once it enters the Philippine area of responsibility. Next to Pepeng, Quedan, and Ramil, the new weather disturbance is the FOURTH CYCLONE to visit the PHILIPPINES for the month of October.

He added that the following areas should brace for the weather disturbance’s effects: Visayas, southern Luzon, Bicol Region, Central Luzon, and Metro Manila.

Nilo said the tropical depression was spotted at the Marianas Islands. It was located at 2,800 kilometers east of Visayas packing maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour. It is forecast to move west northwest at 19 kph.

He, however, said that TD 23 had already intensified into a storm even if under Pagasa’s classification, a tropical depression becomes a storm if its strength had already exceeded 65 kph. - GMANews.TV


CATEGORY MAXIMUM WINDS
Tropical depression 35- 64 km per hour near the center
Tropical storm 65-118 km per hour near the center
Typhoon 119-200 km per hour near the center
Super typhoon Maximum winds greater than 200 km per hour

nancyk58
26-10-2009, 11:06 PM
My use of colours when posting:

Red is used to express danger / take care / warning / alert / description of devastation, death toll, wounded

Green is used to express hope / danger is over / help and donations given

Yellow is normally used as something between red (danger) and green (hope). A situation might develop into danger / devastation / death, but might also clear up]


I have checked several countries' Text TV, as well as the websites of Red Cross, Unicef and GMA News.TV without finding any relevant news.

nancyk58
27-10-2009, 12:31 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN THE PHILIPPINES

Pagasa: New cyclone may make landfall Saturday

10/27/2009 | 08:17 AM

If it stays on its course, a new cyclone heading for the Philippines may make landfall on Saturday night, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said Tuesday.

Pagasa head Prisco Nilo said the cyclone, to be code-named "SANTI" once it enters Philippine territory, will make itself felt as early Friday night.

"It may make landfall Saturday evening. But it is still at sea and far from land. The chances are, it will gain strength before making landfall," Nilo said in an interview on dzXL radio.

Citing data they have gathered so far, Nilo said the cyclone is due to enter Philippine territory Thursday evening, and bring rains and winds Friday evening.

But he admitted there is little chance the cyclone will go the way of "RAMIL" (LUPIT) that skipped the country.

In a separate interview, Pagasa forecaster Elvie Enriquez said the cyclone will likely affect Eastern Visayas.

"Given its present heading, it will likely affect first Eastern Visayas, including Samar and Leyte," she said in an interview on dzBB radio.

Enriquez also said that after "SANTI," at least four more cyclones are expected to enter Philippine territory.

"Based on weather patterns in the past years, we expect two cyclones to enter Philippine territory in November, one more in October, and one in December," she said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in its 6 a.m. report, said the cyclone had been upgraded into a tropical storm and is moving toward Guam.

It said the cyclone was moving west-northwest at 17 mph (27.35 kph) with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (64.37 kph). - GMANews.TV

nancyk58
27-10-2009, 06:59 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN THE PHILIPPINES


STORM HEADING FOR RP INTENSIFIES

10/27/2009 | 11:03 PM

The tropical storm heading for the Philippines intensified further Tuesday night and now has an INTERNATIONAL CODE NAME, MIRINAE.

In its 5 p.m. (Manila time) report, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said MIRINAE was about 160 miles (257.495 km) northwest of GUAM.

MIRINAE - which will be code-named SANTI upon entering PHILIPPINE territory - was moving west-northwest at 20 mph (32.187 kph). The storm packs maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (72.42 kph), the NOAA said.

"It is expected to intensify over the next 24 hours. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (96.56 km) from the center," it added.

On the other hand, the Japan Meteorological Agency's 8:40 p.m. forecast indicated the cyclone may affect parts of Northern, Central and Southern LUZON, and Central and Eastern VISAYAS by FRIDAY.

GMANews.TV

nancyk58
28-10-2009, 05:07 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN THE PHILIPPINES from GMA News.TV

Storm ‘Santi’ may enter RP Thursday; govt readies relief goods

10/28/2009 | 09:47 AM

The tropical storm heading for Philippine territory east of Northern Luzon accelerated slightly Wednesday and may enter the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) as early as Thursday morning.

But the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said “MIRINAE" (to be codenamed “SANTI" once it enters PAR) may also make an early exit, likely on Sunday.

"It may enter the Philippine area of responsibility as early as Wednesday night or early Thursday," Pagasa head Prisco Nilo said in an interview on dzXL radio early Wednesday.

Nilo said the storm continues to intensify and its winds may reach up to 200 kph.

Citing data they have gathered so far, he said the storm may hit Central LUZON and even affect METRO MANILA.

Nilo added that two to three more cyclones might hit the country after Santi.

Relief preparations

Following President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s order to pre-position relief goods to prepare for the coming storm, DSWD Secretary Esperanza Cabral said her agency is pinpointing the areas in Southern Luzon and the Visayas that the cyclone will likely hit this weekend.

“We are ready to pre-position stockpiles of goods so they can be used immediately," Cabral said in an interview on dzRH radio.

Mrs. Arroyo ordered relief caravans moved to their intended destinations beginning Wednesday, before the new storm hits this weekend.

A Malacañang statement said President Arroyo gave the order at a Cabinet and National Disaster Coordinating Council meeting in Pampanga.

It said the President particularly ordered pre-positioning of assets to Northern and Central LUZON.

In a separate interview on dzBB on Wednesday, Pagasa’s forecaster Ben Oris said they do not expect the storm to affect the country immediately.

“We may feel its effects perhaps on Saturday," Oris said.

He said that if MIRINAE stays on its course, it may hit east of Northern Luzon. But he also said the storm is likely to make an early exit on Sunday.

Storm location

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 6 a.m. report said Mirinae’s center was about 410 miles (659.83 km) west northwest of Guam.

It said Mirinae was moving west northwest at 22 mph (35.405 kph), with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120.701 kph).

On the other hand, the Japan Meteorological Agency’s 5:45 a.m. report indicated MIRINAE is heading for Northeast LUZON and may affect the WHOLE of LUZON and most of the VISAYAS by FRIDAY.

Pagasa’s 5 a.m. bulletin indicated that as of 2 a.m., Mirinae was estimated at 1,640 km east of Northern Luzon.

The storm packed maximum sustained winds of 85 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 100 kph and is forecast to move west-northwest at 28 kph
.

GMANews.TV


'SANTI’ INTENSIFIES INTO TYPHOON, TO INTENSIFY FURTHER

10/28/2009 | 08:07 PM

A tropical cyclone heading for the Philippines intensified further into a typhoon late Wednesday and remained on course towards northern LUZON, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

In its 5 p.m. report, NOAA said "MIRINAE" slightly accelerated at 27 kph.

"It is expected to intensify during the next 24 hours. Typhoon force winds extend outward up to 40 km from the center and tropical storm force winds extend upward up to 185 km from the center," it said.

NOAA said "Mirinea" was about 997 km west-northwest of Guam as of 5 p.m. and packed maximum sustained winds of 160 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 185 kph.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said typhoon "Mirinae" was 1,390 km east of Central Luzon as of 4 p.m.

The cyclone will be code-named “SANTI" once it enters Philippine territory, which Pagasa said could be on late Wednesday or early Thursday.

The Japan Meteorological Agency's 5:45 p.m. report said "Mirinae" may make landfall in the eastern part of northern Luzon and may affect parts of the Visayas as well this weekend while the nation observes All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day.

Because of this, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., who also heads the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), warned the public of the risks of going to the cemeteries.

“We see difficulties if our countrymen are not aware of the coming typhoon and they are planning to visit their relatives at the cemeteries. They may be trapped there and this may cause traffic congestion in the streets and may delay the response and relief efforts that may be needed to be done," Teodoro said in a press briefing in Camp Aguinaldo Wednesday.

He urged the public to visit their dead relatives before Saturday. “Let us avoid visiting our relatives at the cemeteries and if they really need to make a visit, we can do it earlier, before Saturday."

Teodoro said a food caravan is scheduled to leave for southern Luzon on Thursday as part of the government’s pre-positioning of relief goods in preparation for Santi.

GMANews.TV

nancyk58
28-10-2009, 09:38 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA 28 OCTOBER 2009

HOW MUCH DID ONDOY COST? FOR STARTERS, TRY P23 BILLION

No stranger to storms, and yet none the wiser for it, the NDCC estimates that P10.45 billion in DAMAGE was caused by ONDOY-related floods.

By ASSAD BAUNTO and YASMIN ARQUIZA10/10/2009 | 11:34 AM

No stranger to storms, and yet none the wiser for it, the Philippines is reeling once again from the aftermath of a relatively mild weather disturbance that has cost billions of pesos in property and hundreds of lives lost.

Nearly two weeks after tropical storm “ONDOY" dumped record rainfall in the nation’s capital and surrounding regions, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) on Thursday estimated the DAMAGE from widespread FLOODING it caused at
P10.45 billion, broken down into P3.864 billion in INFRASTRUCTURE and P6.766 billion in AGRICULTURE.

But an INDEPENDENT rapid STUDY brings the economic losses to more than twice that amount, based on government figures as of Oct. 8. Calculations derived from the official reports released by the NDCC, DepEd, and Department of Agriculture as well as statistical reports give a preliminary assessment of P23 billion, indicating that the government is grossly underestimating the impact of Ondoy.

The amount does not even include the losses of flood victims like the family of lawyer Edward Lorenzo, whose two-storey house in a Quezon City suburb was one of the thousands that were ravaged by the storm. Two of their cars were submerged in the flood along with the entire first floor, which will take up to three months to renovate, he says.

In addition to NDCC estimates, this initial assessment includes damage to housing and other infrastructure, civil aviation losses, and foregone revenues of 337 people who died in the floods. The economic cost also computes systems losses arising from the damage to infrastructure and related activities that impair productivity.

With very limited data from the government and private sector, these estimates are conservative and do not include other items that were destroyed, as well as expenditures arising from the disaster. These include destruction of household items, foregone revenues and damage in assets of business establishments, unaccounted donations, sanitation and garbage disposal, water quality, environmental costs, destroyed sea transport, medical and burial expenses, and health expenses to curb water-borne diseases, among others.

IRRECOVERABLE LAND AND INCOME
The calculations also used conservative assumptions in coming up with the figures for the cost to airlines from almost two days of canceled and delayed flights and access cost for students from the week-long class holiday.

In disasters like “ONDOY," the fact that many of the fatalities could still have led productive lives is often overlooked. To calculate the foregone revenues from the dead, essential factors such as the distribution of the population according to age, life expectancy of FILIPINOS, and employment status were taken into account. Based on the latest census and human development report figures, the expected productivity of the 337 victims had they not perished in the disaster reached P360.2 million.

The figure is based on the average wage income of Filipinos, and do not reflect the potential earnings of businessmen like Tony Chua, manager of the basketball team Barako Bull, or David Fernando, co-founder of Smart Communications Inc. Like hundreds of others, they lost their lives in the unprecedented floods that affected both rich and poor in Manila.

Similarly, with more than four million people affected by the storm, there is a huge loss in economic production that has not been measured. Assuming a five-day absence from work of the labor force, a conservative estimate of losses would amount to P2.358 billion in the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors.

In the NDCC report, a huge chunk of the storm damage was recorded in agriculture. But what it failed to mention is that aside from direct losses, an additional P2.26 billion in losses from yearly foregone revenues are expected as 35,207 hectares of agricultural land were deemed to have “no chance of recovery," according to NDCC, citing DA figures.

P23 ASSISTANCE PER AFFECTED PERSON
So far, the total amount of assistance from government agencies and NGOs is valued at around P97 million, including thousands of sacks of rice distributed to the victims. When correlated to the total number of affected persons in NDCC’s tally which stands at 4,119,658, however, the amount translates to a mere P23.51 per person. What can this buy? Aside from one kilo of NHA rice (P18.25), not much else really.

But then again, not all the victims benefited from disaster relief. According to the NDCC, only one-fourth of the affected population or 1,041,107 people received assistance. This means each person received P93.04 worth of assistance more than a week after “Ondoy" struck. The amount represents the value of social protection that the government has provided each person for such a catastrophic risk, which may increase as more support pours in but certainly does not compare with the properties and lives lost.

As for evacuees, one interesting ratio to consider is the number of persons housed in the 455 evacuation centers, many of them public schools. On average, there are 632 persons in one evacuation center. But if all the individuals affected by ONDOY are taken into account, the ratio would reach 9,054 persons to one evacuation center.

The figures, of course, vary by region. For instance, Central Luzon would have 14,219 evacuees per center if all affected persons are housed there. But in terms of actual occupants, only an average of 659 evacuees are found in each of the region’s 61 evacuation centers.

SOCIAL IMPACT

If most of the affected persons are not getting any help, where do they go?

Most likely, they get support from relatives, friends, and social networks. In economics and sociology circles, these are known as “informal arrangements" (as opposed to “formal arrangements" consisting of government or international support).

When catastrophic events such as the massive flooding from “ONDOY" wipe out a host of material property that can be used as collateral, the only assets left are friends and relatives that act as social insurance. They are extremely valuable in allowing disaster victims to maintain their consumption patterns and go on with their lives, despite the sudden drop in income and spike in expenses as a result of the damage sustained during unexpected events.

WHERE SHOULD THE MONEY GO?

In the wake of “ONDOY," United Nations Development Programme country director Renauld Meyer told a Senate hearing that $75 million worth of assistance would be sought for the victims.

He said the package would include “distribution of food, non-food such as health equipment and blankets and clothing, shelter, education, health, and other very urgent needs" based on an assessment of the municipalities affected by the floods.

However, no one has been talking about livelihood assistance for the families of the victims who died in the floods, especially those whose breadwinners died rescuing stranded individuals.

Another priority would be the improvement of the capacity of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) to predict rainfall and its weather forecasting in general. One of its main weaknesses is the lack of Doppler radar equipment, as only one is currently operational in Baler in Aurora.

Eight more are expected to be operational by the end of next year, but Pagasa chief Prisco Nilo has said previously that 12 are needed to cover the entire Philippines, which gets more than a dozen storms per year.

Funds are also needed to relocate residents living in hazardous areas and floodplains in order to prevent another disaster of “ONDOY’s" magnitude. Whether government officials will risk unpopularity by forcibly evicting squatters or rejecting applications for building permits in high-risk areas, however, is another question.

GROWTH CENTER
The systems losses in these initial estimates include a report from Meralco that the damage it incurred from “ONDOY" reached P830 million, representing nearly one-third of its income for the first half of 2009.

However, this does not include reports from the private sector such as the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which estimated that businesses in metropolitan Manila suffered at least one billion pesos in losses from the floods.

With much of the economic activity in the country centered in the National Capital Region and surrounding areas, the extent of destruction from “Ondoy" is certainly under-reported. Many of the areas around the Laguna de Bay have remained unproductive as these are submerged in floods.

No doubt, the estimates of damage from “Ondoy" will rise as more official data is released. It would be good if the government, with its access to data and abundance of personnel, deems it proper to provide its constituents a true picture of the economic impact of “Ondoy."
GMANews.TV

Assad Baunto holds master’s degrees in economics from Oxford University and the University of the Philippines. Yasmin Arquiza was a Reuters fellow at Oxford and is currently the managing editor of GMANews.TV. Both are recipients of the Ford Foundation's International Fellowships Program and have written research papers on development issues for various multilateral agencies.

nancyk58
29-10-2009, 05:25 AM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 29 OCTOBER 2009

SANTI MAY MAKE LANDFALL FRIDAY NIGHT, MAY PASS MMANILA

10/29/2009 | 11:43 AM - The article will follow later


140 TRUCKS WITH RELIEF GOODS HEAD FOR STORM-PRONE AREAS IN LUZON

10/29/2009 | 10:57 AM

Some 140 trucks left for several storm-prone areas in Northern, Central and Southern Luzon, and the Bicol Region Thursday to pre-position relief goods in areas that Typhoon "Santi" (Mirinea) may affect.

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Esperanza Cabral said the trucks are loaded with relief items from various government agencies.

“We sent out 140 trucks of relief goods to areas hit by recent storms and those that may be hit by the coming storm," Cabral said in an interview on dzXL radio.

She referred to areas hit by tropical cyclones “ONDOY" (KETSANA) and “PEPENG" (PARMA), as well as areas that may be affected by Typhoon SANTI.

Cabral said the trucks will head for Central and Southern LUZON, as well as the Bicol Region, to pre-position relief items in time for the coming of SANTI, which entered Philippine territory Wednesday night.The other trucks will head for Ilocos, Cagayan Valley and Cordillera for the ongoing relief work there.

Earlier, a report by dzBB radio’s Manny Vargas said that at least 70 trucks left Pasay City for Southern LUZON and BICOL early Thursday to pre-position relief goods.

The destinations included Sorsogon, Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur and Catanduanes in Bicol; and Quezon, Batangas, Laguna and Cavite in Southern Luzon.

NO 'ROTTING' RELIEF GOODS
Relief items carried by the trucks included rice, canned goods, noodles, water, bedding, clothes, and shoes.

On Tuesday, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ordered the DSWD to pre-position relief goods to areas that may be hit by SANTI.Mrs. Arroyo gave the order during a Cabinet and National Disaster Coordinating Council meeting in Pampanga.

Cabral said the government has enough relief goods, including donations stemming from the United Nations World Food Programme’s flash appeal for help for victims of ONDOY and PEPENG.

Meanwhile, Cabral laughed off a militant group’s claim that it found “rotting" relief goods at a DSWD warehouse in Quezon City.

She said the DSWD has an office, but not a warehouse in the Batasan Complex in Quezon City.

“The facility in Quezon City is our office, not a warehouse. So that claim is baseless," she said. - GMANews.TV



SANTI MAY MAKE LANDFALL FRIDAY NIGHT, MAY PASS MANILA
10/29/2009 | 11:43 AM

Typhoon "SANTI" (MIRINAE) may pass through or go very near METRO MANILA if it crosses Luzon this weekend, SO the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
(I will post the entire article will follow later Thursday)



Pagasa gets Korean aid for early warning system vs disasters

10/29/2009 | 10:14 AM
A month after tropical cyclones Ondoy and Pepeng wreaked devastation and caused massive flooding in Luzon, the state weather bureau on Thursday announced that the South Korean government is funding... (I will post the entire article later today Thursday)


Typhoon signal up as 'Santi' intensifies; dams urged to release water - 10/29/2009 | 08:08 AM

At least four areas were placed under Storm Signal No. 1 as Typhoon "Santi" (Mirinea) intensified further and continued moving toward Luzon Thursday. (I will post the entire article later today)


Wet All Saints’ Day looms as ‘Santi’ enters RP
10/29/2009 | 12:20 AM

Typhoon "SANTI" (international code name MIRINAE) entered Philippine territory at 10 p.m. Wednesday, but state weather forecasters said it is still too far to directly affect any part of the country.

nancyk58
30-10-2009, 12:03 AM
Updates of the situation in the Philippines

SANTI MAY MAKE LANDFALL FRIDAY NIGHT, MAY PASS METRO MANILA

10/29/2009 | 11:43 AM

Typhoon "SANTI" (MIRINAE) may pass through or go very near METRO MANILA if it crosses LUZON this weekend, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Thursday.

Pagasa head Prisco Nilo said a high-pressure area near Philippine territory may force SANTI to slightly change course from west to west southwest.

"At this point there is about 30 percent probability or very close over Metro Manila. It is possible the cyclone may get near Metro Manila so its residents should prepare," Nilo said.

Last September 26, Metro Manila and some areas in Central Luzon and the Calabarzon regions were battered by Tropical Storm Ondoy's record rainfall, which surpassed the previous record for the metropolis in 1967.


LANDFALL

Nilo said SANTI is likely to make landfall in Casiguran in Aurora Friday night or early Saturday, if it maintains its present speed. The cyclone is also likely to pass through Central LUZON and the southern part of North Luzon, he added.

But he said that unless SANTI slows down, it may cross the entire LUZON in just 12 hours, and be out of Philippine territory by Tuesday at the latest.

"The cyclone moves relatively fast. We expect it to cross Luzon in just 12 hours. It will be better this way, than being exposed for a long time to its winds and rains," he said.

He also projected SANTI to be “behaved" compared to tropical cyclone RAMIL (LUPIT), which followed an erratic path before sparing the country.

SANTI's LOCATION

In its 11 a.m. advisory, Pagasa said SANTI maintained its strength as it continued to move towards Central LUZON.

Located 890 km east of Casiguran, Aurora as of 10 a.m., Santi was packing maximum sustained winds of 150 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 185 kph.

SANTI was moving west at 24 kph and is expected to be 440 km east of Casiguran, Aurora, and in the vicinity of Casiguran, Aurora or 210 km northeast of Manila Saturday morning. By Sunday morning it is expected to be 170 km west of Dagupan City or 280 km northwest of Manila.

As SANTI draws closer to making landfall, Pagasa placed Polilio Island under storm signal No. 2 while areas under signal No. 1 were: Isabela, Ifugao, Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Rizal, Quezon, Camarines Norte, and Camarines Sur.

Pagasa reminded residents in low-lying areas and near mountain slopes under storm signals to take precautions against flashfloods and landslides.

Earlier, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said about 140 trucks loaded with relief goods have been sent off to storm-prone areas in Northern, Central, Southern LUZON and the BICOL Region in anticipation of SANTI.
The relief goods will also be distributed to past cyclone victims in the mentioned areas. - GMANews.TV

PAGASA GETS KOREAN AID FOR EARLY WARNING SYSTEM VS DISASTERS

10/29/2009 | 10:14 AM

A month after tropical cyclones ONDOY and PEPENG wreaked devastation and caused massive flooding in LUZON, the state weather bureau on Thursday announced that the South Korean government is funding the second phase of its early warning system to mitigate the effects of impending disasters.

At a press conference in Quezon City, Department of Science and Technology Secretary Estrella Alabastro announced the approval of the $3-million project funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica), the South Korean government’s arm “that provides grant aid programs for developing countries by implementing the government's grant aid and technical cooperation program."

The venture will concentrate on the Pasig-Marikina river basin. Pasig City and Marikina City were among the worst-hit areas when Tropical Storm ONDOY struck the country last September 26. The storm caused floods that lasted for days, costing many lives and much damage to property. [ See: How much did Ondoy cost? - ALREADY POSTED HERE - VERY INTERESTING ARTICLE - SO READ IT! ]

Present at the press conference were Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) chief Prisco Nilo, DOST Undersecretary Graciano Yumul, Koica’s Kim-In, and Choi Joong-Kyung, South Korea's ambassador to the Philippines.

"I am pleased to announce that the Korean government has now decided to provide long-term assistance to the Philippine government through an establishment of early warning response system for disaster mitigation in Metro Manila," said Choi.

The Korean official said the project involves flood forecasting, early warning and emergency communication systems.

A Pagasa statement said the project would establish the following:

- Seven automatic weather stations
- Five water-level gauging stations with video monitors for rainfall
- A flood forecasting system including control or monitor stations
- Twenty warning posts to be installed along the Marikina River
- Radio, voice, fax, data communication systems
- Maintenance vehicles and patrol cars

Susan Espinueva, officer-in-charge of Pagasa’s hydrometerological division, said that the first installments of the weather stations would be on the Sierra Madre mountains in Montalban, Rizal.

She added that a team from Koica would inspect key areas in the second week of November. The "reconnaissance and collection of data" would also determine where the other weather stations would be set up.

Nilo said that through the new project, the agency could give the public sufficient time to prepare before storms and floods batter and inundate their homes. “We should be able to warn about eight to 12 hours in advance," Nilo said.

Meanwhile, Alabastro said that the project does not include the acquisition of Doppler radars, instruments used to show the amount of rainfall a storm can bring. She said that the radars would be operational in Subic, Zambales and in Tagaytay City, Batangas by December. The Philippine government would shoulder the costs for the acquisition of the equipment.

The Pasig-Marikina River Basin

The project is the second to be funded by Koica.

Last July 2009, Koica completed the first phase of the early warning system (EWS) project with Pagasa. The grant program covered the following areas: Aurora and allied river basins in Luzon, the Jalaur river basin in Iloilo province in Visayas, and the Agus-Lake Lanao watershed in the Lanao provinces in Mindanao.

Espinueva explained that last October 7, Ambassador Choi initiated talks with the DOST to focus their efforts in mounting a community-based flood warning system in the Pasig and Marikina areas.

The Philippine government agency then laid out plans for the project, which was approved by the Koica headquarters in Seoul, South Korea after 12 days.

The announcement of the new project was made Thursday.
The Pasig and Marikina rivers constitute the main river basin in eastern Metro Manila.
Pagasa said the basin stretches from Rodriguez, Rizal to Pasig, passing through San Mateo, Rizal and Quezon City. “It flows in the center of Marikina Valley between the mountain range of Sierra Madre in the east and Quezon City in the west," it said.

Data from the Japan International Cooperation agency indicates that the “Pasig-Marikina River, which is the main natural drainage of the region and whose total catchment area is 635 square kilometers, runs through the center of Metro Manila and flows out to the Manila Bay."

While the new project does not intend to deal with structural problems in the basin, Albastro said they hope that the venture with Koica could mitigate, if not avert, devastating effects of the storms threatening to hit Metro Manila in the future. - with Johanna Camille Sisante, GMANews.TV

TYPHOON SIGNAL UP AS 'SANTI' INTENSIFIES; DAMS URGED TO RELEASE WATER

10/29/2009 | 08:08 AM

At least four areas were placed under Storm Signal No. 1 as Typhoon "Santi" (Mirinea) intensified further and continued moving toward Luzon Thursday. The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) also suggested that at least four dams should consider releasing water early.

"Angat, San Roque, Pantabangan and Magat dams have critical water levels. It would be wise to consider releasing water early," Pagasa head Prisco Nilo said in an interview on dzXL radio.

He said SANTI, which entered Philippine territory Wednesday night, is expected to bring much rain, and have winds more powerful than Typhoon PEPENG (PARMA), which pummeled northern LUZON and caused severe FLOODING in PANGASINAN province and deadly landslides in the Cordillera Administrative Region.

Nilo said that if Santi maintains its course, it will likely affect Central Luzon and Metro Manila.

CALL FOR PREPAREDNESS

Defense Secretary and National Disaster Coordinating Council chairman Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said it is crucial that the areas concerned are prepared.
"We have already prepared for this as much as we can," Teodoro said in an interview on dzXL radio.

Pagasa forecaster Rene Pamil, on the other hand, said SANTI may exit early as it is moving relatively fast at 26 kph. "It is moving fast. It may be out of Philippine territory after two days," Pamil said in an interview on dzBB radio.

SANTI's LOCATION

Pagasa's 5 a.m. advisory said at least four areas are under Storm Signal No. 1: Isabela, Aurora, Northern Quezon, and Polillo Islands.

Residents in low-lying areas and near mountain slopes in these areas were advised to take all precautions against flash floods and landslides.
The Coast Guard automatically bars travel in these areas by vessels lighter than 1,000 tons.

As of 4 a.m., Pagasa said SANTI was 1,080 km east of Casiguran, Aurora, with maximum sustained winds of 150 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 185 kph.

It is moving west at 26 kph and is expected to be 580 km east of Casiguran,
Aurora Friday morning, and 100 km east of Casiguran, Aurora Saturday morning. By Sunday morning it is expected to be 180 km west of Dagupan City.

GMANews.TV


WET ALL SAINTS’ DAY LOOMS AS ‘SANTI’ ENTERS RP

10/29/2009 | 12:20 AM

Typhoon "SANTI" (international code name MIRINAE) entered Philippine territory at 10 p.m. Wednesday, but state weather forecasters said it is still too far (away) to directly affect any part of the country. The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said SANTI would cause rains during the All Saints' weekend.

"Chances are, it will make landfall in Northern LUZON," Pagasa forecaster Rommel Yutuc said in an interview on dzBB radio.

Pagasa said that as of 10 p.m., Santi was 1,210 km east of Casiguran, Aurora, with winds of 140 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 170 kph.
It was moving west at 24 kph and is expected to be 710 km east of Casiguran Thursday night. By Friday evening it is expected to be 250 km east of Casiguran, Aurora.
By Saturday evening it is forecast to be 50 km east of Dagupan City or 30 km south of Baguio City, Pagasa said in a 10:45 p.m. advisory.However, Pagasa said SANTI is still too far (AWAY) to directly affect any part of the country, at least for the next 24 hours.

GMANews.TV


BRUNEI DONORS TEXT IN DONATIONS FOR RP CYCLONE VICTIMS

10/29/2009 | 04:31 PM

Donors in Brunei used their mobile phones to donate to victims of two recent destructive cyclones that lashed the Philippines in September and October.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) cited a report from the Philippine Embassy in Brunei that the Brunei government allows "text donations" of up to B$20 (P680).

"(Last October 22), the Brunei Government’s Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Sports launched the SMS Brunei Prihatin Initiative, which enables the public to use text messages to donate to the humanitarian fund for INDONESIAN EARTHQUAKE and PHILIPPINE TYPHOON VICTIMS. The public can donate denominations of B$1, $5, $10, $15, and $20 to the fund until 30 November 2009," the DFA said.

Subscribers of DSTCom and B-Mobile networks customers can text “Bantu20" to number 38111 for a donation of $20, “Bantu15" for a $15 donation, and so on. - A Brunei dollar is equivalent to P34.

The text-to-donate initiative also aimed to benefit victims of a recent earthquake in INDONESIA.

Other initiatives undertaken in Brunei include:

* On Oct. 19, the International Women’s Club (IWC) of Brunei arranged for the delivery of medical supplies and medicine and multivitamins worth B$3,000 (P99,750) to the Chancery. At the Embassy’s request, Royal Brunei Airlines waived excess baggage charges for up to 60 kg of the said boxes. The medicine / multivitamins will be sent to the Philippines on Friday.

* On Oct. 23, Mituo Vege Restaurant turned over B$3,015 to the Philippine Embassy. The said amount was part of the proceeds of “Eat and Pay as You Wish" buffet held last Oct. 18.

* On Oct. 22, Nusa Laila Puteri School sent directly to the Philippine National Red Cross its donation of P31,265.49. The proceeds were wired through HSBC Brunei.

* On Oct. 22, Couples for Christ – Brunei Chapter turned over its donation of B$500 (P16,500) for the typhoon victims.

* On Oct. 23, Alicia Khor and her 15 friends donated B$7,000 for the purchase of 70 coffins for the victims of Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.

The Embassy remitted the amount to DSWD’s peso account last Oct. 24.

Other donations include assorted food items, used clothes, and drinking water.

Philippine Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Alexander B. Yano conveyed his appreciation to these donors.

“Your donation would go a long way in alleviating the plight of the victims," he said.

Meanwhile, Japan said that they would donate another batch of relief assistance to the Philippines, this time to victims at Sitio Sub-urban in San Jose village in Rodriguez (Montalban) town in Rizal province.

"The grant of US$92,780 (approximately P4.4 million) consists of emergency relief package of food and non-food items for 3,200 families (19,000 persons) in Barangay Bagong Silangan, Quezon City and three villages in the Municipality of Montalban, Rizal. This project, in partnership with the Christian Aid, is implemented through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP)," the Japanese Embassy said.

GMANews.TV

SANTI PACKS 150kph WINDS, MAY HIT C LUZON SATURDAY

10/29/2009 | 10:32 PM

(Updated 11:30 p.m.) Typhoon “SANTI" (international name: MIRIANE), the fourth cyclone to enter the Philippine area of responsibility in October, has maintained winds of 150kph and is expected to hit provinces in central LUZON on SATURDAY morning while bringing HEAVY RAINS and WINDS to METRO MANILA, the state weather bureau said Thursday night.

In its 11 p.m. weather bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said SANTI was last spotted 660 kilometers east of Baler, Aurora province and is moving westward towards central LUZON at 22 kph.

Santi maintained its strength, packing maximum sustained winds of 150 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 185 kph.

Based on the current Pagasa forecast, SANTI’s center is expected to hit Aurora province by Saturday morning, and in the vicinity of Nueva Ecija or at 90 km north of Metro Manila by Saturday afternoon.

Public storm signal no. 2 has been hoisted over Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Rizal, Northern Quezon and Polilio Island.

Under storm signal no. 1 are the provinces of Isabela, Ifugao, Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya, La Union, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Zambales, Pampanga, Bataan, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Lubang Is., the rest of Quezon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, and Metro Manila.

“Although SANTI’s center would pass somewhere between central and northern LUZON, we will feel here in METRO MANILA the rains and winds brought by Santi," said Pagasa spokesperson Nathaniel Cruz.

Foreign weather agencies such as the US Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) and the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) also forecast SANTI to pass through central Luzon on Saturday.

Earlier on Thursday, Pagasa forecasters said they were studying the possibility of recommending yet another round of water release in major dams in Luzon, which were in the direct path of the typhoon.

SANTI is the nineteenth weather disturbance to hit the country this year and the fourth cyclone (after PEPENG, Quedan, and RAMIL) to enter the PHILIPPINE area of responsibility this month.

GMANews.TV

nancyk58
30-10-2009, 09:17 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN THE PHILIPPINES ON 30 OCTOBER 2009

TYPHOON SANTI SLIGHTLY VEERS SOUTH, METRO STILL THREATENED

10/31/2009 | 01:09 AM

Typhoon SANTI, which was earlier forecast to directly hit Metro Manila and four other provinces in southern Luzon, veered slightly southward on Friday night in the direction of Bicol and Southern Tagalog regions on Saturday even as Metro Manila remains threatened.

According to the 10:45 p.m. weather bulletin by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), Santi was last spotted 30 kms north of Daet, Camarines Norte, moving west southwest at 20 kph.

Asked if Metro Manila remained along Santi's path, Pagasa administrator Dr. Prisco Nilo said that although there was still that possibility, the more likely scenario is that the center of typhoon Santi would pass SOUTH OF MANILA.

Although the state weather bureau expects Santi’s center winds to spare Metro Manila, foreign weather agencies tracking Santi (international name: Mirinae), such as the Japan Meteorological Agency and the US Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center, forecast the typhoon’s center to still directly pass over the National Capital Region on Saturday morning.

Santi maintained its strength, packing maximum sustained winds of 150 kph near the center, with gustiness of up to 185 kph.

Storm Signal No. 3 was hoisted over the National Capital Region and 14 other areas in Luzon, including Quezon, Polilio Island, Bulacan, Bataan, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Lubang Island, Marinduque, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur and Catanduanes.

Under Signal No. 2 are the provinces of Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga, Zambales, Albay, Romblon and the islands of Calamian and Burias.

Signal No. 1 is hoisted over Isabela, Ifugao, Nueva Vizcaya, Benguet, La Union, Pangasinan, Sorsogon, Masbate, Ticao Island and Northern Palawan.


Santi is forecast to be 260 kms south of Metro Manila by Saturday evening.

The typhoon is also forecast to leave the country on Sunday, November 1, giving Filipinos hope that they can still troop safely to cemeteries to commemorate All Saints’ Day.

GMANews.TV


WITH SIGNAL NO. 3, TYPHOON SANTI WRECKS HOLIDAY PLANS
10/30/2009 | 06:04 PM

The typhoon this time will arrive with a bang. Packing winds powerful enough to merit a rare signal no. 3 in METRO MANILA, "SANTI" will blow through CENTRAL LUZON starting late FRIDAY EVENING. But Pagasa predicts less rain than wind, lessening the chances of a repeat of the flooding that traumatized millions barely a month ago.

Metro MANILA is bracing for another tropical cyclone, barely a month after Storm Ondoy's epic floods claimed over 400 lives.

According to Pagasa forecaster Romel Yutuc, "There will be more wind than rain (in Metro Manila) because there is no southwest monsoon, unlike 'Ondoy' that triggered heavy rains."

On the eve of one of the busiest holidays of the year for travelers, commercial boat transportation has been suspended by the Philippine Coast Guard since Friday morning in provinces from Aurora to Camarines Sur, including Manila's North harbor. Thousands have been stranded, ruining plans for family reunions and visits to the dead.

Storm Signal No. 3 was hoisted over the National Capital Region and 14 other areas in Luzon Friday afternoon after Typhoon Santi gained speed and rapidly approached Quezon province, where rampant logging and the occupation of hazardous areas have made the province vulnerable to devastating landslides.

The last time signal no. 3 was hoisted over Metro Manila was in June 2008 during Typhoon Frank, when MV Princess of the Stars capsized off Sibuyan Island, in Romblon province killing about 800. A total of 1,300 died because of the typhoon.

As part of government preparations, the Philippine Army said its units "are on full standby" for any emergencies that may occur due to Santi. Companies of the Multi-Role Force (MRF) or the Army Contingent for Emergency (ACE) Battalion are ready to be deployed to any locality when necessary.

"Two companies of MRF Battalion are ready to be dispatched on a very short notice. With them are life-saving device and other floating assets like two rubber boats and two motorized boats," said Army spokesman Lt. Col. Arnulfo Burgos Jr., adding that the troops recently underwent special training on disaster rescue.

Local officials have suspended commercial boat travel, stranding scores of passengers hoping to be in their hometowns for Undas, or All Souls' Day.

Twenty other areas will be hit by Santi, which was located 230 kilometers east of Infanta, Quezon as of 4 p.m., Friday, packing maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 185 kph. It is moving 24 km west southwest at 24 kph.

Some areas in Rizal and Laguna provinces where Storm Signal No. 3 is now hoisted remain inundated.

These are Jala Jala, Pililia, Tanay, Morong, Cardona, Binangonan, Taytay and Cainta all in Rizal and Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, Los Baños, Bay, Cabuyao, Pakil, Paete, Biñan, Calamba, Victoria, San Pedro, Lumban, Pangil and Pila, all in Laguna.

STRONG WINDS START TO BE FELT

Santi is forecast to cross Metro Manila, as well as the provinces of Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite, and Batangas before exiting to the South China Sea.


Nathaniel Cruz, weather sciences bureau chief, said rains and 90-kph winds were already being experienced in Virac, Catanduanes.

He said by Sunday afternoon (November 1), Santi would have been 760 kms west southwest of Metro Manila, over the South China Sea.

He however said people in affected areas could still experience a wet All Saints' Day.

LUZON DAMS RELEASE WATER

The Ambuklao Dam in Benguet and the Pantabangan Dam in Nueva Ecija are so far the only dams that continue to discharge water.

The dam is releasing water through its four gates at a rate of 22 cubic meter per second. Pantabangan, meanwhile, is discharging water at 105 cms.
She said that rains present 209.5 might rise to 212 meters which is still within the nirmal high water level
She said the Magat Dam in Isabela and the Binga Dam in Benguet remain in "normal condition." - GMANews.TV


TYPHOON SANTI SPEEDS UP, EXPECTED TO HIT QUEZON FRIDAY

Joseph Holandes Ubalde, GMANews.TV10/30/2009 | 02:39 PM

SANTI," the nineteenth weather disturbance to hit the Philippines this year, has gained speed and is expected to make landfall over Quezon province on Friday evening, the state weather bureau said in its 1:30 p.m. bulletin.

It was spotted 240 kilometers east of Infanta town in Quezon, moving west at 28 km per hour, packing maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 185 kph.

By Saturday morning, Santi is expected to be 280 km west southwest of Metro Manila. By Sunday, the typhoon will be 600 km west northwest of Puerto Princesa City in Palawan province.

As part of government preparations, the Philippine Army said its units "are on full standby" for any emergencies that may occur due to Santi. Companies of the Multi-Role Force (MRF) or the Army Contingent for Emergency (ACE) Battalion are ready to be deployed to any locality when necessary.

"Two companies of MRF Battalion are ready to be dispatched on a very short notice. With them are life-saving device and other floating assets like two rubber boats and two motorized boats," said Army spokesman Lt. Col. Arnulfo Burgos Jr., adding that the troops recently underwent special training on disaster rescue.

A company is composed of roughly 100 men while a battalion, of 500 personnel.

As Santi nears, local officials have suspended commercial boat travel, stranding scores of passengers hoping to be in their hometowns for Undas, or All Souls' Day. But bus travel should still be safe until Friday afternoon, according to Cruz.

The FOURTH CYCLONE to enter the Philippine area of responsibility since the last week of September, Santi is packing maximum winds of 150 kilometers per hour. It is expected to bring rains to Metro Manila and surrounding provinces, still reeling from the havoc brought by past typhoons.

Santi,'s predecessor, "Ramil," shifted directions several times and kept much of Luzon on edge for over a week before veering away towards Taiwan and eventually Japan.

On weather maps, Santi's eye is charging like a bowling ball towards a sure strike on Aurora province. It is expected to barrel across Nueva Ecija and Pampanga, provinces hit hard by flooding caused by "Ondoy"'s epic rainfall a month ago.

Local governments have set up alarm systems, packed relief goods, and started preparing for mass evacuations in case Santi causes further injury to typhoon victims

DAMS RELEASE WATER
As foreseen by weather forecasters, another dam in Luzon has started releasing water ahead of Typhoon Santi's expected landfall.

The Pantabangan Dam in Nueva Ecija opened one of its gates by 1.1 meter to let water out at a rate of 60 cubic meters per second (cms). The gates were opened at 4 a.m.
The other dam currently discharging water is the Ambuklao Dam in Benguet province, which had not yet stopped releasing water in the last few days.

The Ambuklao Dam is still releasing water through its four gates at a rate of 22 cms.

Water levels in both dams have not yet reached their respective spilling levels, but dam administrators decided to open their gates to give room to the rains expected to be brought by Santi. - GMANews.TV

Japan, Australia beef up Pagasa's weather forecasting

'SANTI' TO BRING HEAVY RAINS, STRONG WINDS OVER LUZON STARTING LATE FRIDAY

Johanna Camille Sisante, GMANews.TV 10/30/2009 | 12:42 PM

Even though Typhoon Santi is not expected to make landfall until Saturday, the state weather bureau advised those in Luzon to take necessary precautions as the fourth weather disturbance to hit the country in a month's time is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the region, including Metro Manila on late Friday.

"Before the end of the day, we'll already see darkened skies and feel strong winds," said Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) spokesperson Nathaniel Cruz in an interview over radio dzBB.

In its 11 a.m. advisory, Pagasa said Santi's center, which packs maximum sustained winds of 150 kph, was spotted 350 km east northeast of Infanta in Quezon province at 10 a.m.
Currently moving west at 22 kph, the cyclone is expected to be 70 km west northwest of Metro Manila or in the vicinity of Zambales on Saturday morning and 600 km west of Metro Manila by Sunday morning.

Even then, parts of Luzon will still experience rains, Cruz said. By Saturday night Santi's center will have passed by, but there will still be rains in Luzon."

The Japan Meteorological Agency’s 8:40 a.m. report indicated that Santi may continue heading northwest after making landfall over Luzon.

Santi is the 19th weather disturbance to hit the country this year and the fourth cyclone (after Pepeng, Quedan, and Ramil) to enter the Philippine area of responsibility since the last week of September.

As of 11 a.m., Northern Quezon and Polillo Islands were under storm signal No. 3 while those under signal no. 2 were: Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Tarlac, Zambales, Pampanga, Bataan, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Lubang Is., rest of Quezon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, and Metro Manila.

Areas under signal 1 were Isabela, Ifugao, Nueva Vizcaya, Benguet, La Union, Pangasinan, Albay, Burias Is., Sorsogon, Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, and Calamian Group.
With storm signals up, Cruz reiterated his appeal to billboard operators in Metro Manila and Central Luzon to put down their billboards.

As early as Thursday, Pagasa chief Prisco Nilo warned the billboards may cause damage if they collapse due to winds from Santi.

"Billboard operators should take down their billboards, they can start tonight [Thursday] or early tomorrow [Friday])," Nilo said then.

DAMS
Meanwhile, Cruz said that as of 10 a.m. Friday, Ambuklao and Pantabangan dams kept gates open to discharge excess water. While Ambuklao kept four gates open to discharge 22 cubic meters per second, Pantabangan kept one gate open to discharge 50 cubic meters per second.

As part of government preparations, the Philippine Army said its units are "on full standby" for any emergencies that may occur due to Santi. Companies of the Multi-Role Force (MRF) or the Army Contingent for Emergency (ACE) Battalion are ready to be deployed to any locality when necessary, said Army spokesman Lt. Col. Arnulfo Burgos Jr.

"Two companies of MRF Battalion are ready to be dispatched on a very short notice. With them are life-saving device and other floating assets like two rubber boats and two motorized boats," Burgos said, adding that the troops recently underwent special training on disaster rescue.

A company is composed of roughly 100 men while a battalion, of 500 personnel. - GMANews.TV

Pantabangan Dam releases water as 'Santi' nears

nancyk58
30-10-2009, 09:29 PM
EARTH QUAKE SHAKES JAPAN
ARD Text, page 159

A magnitude 6.8 earthquake has shaken the Southern part of Japan. No fear of tsunami and no report of wounded or of any damage. The center was in a depth of 60 km near the Japanese island of Amami Oshima about 800km southwest of Tokio.

In 1995 around 6,400 persons died in a magnitude 7,2 quake in KOBE.

-------------------------------

Norway TV2 Text, page 133 citing AP (news agency)

EARTHQUAKE IN AFGHANISTAN

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake in Afghanistan could be felt in both the capital Kabul and in Pakistan's capital. No reports of any damage. The epicenter was in Hindu Kush in Afghanistan 250 km north of Kabul.

AP news agency

nancyk58
31-10-2009, 12:07 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN THE SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 31 OCTOBER 2009

UPDATES FROM THE PHILIPPINES - SOURCE: GMA NEWS.TV

'THE WORST IS OVER'; SANTI NOW OVER SOUTH CHINA SEA

(by Mark D. Merueñas, GMANews.TV - 10/31/2009 | 11:11 AM )

(Update 2, 12:28 p.m.) Despite POWER OUTAGES and FLOODING in several parts of LUZON, including METRO MANILA, state weather sciences bureau chief Nathaniel Cruz said the worst might be over as Tropical Cyclone SANTI (MIRINAE) continued on a straight path out of the country.

In an 11 a.m. press briefing, Cruz said that SANTI is now on its way out of the Philippine area of responsibility and is now over the South China Sea.
He also said Storm Signal warnings in several areas in Luzon have been lifted.

"The worst is over for Metro Manila," Cruz said in an early Saturday interview over radio dzBB.

"There is very little possibility or no possibility at all that SANTI will return to the country. Expect the gradual improvement of weather conditions in METRO MANILA and other areas where Santi passed through.

Typhoon Santi threatened to ruin the All Souls' Day weekend for many Filipinos planning for family reunions and visits to the dead.

But Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) chief Prisco Nilo assured that SANTI would have already been too far away from land by Sunday or All Souls' Day to cause any more downpour.

We can finally light our candles for All Souls' Day," Cruz said.

If there will still be rains in Luzon, Santi no longer has anything to do with it. Those rains will probably be just localized," Cruz added.

The Pagasa said SANTI is expected to be out of the Philippine area of responsibility on Sunday morning.

WELL-BEHAVED TYPHOON

Nilo has earlier been quoted in a television report as saying that SANTI was a "well-behaved typhoon" compared to its predecessor, Typhoon RAMIL (LUPIT).

After keeping much of Luzon on edge for over a week, Ramil finally moved out of the country on Oct. 24, following an erratic path toward Luzon.

On Saturday morning, rains have stopped in Quezon City and several parts of Metro Manila. But over at Quezon province, where Santi made landfall on Friday evening, strong winds and scattered rains still prevail, according to a television report.

Santi caused FLOODS and MASSIVE POWER OUTAGES as it charged through parts of Metro Manila and southern Luzon Saturday morning.

Parts of MANILA , including España Boulevard in Sampaloc and parts of Taft Avenue were swamped with FLOODWATERS early Saturday after incessant rains from the typhoon.

In San Juan City, dzBB’s Sam Nielsen reported that floodwaters neared knee-high in Salapan village.

BROWNOUTS

Meanwhile, the strong winds brought by Santi have caused massive brownouts in parts of LUZON, including METRO MANILA. In Quezon province, radio dzBB’s Carlo Mateo reported that power went out as early as 11 p.m.

The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) gave the public two cell phone numbers to send in their reports or complaints through text messages. These are 0920-9292824 and 0917-5592824.

“Our call centers are swamped," Meralco External Communications Manager Joe Zaldarriaga said on dzBB radio, referring to their 16211 hotline.

He said the power outages were mainly due to winds from Santi affecting Meralco’s power lines.
But the power outage in some parts of southern Metro Manila was due to five Meralco posts toppled by winds.
The toppled posts at the corner of Buendia and Taft Avenue Extension caused heavy traffic.

AIRPORT

Meanwhile, flight schedules of the Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific at the NAIA have all resumed by 10 a.m.
He said after the arrival of the LA flight, other international flights from South Korea and Singapore, as well as a number of domestic flights of the PAL have started arriving at the NAIA.
Escundo also said they have begun dispatching replacement flights to accommodate their passengers affected by delayed flights.

Candice Iyog, vice president for corporate affairs of the Cebu Pacific, said operations have gone back to normal, but said some passengers might still wait a little longer before they can get on board their respective flights.
She said the delays were not only due to bad weather triggered by Santi but also to the power outage that struck Terminal 3 of the NAIA.

MOVING OUT

The eye of SANTI is currently hovering over LUBANG ISLAND in the northern end of MINDORO, or some 120 kilometers southwest of Metro Manila.

Cruz said the typhoon is expected to be out of Philippine territory by Sunday morning, or about 630 kms away from the Philippine capital.

Santi's speed slowed down to 22 kilometers per hour and it packed maximum winds of 120 kms per hour, based on the latest advisory from Pagasa.

The highest volume of rainfall from Santi was recorded in Alabat town in Quezon province, where 350 mm of rains fell starting Friday night until 8 a.m. of Saturday.

Winds were strongest at the Sangley Point in Cavite with a speed of 125 kph. At the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Metro Manila, which experienced power outages, wind speed was recorded at 105 kph.

GMANews.TV


NDCC: OVER 115,000 PEOPLE AFFECTED BY SANTI (10/31/2009 | 11:57 AM)

At least one person was reported missing while more than 115,000 people were affected in the wake of Typhoon Santi (Mirinae), the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said Saturday.

But NDCC spokesman Lt. Col. Ernesto Torres Jr. said the worst of Santi appeared to have passed as the weather has improved, allowing people to mark the All Saints' weekend.
Our fellow Filipinos can commemorate All Saints' Day," he said in an interview on dzBB radio.

He also said authorities appeared to be better prepared this time, unlike last September when they were caught flatfooted when Typhoon ONDOY (KETSANA) lashed Luzon.

The local disaster coordinating councils responded quickly and preemptively evacuated residents in coastal areas out of harm's way, he said.
Local disaster coordinating councils played a key role, down to the village levels. Everyone did his share to prepare for Santi," he said.
"Hopefully we can be this prepared for other typhoons to come," he added.

Citing reports reaching him, Torres said search operations are now ongoing for a man in Muntinlupa City, after floods washed away their shanty.
He said Bureau of Fire Protection personnel managed to rescue the man's two children.
In Laguna, 20 fishermen were rescued at Tinigiban village in Calauag, Quezon province.

On the other hand, the NDCC's 6 a.m. report Saturday indicated 23,101 families or 115,507 people were preemptively evacuated in 251 evacuation centers in Metro Manila, Southern Luzon and Bicol.

Some 200 families were forcibly evacuated in Lingga village in Calamba City in Laguna.
At least 8,567 passengers, 411 trucks, 110 cars, 82 passenger buses, 15 vessels, 13 motorized bancas, and 61 vessels were stranded while 48 motorized bancas took shelter in ports as of 10 p.m. Friday, NDCC said.

FLOODS

Floods were waist-deep in Barangay 183, knee-deep in Barangay 185, and two feet high in Barangay 184 in Pasay City.
In San Juan City, floods were knee-deep in San Perfect, Balong Bato, Progreso and Batis Streets. In Navotas City, floods were two feet deep in San Jose village.
Floods were knee-deep in Libjo area in Parañaque City, at the back of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

DAMS

The NDCC said Ambuklao Dam continued to release water as a preemptive measure.
As of 4 a.m. Saturday, Ambuklao kept four gates open to release water at 22 cubic meters per second.
Pantabangan Dam, which was also kept open Friday, was closed as of 4 a.m.

POWER AND TELECOMS

Power outages were reported in General Nakar, Alabat Island, Real and Infanta towns in Quezon province, where "Santi" made landfall.
In Bicol, Camarines Norte except Daet was without power, but the NDCC said this was a preemptive measure of the National Electrification Authority.
The NDCC said the NEA found some damages along backbone lines in the Camarines Norte area.
Camarines Norte Electric Cooperative substations were also shut down.

TELECOMS

There was no signal for Smart and Globe in Panganiban town in Camarines Norte, and no signal for Smart in Sta. Elena town.On the other hand, Camarines Norte provincial police's communication facilities were bogged down due to strong winds.

ROADS

In Bicol, only one lane of Maharlika Highway between Labo and Daet was passable, while clearing operations are ongoing to remove fallen trees.
Inalmasinan Road Section is impassable due to flooding, however.

GMANews.TV

Expect rains in Luzon even after ‘Santi’ due to LPA

'SANTI' WEAKENS INTO A TROPICAL STORM, LEAVES AT LEAST 12 DEAD

Arroyo orders relief, rehab operations for 'Santi'-hit areas

Health worker rescued, 2 missing as car falls from collapsed Batangas bridge

4.9-magnitude quake rocks central Luzon

Several of the above articles (only stated as headlines) might be posted later today, but I do not have more time now or for the coming 5 hours or so.

All articles from: www.gmanews.tv

nancyk58
31-10-2009, 09:24 PM
NORWAY'S TV2 TEXT, page 128:
The Philippines hit by the third typhoon in 5 weeks, and 7 people died after the typhoon rushed through the island of LUZON in the northern part of the Philippines. Substantial material damage. On Saturday the typhoon "Mirinae" aka.SANTI ravaged in the northern parts of the Philippines with a wind speed of 51 m per second. The typhoon forced more than 105,000 people to flee their homes.

German ZDFtext, page 138:
At least 11 people died in a typhoon in the Philippines. The typhoon "Mirinae" aka. SANTI cost at least 11 human lives in the eastern and southern parts of the Philippines. Many people missing. The typhoon caused floods and power failures, most of the victims drowned. More than 115,000 people were brought into safety by the authorities before the storm hit the Philippines.
At the end of September and at the beginning of October the typhoons KETSANA and PARMA caused much damage and devastation in the Philippines. More than 900 people died. A third typhoon touched (on) the northern part of the Philippines.

German ARD, page 130:
Typhoon moves across the southern and eastern parts of the Philippines. At least 12 died. With stormy rain the typhoon Mirinae aka. SANTI passed across the Eastern and Southern parts of the Philippines. More than 100,000 people had to bring themselves into safety. In the coastal regions of the province QUEZON 120 km East of the capital Manila, dozens of houses were swept into the sea. Power failures in several places.
The typhoon had a wind speed of up to 185 km per hour and was the fourth typhon in less than a month hitting the Philippines.


The following articles from GMA News.TV

'SANTI' MOVES FURTHER AWAY FROM RP; AT LEAST 13 KILLED

by Andreo C. Calonzo, GMA News.TV

(UPDATE 3, 11:05 p.m.) Unlike past tropical cyclones that stayed longer and caused heavy casualties, SANTI left as fast as it arrived, leaving at least 13 dead and over 2,000 families affected.
Tropical cyclone Santi (Mirinae) unleashed its wrath Friday evening causing power outages, floods, and landslides in some areas in Luzon.

The state weather bureau on Saturday evening lifted the remaining storm warning earlier hoisted over Lubang Island northwest of Mindoro.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) listed 10 fatalities in its 6 p.m. bulletin.

NDCC identified the fatalities as:

Sarah Mae Vargas and Rodrigo Rodriguez from Camarines Norte who both died due to hypothermia;

Louie Alano of Catanduanes who also died of hypothermia;

Flora Estacion of Camarines Norte who drowned;

Tirso Ramos of Cavite who fell from a roof;

Edsel Laviña and Roderico Cabardo of Laguna who both drowned;

Marge Taiño and Julieta Zagure of Laguna who were pinned under collapsed wall and

Edwin Capayas of Quezon who drowned.

The NDCC said SANTI affected some 2,251 families or 10,667 people in 54 villages in seven provinces. Of these, 1,130 families or 5,173 families are staying in 23 evacuation centers.

The list does not yet include three other reported fatalities in Camarines Norte earlier reported by Region 5 Disaster Coordinating Council Director Bernardo Alejandro.

Several areas in METRO MANILA and SOUTHERN LUZON also remain FLOODED, while areas in Laguna, Quezon and Rizal provinces remained WITHOUT ELECTRIC POWER, NDCC said.

At least two areas in Camarines Norte province were CUT OFF, experiencing both POWER and CELL COMMUNICATIONS OUTAGES.

In its 11 p.m. weather bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Santi’s maximum sustained winds was at 95 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center, with gustiness of up to 120 kph.

Pagasa last spotted SANTI over the SOUTH CHINA SEA, 360 kilometers west southwest of Metro Manila, moving westward at 22 kph.

The storm is forecast to move farther away from the country and is expected to be 830 km west southwest of the National Capital Region by Sunday evening.

Foreign weather agencies such as the US Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center and the JAPAN Meteorological Agency forecast Santi to hit VIETNAM by Monday morning.

GMANews.TV


EXPECT RAINS IN LUZON EVEN AFTER ‘SANTI’ DUE TO LPA (LOW PRESSURE AREA)

10/31/2009 | 06:48 PM

Although tropical cyclone SANTI is expected to leave the country soon, northern and central LUZON will continue having rains in the coming week, the state weather bureau said Saturday.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said a new Low Pressure Area (LPA) in the Pacific Ocean would bring occasional rains to northern and southern Luzon starting Monday.

Pagasa said it was closely monitoring the air mass heading toward southern LUZON and the VISAYAS, which could develop into a new cyclone. The northeast monsoon, which will start affecting the country’s weather in November, will also bring scattered rain showers over Luzon.

“An approaching LPA may bring rains, and the strong northeast monsoon can also bring scattered rain showers especially in northern and southern Luzon," Pagasa spokesperson Nathaniel Cruz said in a press briefing.

SANTI is forecast to leave the Philippine area of responsibility by SUNDAY afternoon, and is very unlikely to return to the country.

Pagasa expects one to two more tropical cyclones to enter the Philippines before the year ends. The country is within the northwestern Pacific area, which has around 27 tropical cyclones a year.

“These would enter the Philippine area of responsibility but this does not mean that all these cyclones would pass through the country" Cruz said.

by Andreo C. Calonzo, GMANews.TV

4 STILL MISSING IN 'SANTI' WAKE; FLOODS, OUTAGES HOUND SOUTH LUZON

10/31/2009 | 10:15 PM

At least four people remain missing in the wake of tropical cyclone "SANTI" (Mirinae), which charged through SOUTHERN LUZON and BICOL SATURDAY.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), in its 6 p.m. report, also confirmed the death of at least 10 people from SOUTHERN LUZON and BICOL.

Missing are Anthony Espidido of Ilaya village in San Roque, Liliw in Laguna; Romulo and Nicholo Soriano of Batangas City; and Victoria Delmoro of Quezon.

Espidido went missing during a flash flood and landslide in Laguna, while the Sorianos were in a car that fell into the water after the Bridge of Promise in Batangas City collapsed.

Delmoro was carried away by strong flood current.

FATALITIES

The fatalities were identified as:

Sarah Mae Vargas and Rodrigo Rodriguez from Camarines Norte who both died due to hypothermia;

Louie Alano of Catanduanes who also died of hypothermia;

Flora Estacion of Camarines Norte who drowned;

Tirso Ramos of Cavite who fell from a roof; a

Edsel Laviña and Roderico Cabardo of Laguna who both drowned;

Marge Taiño and Julieta Zagure of Laguna who were both pinned under collapsed wall and

Edwin Capayas of Quezon who drowned.

Injured were Maricel dela Rosa of Catanduanes, who was hit by a tree trunk; and Malou Soriano of Batangas City, who was hurt in the collapse of the Bridge of Promise.

The NDCC said "Santi" affected some 2,251 families or 10,667 people in 54 villages in seven provinces.

Of these, 1,130 families or 5,173 families are staying in 23 evacuation centers.

As of Saturday noon, "Santi" stranded 9,012 boat passengers, 598 vehicles and 10 vessels in ports around Luzon and Visayas.

Some 23,103 families or 115,507 people were preemptively evacuated to 251 evacuation centers.


WASHED OUT HOUSES IN CAVITE

In Cavite, floodwaters washed out 50 houses in Santolan in Dalig village in Cardona town, while a storm surge destroyed houses in Barangay San Rafael 3 in Noveleta town.

At least 25 houses were destroyed in San Jose village in Cavite after a tornado tore through the area.

In METRO MANILA, floods were knee-deep in Tanza village in Navotas City, while Daanghari village there was flooded but passable.

Floodwaters in Pasig City were up to 10 inches high in Santolan and Kalawaan villages. In Taguig City, floods were knee-deep in Bagumbayan, Lower Bicutan and Ibayo-Tipas villages.

In Laguna, the Sta. Cruz River overflowed and submerged 85 percent of Sta. Cruz town, with floodwater levels waist-deep in some villages and five feet deep in Pagsanjan town.

Floods also submerged parts of Rizal and San Lorenzo villages in Sta. Elena town in Camarines Norte in Bicol.


BRIDGES COLLAPSE IN LAGUNA, BATANGAS

In Laguna, the Olla Bridge near Grotto and the bridge at the boundary of Magdalena and Majayjay collapsed, while the road from Lumban to Sta. Maria and Pangil was not passable due to floods.

Portions of the National Road from Barangays Pansol, Bucal to Halang, Calamba were not passable to light vehicles.

Roads in Pagsanjan, Mabitac and Famy were underwater and not passable to light vehicles.

In Batangas, the Bridge of Promise connecting Gulod labor and Kumintang Ibaba of Batangas City collapsed due to strong flood currents.

In Quezon province, Maligaya village road in Atimonan town became impassable due to overflowing river.

FALLEN TREES IN CAMARINES NORTE

In Camarines Norte, fallen trees and electric poles blocked road sections in Paracale, Labo, Vinzaons, and Basud, while a landslide made the road in Sitio Paraiso in Bulala, Sta. Elena not passable.

Fallen trees similarly blocked Maharlika Highway in Libmanan, Camarines Sur.

At least 23 out of 60 circuits of the Manila Electric Co. in Southern Luzon had been re-energized as of 6 p.m.

POWER OUTAGES

There is still no power in Calamba, Famy, Mabitac, Lumban, Paete, Pakil, Pangil, Luisiana, Majayjay, Cavinti, Calamba and Sta. Cruz in Laguna.

In Quezon, there is no power in General Nakar, Alabat Island, Real and Infanta.

Similarly without power are Morong, Baras and Talim Island in Rizal.
In Bicol, the entire Camarines Norte province remained without power.

In Metro Manila, Urdaneta and Olympia villages in Makati City, and Milagrosa village in Quezon City were without power due to damaged power lines and transformers.

Cell phone service in Jose Panganiban and Sta. Elena in Camarines Norte were out.

GMANews.TV


Headlines of the following articles posted earlier today - a short summary of the articles below)

ARROYO ORDERS RELIEF, REHAB OPERATIONS FOR 'SANTI'-HIT AREAS

10/31/2009 | 01:42 PM

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ordered disaster management teams Saturday to undertake immediate relief and rehabilitation work in areas affected by Typhoon Santi (Mirinae).


NDCC: OVER 115,000 PEOPLE AFFECTED BY SANTI

10/31/2009 | 11:57 AM

At least one person was reported missing while more than 115,000 people were affected in the wake of Typhoon SANTI (Mirinae), the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said Saturday.


'THE WORST IS OVER'; SANTI NOW OVER SOUTH CHINA SEA

10/31/2009 | 11:11 AM

A generally well-behaved Tropical Cyclone SANTI (Mirinae) continued on a straight path out of the country Saturday morning, leaving several parts of Luzon in floodwaters and without electricity.


'SANTI' FORCES 'EXTENSION' OF VOTERS' REGISTRATION

10/31/2009 | 10:34 AM

Due to Typhoon SANTI, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) was forced to extend its registration for the 2010 elections in areas affected by power outages.

nancyk58
01-11-2009, 05:14 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN THE PHILIPPINES 1 NOVEMBER 2009

The articles below all have GMA NEWS.TV as source.

CLOUDY ALL SOULS' DAY LOOMS - PAGASA

11/01/2009 | 06:42 PM

A shallow low-pressure area (SLPA) may bring about a cloudy All Souls' Day in parts of the country, state weather forecasters said Sunday afternoon.


NDCC LIST OF IMPASSABLE ROADS AS OF NOV. 1, 2009

11/01/2009 | 11:04 AM

Typhoon SANTI (Mirinae) may have already left Philippine territory, but the rains and winds it brought rendered some roads and bridges in Luzon impassable.

Meralco: DAMAGED POWER LINES NOW FULLY RESTORED 11/01/2009 | 11:01 AM

The 683 power circuits in Luzon that have been destroyed by typhoon SANTI have been fully energized since 5 a.m. Sunday, the Manila Electric Co. said.


TYPHOON ‘SANTI’ DEATH TOLL CLIMBS TO 14 – NDCC

By: Sophia Dedace, GMANews.TV - 11/01/2009 | 12:20 PM

The number of lives claimed by typhoon “SANTI" (MIRINAE) rose to 14 on SUNDAY morning, while FOUR are still MISSING and FOUR others reported INJURED, according to the National Disaster Coordinating Council's latest report.

The NDCC identified the fatalities as:

Sarah Mae Vargas and Rodrigo Rodriguez from Camarines Norte who both died due to hypothermia;

Louie Alano of Catanduanes who also died of hypothermia;

Flora Estacion, Jose Eboña, Maria Ferrer, and Rasco Rodriquez of Camarines Norte who drowned;

Tirso Ramos of Cavite who fell from a roof;

Edsel Laviña and Roderico Cabardo of Laguna who both drowned;

Marge Taiño and Julieta Zagure of Laguna who were pinned under collapsed wall, and

Edwin Capayas of Quezon who drowned.

Reported missing are Anthony Espidido of Laguna, Romulo and Nicolo Soriano of Laguna, and Victoria del Moro of Quezon.

Those injured were Maricel dela Rosa, John Mar Agaton, Malou Soriano, and Victor Macalalad.

The NDCC said SANTI AFFECTED about 2,853 families or 13,456 people across CENTRAL LUZON, METRO MANILA, SOUTHERN LUZON, and BICOL regions.

Some 1,976 families or 9,290 people are DISPLACED and are now in 32 evacuation centers in the region.

SANTI MOVES AWAY

Santi, which had already weakened into a tropical storm, continued to move further away from Philippine territory.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), said Santi was located at 610 kilometers west-southwest of Metro Manila.

In its 10:45 a.m. bulletin, Pagasa said Santi packed maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometers per hour, with gusts of 100 kph.

Moving westward at 20 kph, Santi is expected to be 8001 km west-southwest of Metro Manila on Sunday evening.

POWER OUTAGES

SANTI unleashed its fury on FRIDAY evening, with its RAINS and WINDS downed power and communication lines, destroyed roads and bridges, and caused flooding and landslides.

Earlier in the day, power utility Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said all 683 destroyed power circuits have already been energized even as some areas continued to experience power outages and interruptions.

“With the restoration of all our affected circuits, we are now conducting mopping operations and attending to individual concerns of customers which we hope to complete at the soonest time possible," said Meralco external communications manager Jose Zaldarriaga in a statement.

Those experiencing brownouts can contact Meralco at 16211. Other queries can also be reported to 09175592824 and 09209292824.

Based on the NDCC list, areas still without electricity or experiencing power interruptions are:

In National Capital Region: Barangay Urdaneta and Olympia in Makati City, Barangay Milagrosa in Quezon City, Barangay Rincon in Valenzuela City;

In Pampanga: Barangay Gatiwainand Matamo in Arayat town, Barangay San Vicente in Masantol town;

In Laguna: Calamba, Famy, Mabitac, Lumban, Paete, Pakil, Pangil, Luisiana, Majayjay, Cavinti, Calamba, and Sta. Cruz;

In Quezon: General Nakar, Real, Infanta, and Alabat Island;

In Rizal: Morong, Baras, and Talim Island;

In Bicol Region: province-wide power interruption in Camarines Norte.


I'm editing Google's translations of some articles published in UNICEF's latest NEWSLETTER. These articles deal with the situation in the Philippines, and there is a letter from a Filipino named Jaime - I am planning to post these later today. :)

nancyk58
01-11-2009, 07:48 PM
E-NEWSLETTER FROM UNICEF RECEIVED FRIDAY 30 OCTOBER 2009:

Several millions of persons are affected by typhoons in the Philippines

UNICEF distributes supplies to typhoon victims in Philippines

29-10-2009 - After the tropical storm KETSANA and the typhoon PARMA hit the Philippines in late September and early October, UNICEF is now working hard to help many of the 8.5 million people affected by disasters.

More than 2,400 schools have been destroyed

More than 2,400 schools have been destroyed, and many of the remaining schools are currently used to house many of the people who are forced to leave their homes because of the water masses. Many schools are closed for teaching.

Quickly back to school

For the children, it is important quickly to come back to school and everyday life. Many children lost their school books, and here UNICEF is distributing school kits.

UNICEF distributes school kits

So far, UNICEF has distributed thousands of school kits and educational materials to over 50 schools in two of the worst hit areas, Marikina and Pasig.

Hygiene is a priority

At present, water supply, sanitation and better hygiene also have a very high priority. Cholera and diarrhoea spread easily when many people are brought together under poor sanitary conditions.

Sanitation kits to 340,000 people in a week

Therefore, UNICEF has ensured the most basic health services to slightly more than one million people. Only last week, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) kits were distributed to 340,000 people in the northern part of the country.

UNICEF distributes equipment for water purification and storage

Also water-storage containers help to improve hygiene, and UNICEF has already distributed hundreds of kits for water purification and storage to families in the worst affected areas, and that work continues.

UNICEF supports children

Many children have traumas after the disasters and therefore need psychosocial support. UNICEF is therefore establishing child-friendly places and trains volunteers to help the children.

UNICEF is working to reunite children and families

UNICEF has also worked to obtain registration of the many children who got lost, so that they can be reunited with their parents as soon as possible.

UNICEF NEEDS MORE FUNDS

UNICEF supports the Philippine government's work for vulnerable children, but there is a massive need for more funds to continue the work.

The Philippines was not the only country that was hard hit by a natural disaster. Indonesia and Samoa were hit hard by an earthquake and a tsunami.
All UNICEF offices are working to help many of the affected people.


Fears of new tragedies in Indonesia

08-10-2009 – Right now the risk of disease outbreaks and exploitation of children necessitates urgent action after the earthquake in West Sumatra.

Disease outbreaks might trigger a new tragedy

In Indonesia, the search for survivors in the ruins after the earthquake has now ceased, and UNICEF is now focusing on reducing the consequences for the affected children. The area is now characterized by very poor hygienic conditions and lack of clean water. There is a high risk of outbreaks of infectious diseases and if so, a new tragedy is feared. UNICEF is working hard to prevent this and is right now distributing water tanks, water pumps, water purification tablets and other equipment to ensure clean water and good hygiene for up to 50,000 families.

Safety for children

The earthquake has made several children orphans and thus at risk of child labour and abuse. Many are now living with relatives and friends, and UNICEF is trying to help these children by ensuring that they do not disappear and that the proper network will be contacted.

Fear of the future

Many thousands of children have been traumatized by what they have experienced. They now fear for the future. They fear that more earthquakes shall strike, or that more buildings are going to collapse. UNICEF is trying to protect these children by giving them a life as soon as possible and, i.a. by ensuring that they are back in school as soon as possible.

In school in a tent

Large parts of the schools in the area have been destroyed, and right now 90,000 children need help getting back to school. In Padang UNICEF is providing 250 tent schools so that the children can resume their education as soon as possible and thus again have a solid and comfortable everyday life.

180,000 houses damaged

So far 603 people are confirmed dead, but many are still missing, so the figure could approach 1,000. In the earthquake zone up to 40 percent of the population is for the time being without electricity, and nearly 180,000 houses have been damaged. UNICEF's efforts continue, and in addition to the work with clean water and schooling, Unicef works to ensure proper nutrition and health care for the many affected children and their families.

UNICEF Denmark collects money for the Asian children affected by the natural disasters

02-10-2009 -- UNICEF Denmark has launched an emergency collection for the children in Southeast Asia who are hard hit by a series of natural disasters.

Earthquakes in SUMATRA, the tsunami in the Pacific islands of SAMOA and TONGA, typhoon in the PHILIPPINES and other Asian countries. Southeast Asia is currently unusually hard hit by a series of natural disasters that have hit the region within a few days.

More than one thousand people killed in the desperate situation

More than one thousand people have been killed, and the death toll (number of people dead) is feared to rise sharply in the days to come. The situation is desperate, and hundreds of thousands of children need emergency aid.

Emergency assistance is dispatched from Copenhagen

UNICEF is fully engaged in relief work in all the countries concerned. Emergency aid is distributed from local stores. The first shipment of water purification tablets have already been sent off by plane from UNICEF World Warehouse in Copenhagen.

UNICEF prepares for a new disaster

More relief in the form of, inter alia, medicine and water purification equipment is on its way to the disaster-affected children and their families. At the same time, UNICEF gets ready to respond to another disaster in the Philippines, where a new typhoon is threatening.

Every hour counts

"Here and now it is about saving children's lives, and every hour counts. The children are extremely vulnerable when disaster strikes. UNICEF works hard around the clock in all the affected disaster areas to provide clean water, safe shelter for many homeless families and to prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases, "says Steen M. Andersen, Secretary General of UNICEF Denmark.

Thousands of children's lives are threatened

Thousands of children's lives are threatened by such disasters. Our work can save the children's lives, but we urgently need funds to finance the relief effort, "says Steen M. Andersen.

nancyk58
02-11-2009, 12:52 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA 2 NOVEMBER 2009

Some headlines:

Typhoon Santi leaves 3 dead, over 2,000 homeless in Camarines Norte - (2009-11-02 10:50:56)

Over 200 homes damaged by Typhoon SANTI in Taytay, Rizal - 2009-11-02 08:32

All articles posted in this post has GMA NEWS.TV as source

NDCC list of impassable roads as of Nov. 2, 2009

(1/02/2009 | 09:10 AM)

When Typhon SANTI unleashed its wrath from Friday evening to Saturday morning, it left in its wake LANDSLIDES and FLOODS, DAMAGED BRIDGES, and downed power and communication lines in some areas in LUZON.

The cyclone may no longer be within the Philippine area of responsibility, but roads and bridges are still rendered impassable, according to the National Disaster Coordinating Council's latest report on Monday morning.

As of Monday morning, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration said no tropical cyclone exists within Philippine territory, but a LOW-PRESSURE AREA was spotted at 400 kilometers east of Central LUZON. - Sophia Dedace, GMANews.TV


AFTER ‘SANTI,’ NDCC TO FOCUS ON REHAB WORK

(by Sophia M. Dedace, GMANews.TV - 11/02/2009 | 10:03 AM)

After Typhoon SANTI (international name: MIRINAE) battered portions of LUZON over the weekend, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) on Monday said it would focus its efforts on helping the victims restore their lives.
Lt. Col. Ernesto Torres, NDCC spokesperson, said the body would likewise zero in on towns in Laguna that are still flood-stricken.
"We are focusing on flooded areas in Sta. Cruz, Pagsanjan, Lumban, and Los Baños in Laguna," Torres said in an interview on GMA’s Unang Hirit.

He added that the NDCC and its regional offices were able to mitigate Santi’s devastating effects because they were able to implement preemptive measures.

Because SANTI is the FOURTHE TROPICAL CYCLONE to visit the country for the month of October, the NDCC said they have been used to making preparations.
We were able to preposition relief goods in some regions, that’s why we are not worrying about a lot of things," Torres noted.

The official said they are still determining the amount of damages wrought by the typhoon, which had already exited Philippine territory and weakened into a tropical storm. Torres said only Camarines Norte‘s local government has reported that their province suffered P15.6 million worth of damages.

As of Monday morning, the NDCC’s tally of deaths caused by SANTI has climbed to 16. Four people were injured while four others are still missing.

The fatalities were identified as:

Tirso Ramos of Cavite

Roderico Cabardo, Edsel Loviña, Margie Taliño, and Julieta Zaguire of Laguna

Edwin Cayapas of Quezon province

Dodoy Delabajan and Vergel Zuniga of Rizal

Analiza dela Cruz, Jose Eboña, Flora Estacion, Maria Ferrer, Rodrigo Rodriguez, Rasco Rogelio, Sarah Mae Vargas of Camarines Norte

Louie Alano of Catanduanes

The NDCC said about 11,158 families or 54,630 people were affected in CENTRAL LUZON, SOUTHERN LUZON, METRO MANILA and the BICOL REGION.

A total of 3,924 families or 19,356 people are still taking refuge in 103 evacuation centers across the said regions, the NDCC said.
GMANews.TV


ONDOY's LESSONS IGNORED IN TRASH-FILLED MANILA CEMETERIES

(By Sophia M. Dedace, GMANews.TV - 11/02/2009 | 12:10 PM)

The lessons from tropical storm ONDOY, which brought EPIC FLOODS in the nation’s CAPITAL partly as a result of garbage-clogged canals and drainage systems, seem to be lost on MANILA RESIDENTS who generated TONS OF GARBAGE during the observance of All Saints’ Day over the weekend.

Tony Dizon, a coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition, said parts of the Manila North Cemetery, Manila South Cemetery, and the Chinese Cemetery resembled garbage dump sites with mounds of trash piled up in many corners of the most populated burial grounds in the metropolis.

“We are really saddened by what we have seen. It’s as if they didn’t learn from the floods brought by ONDOY and PEPENG," Dizon lamented in a phone interview with GMANews.TV on Monday.

He attributed the massive flooding brought by ONDOY to the clogging of storm drainage and waterways due to plastic rubbish and other trash.

Every year, the EcoWaste Coalition conducts information drives in Metro Manila’s main cemeteries by handing out leaflets on the hazards of improper waste disposal. But even though they had beefed up their campaign, Dizon said: “A lot of people still throw their trash anywhere in the cemeteries."

Dizon said their main goal is to minimize the amount of garbage in cemeteries, which he said could pose health hazards by emitting harmful fumes. He said data from Manila City Hall showed that from November 1 to 5 last year, about 180 trucks of garbage were hauled from the Manila North, Manila South and Chinese Cemeteries. The trash collected weighed approximately 1,145 tons.
This year, Dizon said the group is hoping that the figures would go down.

CALLS UNHEEDED
Last week, Manila North Cemetery Administration officer-in-charge Peter Tamondong said the cemetery management and staff “can only do so much and we really need the people to help and be involved" in disposing of their trash properly.
Even Manila Police District head Chief Superintendent Rodolfo Magtibay appealed to cemetery visitors to bring their own garbage bags.
But their calls fell on deaf ears.
On Monday, garbage collectors started gathering heaps of trash left by hundreds of thousands who paid their respects to loved ones in Metro Manila’s most populated cemeteries.

At the Manila North Cemetery, garbage trucks were loaded with trash left by an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 people who flocked to the cemetery last Sunday.

“Garbage always piles up here during this occasion. People have no discipline. They just throw their trash anywhere," said Boy Legaspi in an interview with GMANews.TV. Legaspi visits his deceased parents and siblings at the North Cemetery.

GMA News’ Kara David reported that other collectors made money out of the trash by sifting through the rubbish for items made of plastic, which they would sell at P5 per kilogram. Others also scavenged for melted candle wax, which they would sell at P12 per kilogram.

Even as the crowd lessened at the Manila North Cemetery on Monday, security remained tight. Alcoholic drinks, sharp objects, bladed weapons, and even belts with big buckles are still prohibited within the premises.

LARGEST BURIAL GROUNDS
Sprawled across 54 hectares of land, the Manila North Cemetery is the country’s largest burial grounds. It is also home to at least 2,000 people who share living space with the deceased.

At the South Cemetery in Makati City, radio dzBB reported that food wrappers and other trash were scattered on the grounds after people visited their dead over the weekend. The South Cemetery occupies a 25-hectare expanse.

NOT SPARED
Even private cemeteries that are not densely populated were not spared. At the Holy Cross Memorial Park in Novaliches, Quezon City, families on picnic mode had to contend with the stench of garbage.

There are ample garbage bins in the cemetery, but some people still threw their trash into the nearby creek. Plastic bags, juice cups, paper plates and spoiled leftovers lay on the ground, attracting flies.

Meanwhile, some volunteer groups eased their clean-up operations in cemeteries Monday, anticipating a return to normal once All Souls’ Day ends.

- with reports from Amita Legaspi and Joseph Holandes Ubalde, GMANews.TV


5 areas under signal 1 as LPA develops into tropical depression

(11/02/2009 | 06:40 PM )

At least five areas in northern LUZON placed under Storm Signal No. 1 as a low-pressure area east of LUZON intensified into a TROPICAL DEPRESSION Monday afternoon.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration code-named the TROPICAL DEPRESSION “TINO," the 20th weather disturbance in Philippine territory this year.

Pagasa spokesman Nathaniel Cruz however said “TINO" is not directly affecting Metro Manila, which experienced rains in the afternoon.
“It is far from Metro Manila," Cruz said in an interview on dzRH radio.

In its 5 p.m. advisory, Pagasa said “TINO" was 270 kms east of Tuguegarao City as of 4 p.m., with maximum sustained winds of 55 kph near the center. It was moving west-northwest at 15 kph and is expected to be 90 kms north of Aparri, Cagayan or in the vicinity of Calayan Island Tuesday afternoon.

By Wednesday afternoon it is expected to be 420 kms northwest of Aparri, Cagayan or 330 kms West Northwest of Basco, Batanes.

Under Storm Signal No. 1 are Isabela, Cagayan, Babuyan, Calayan Islands, and Batanes Group of Islands.

Northern and Central LUZON are still reeling from the effects of tropical storms “ONDOY" (KETSANA) and “PEPENG" (PARMA).

Pagasa reminded residents in low-lying areas and near mountain slopes to take precautions against possible FLASHFLOODS and LANDSLIDES. It added the rest of Northern LUZON will have occasional RAINS and GUSTY WINDS due to the surge of the northeast monsoon.

The JAPAN METEOROLOGICAL AGENCY said “TINO" was moving west-northwest at 17 knots (31 kph), with maximum winds of 30 knots (35 kph) near the center.

GMANews.TV


VIETNAM EVACUATES COASTAL AREAS AS STORM MIRINAE NEARS

(11/02/2009 | 12:34 PM)

HANOI, VIETNAM — Vietnam evacuated coastal areas Monday as tropical storm MIRINAE approached after battering the Philippines, where it left 20 people dead.

Mirinae weakened as it headed over the South China Sea and was downgraded from a typhoon to a tropical storm. It was expected to strike Vietnam's central coast sometime Monday afternoon.

Vietnamese authorities evacuated 20,000 people from coastal provinces, far fewer than they moved in advance of Typhoon KETSANA, which slammed Vietnam in SEPTEMBER, KILLING 160 people.

Some 7,600 residents, mostly the elderly and children, have been evacuated from their homes in coastal villages in Khanh Hoa province, said local disaster official Phan Hoang Duong.

In the provinces of Phu Yen and Binh Dinh, north of Khanh Hoa, more than 11,000 people have been evacuated, disaster officials there said.

Light rain was reported in the area Monday morning.

Both Vietnam and the Philippines are still recovering from KETSANA, which brought the Philippine capital, Manila, its worst flooding in 40 years.

KETSANA and two later storms KILLED MORE THAN 900 in the PHILIPPINES. Some 87,000 people who fled the storms were still living in temporary shelters when MIRINAE struck.

The latest typhoon left 20 dead, mostly from drowning, in six provinces. Four people were missing, disaster response officials said.

The storm did not keep the largely Roman Catholic country from paying respects to the dead on All Saints Day on Sunday. Huge crowds jammed cemeteries, with some people visiting still-flooded ones by boat.

In Rizal province, just east of Manila, villagers carrying flowers and candles paddled canoes into a rural cemetery that resembled a lake.

Joel Librilla thrust his hands into the waist-high waters to feel the letters on submerged tombstones in a search for his mother's grave.
"We don't know where to light our candles," Librilla told the Associated Press Television News. "But my mother should know that this is for her."

Forecasters said they were watching a low pressure area 379 miles (610 kilometers) off the country's eastern coast over the Pacific, but it was too early to tell if it will develop into yet another storm. - AP

'Santi' spoils relief goods for victims of past cyclones
(1/02/2009 | 09:19 AM )

Typhoon SANTI (MIRINAE) soaked in floodwaters relief goods for victims of past cyclones in a town in Laguna, forcing local officials there to ask for more food donations.

Santa Cruz town mayor Ariel Magcalas said Monday that the food supplies stocked in a covered court were flooded after Laguna de Bay overflowed over the weekend.

“We need food and water donations again as the relief goods we got for victims of cyclones ONDOY and PEPENG were soaked in floodwaters that rose up to the second layer of the stockpile of donated rice," Magcalas said in an interview on dzBB radio.

He said the United Nations’ World Food Programme officials advised him not to distribute the damaged food.
But he said they may distribute the “relatively" intact food items, including canned goods.

Magcalas said that as of Monday, some 26 villages in the town remained flooded.

In Majayjay town, meanwhile, SANTI caused jeep fares to triple, as a collapsed bridge there caused road rerouting, and operators blamed the long detour route for the tripling of fare rate.
Radio dzBB’s Nimfa Ravelo reported that the jeep fare went up from the regular P25 to as high as P75.

SANTI lashed Southern LUZON and BICOL after making landfall in Quezon province last Saturday.

Majayjay is a fourth-class town, with a population of 23,681 people in 4,978 households. - GMANews.TV

nancyk58
02-11-2009, 06:12 PM
JAIME's GREATEST WISH

29-10-2009 – The Filipino/Philippine child Jaime is in sixth grade / class in Pasig, one of the areas that were hardest hit by the tropical storm KETSANA in late September. Jaime went on one of the schools now being used as evacuation center.

He dreams of finishing his school so that he can get a good job and support his father.

Here is the letter read out by Jaime to UNICEF Director Ann M. Veneman when she visited the affected families:

JAIME's LETTER:

"My name is Jaime C. De Venecia, Jr. My two siblings and I go to school here at Liberato Damian, where we live now because of flooding. "

I would like to see the water level fall - because if it does not, our house might soon collapse. Our father built the walls and the floor of the scrap he gathered on his work at a construction site. If he had not worked there, we would have no house at all.

If our house collapses, then again we will have no place to live. When the water level falls, I hope to get back to school. During our rapid escape from the rising water, all my school books got wet or lost in the water masses. Without the schoolbooks and uniforms I cannot go back to school.

My dream is to finish my education so that I can support my family. It is hard for me to see my father work so hard that his body is about to collapse / succumb.

I want a good job so that I can support my father. He works very hard and is doing his best to take care of us. He dreams of a bright future for us so that we do not end up like him.

But despite all this I am very grateful - although we hardly own anything and are very poor, we're still happy as long as we're together as a family. "

Jaime


UNICEF SUPPORTS CHILDREN LIKE JAIME

The future will show whether Jaime’s wish comes true. Currently, UNICEF supports the Philippine government's efforts to help children and families who are forced to flee the storm.

Jaime hopes that he can finish his school so that he can support his family. But without school books and uniforms, he cannot go back to school.


UNICEF WORKS FOR THE NEEDY:

• In the Philippines, nearly 2,500 schools were destroyed by the tropical storm KETSANA and the typhoon PARMA. • Hundreds of schools are now being used as evacuation centers.

• UNICEF has distributed several thousand school kits for children in the affected
areas so that they can return to teaching as soon as possible.

• Relief work progresses, but there is a massive need for more funds to support the relief work.

nancyk58
02-11-2009, 11:14 PM
Filipino / Philippine News from GMA News.TV


‘SANTI’ DEATH TOLL NOW 18 - NDCC

(11/02/2009 | 11:49 PM - GMA News.TV)

The death toll from tropical cyclone "SANTI" (Mirinae) rose to 18 late Monday as initial damage to property was estimated at P183.5 million, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said.

In its 5 p.m. report, the NDCC said the 18 fatalities included a father and son initially reported missing after their car fell into the water when a bridge collapsed in Batangas.

Romulo Soriano, 40, and his three-year-old son Nicolo were found dead two days after their white Honda Civic fell into the water after the Bridge of Promise in Batangas City collapsed at the height of then-typhoon "Santi."

Soriano's wife Malou, 39, a health worker, had been rescued from the vehicle.

Other fatalities were identified as Tirso Ramos, 59 (Cavite); Roderico Cabardo, 51, Edsel Loviña, 12, Margie Taliño, 8, and Julieta Zaguire (Laguna); Edwin Capayas, 42 (Quezon); Dodoy Delabajan, 25, and Vergel Zuniga (Rizal); Analiza dela Cruz, 35, Jose Eboña, 62, Flora Estacion, 64, Maria Ferrer, 93, Rodrigo Rodriguez, 64, Resco Rogelio, 63, Sarah Mae Vargas, 2 (Camarines Sur); and Louie Alano, 30 (Catanduanes).

At least eight people were reported injured, including two each in Quezon and Batangas, one in Camarines Norte and one in Catanduanes.

The injured were identified as Malou Soriano, 39; Ronel Pasquin of Quezon; Edgardo Caraig of Batangas City; John Victor Macalalad, 4, of Lucena City; John Mar Agaton, 16, of Camarines Norte; and Maricel dela Rosa, 24, of Catanduanes.

Still missing are Anthony Espidido of San Roque in Liliw, Laguna; and Victoria Delmoro, 79, of Perez, Quezon.

At least 18,299 families or 91,526 people were affected in 409 villages of 15 cities and 76 towns in 14 provinces. Of these, 2,863 families or 13,335 people are staying in 70 evacuation centers.

Damage to property was estimated at P183.5 million in Southern Luzon and Bicol alone, including P157.1 million in infrastructure and P19.9 million in agriculture. Some 1,989 houses were destroyed while 11,283 were damaged.

Floodwaters remained in some areas of Pasig City, including parts of Sta. Lucia village, Tawi-Tawi, Arnel, New Society, VIlla Morales, and Bautista SUbdivisions. However, floods remained up to waist-deep levels in Laguna and Rizal provinces. Floods were chest-deep in Cainta town in Rizal.

Power was 99 percent restored in Metro Manila, but there were power interruptions in Muntinlupa City near Laguna Lake and Caa village in Las Piñas City. Electricity however is yet to be restored in Jala-Jala and Pililla in Rizal; and in Mabitac and Santa Cruz in Laguna.

In Bicol, power is still being restored in Paracale, Sta. Elena and Capalonga towns in Camarines Sur.

The NDCC said the Patete-Pakil section and San Isidro Bridge in Laguna; Bridge of Promise and Colong-Colong Bridge; and Marikina-Infanta Road (Marcos Highway) third concrete bridge in Rizal are not passable.

Also not passable is the Caramoran Peninsula Road in Camarines Sur.

GMANews.TV


BIG LANDOWNERS URGED TO HELP TYPHOON EVACUEES

(11/02/2009 | 07:30 PM - GMA News.TV)

Senator Francis “Chiz" Escudero on Monday urged big landowners in the country to give up portions of their properties so that they could be developed into permanent relocation sites for relocation sites for typhoon victims.

Escudero however was quick to add that he is not zeroing in on business tycoon Eduardo “Danding" Cojuangco Jr., founder of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) party that the opposition senator left last week.

“No need to identify as this is voluntary on the part of those who will heed the call I made in the name of those who are homeless and/or living in danger zones," Escudero said in a text message to GMANews.TV.

A clash in ideology with Cojuangco, who chairs the giant conglomerate San Miguel Corp., reportedly prompted Escudero to bolt out of NPC. The senator, however, denied this, saying he just wanted a free hand to plan for the 2010 elections.

In a press statement released Monday, Escudero said the parcels of land that the landowners would donate would be converted to permanent relocation sites for current and future typhoon victims.

“I call on those who own tracts of land to give up portions so that these lands can be converted into relocation sites for these victims. If they have a hundred hectares, perhaps it will not be too much to ask for them to donate 10 hectares," he said.

He also called on big businessmen to invest in setting up factories and businesses in the relocation sites to give typhoon survivors a fresh start.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said typhoon "SANTI" affected 11,158 families or 54,630 people in Central Luzon, Southern Luzon, Metro Manila and the Bicol Region. Of the number, 3,924 families or 19,356 people are taking refuge in 103 evacuation centers.

GMANews.TV


11 areas under signal 1 as 'Tino' veers southwest to NLuzon

11/02/2009 | 06:40 PM

(UPDATE 1- Nov. 3, 12:41 a.m.) Eleven areas in northern Luzon are now under Storm Signal No. 1 as TROPICAL DEPRESSION TINO made an unexpected turn to the southwest Monday evening, THREATENING anew the provinces of NORTHERN LUZON that have borne the brunt of cyclones Pepeng and Ramil in past weeks.


In its 11:00 p.m. Monday bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Tino's center as of 10:00 p.m. Monday was located 200 kms east of Tuguegarao.

Pagasa said Tino maintained its strength with maximum sustained winds of 55 kph as it moved west at 11 kph. If it continues on its present course, the tropical depression will cross the provinces of Isabela, Kalinga, Mountain Province and Ilocos Sur on Tuesday.
By Tuesday evening Tino is expected to be 90 kms east southeast of Vigan City.

In a radio interview over dzBB on Monday evening, Pagasa forecaster Manny Mendoza said a high-pressure area in mainland China could possibly push tropical depression Tino southward, but it could also be pulled northward by the tail-end of a cold front.

Mendoza also said that there was also the possibility of the cyclone becoming stationary if the high-pressure area in China interacted with the tail-end of the cold front.

To complicate matters, the Pagasa forecaster also mentioned still two other possibilities. First, that the cyclone gain strength because of the influence of a northeasterly wind flow, also known as amihan (northeast monsoon). And second, that the cyclone dissipate because of the onset of the cold season that will bring in a "dry and cold air mass."

Asked which of these various possibilities had the highest likelihood, Mendoza said "based on their models" that Tino would most likely dissipate into a low-pressure area and merge into the tail-end of the cold front that will pull it northward.

Meanwhile, storm signal No. 1 is now hoisted over the Batanes group, Cagayan (including Babuyan and Calayan islands), Apayao, Kalinga, Mt. Province, Ifugao, Isabela, Quirino, and Northern Aurora.

Pagasa continued to remind residents in low-lying areas and near mountain slopes to take precautions against POSSIBLE FLASHFLOODS and LANDSLIDES. It added the rest of NORTHERN LUZON will have occasional RAINS and GUSTY WINDS due to the surge of the northeast monsoon.

GMANews.TV

Typhoon SANTI brings FLASHFLOODS, LANDSLIDES; 3 DEAD, over 4,000 HOMELESS - 2009-11-03 00:22:14

nancyk58
03-11-2009, 02:40 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTH EAST ASIA ON 3 NOVEMBER 2009

THE PHILIPPINES AND VIETNAM


FLOODED ANEW BY 'SANTI', LAGUNA FACES BLEAK CHRISTMAS

(by Sophia Dedace, GMA News.TV
11/03/2009 | 02:44 PM)

Typhoon Santi brought high waters back to municipal and city streets in Laguna.

After suffering from "Ondoy's" enormous rainfall in September, six towns and two cities in the province were inundated anew. As local governments grapple with repairs to numerous waterways, the prospects are bleak that some areas will see dry land before December.

Six out of Laguna’s 27 towns and two of its three cities were inundated by floods caused by Typhoon SANTI, which swept across southern Luzon last Saturday. Most of the towns sit on the shores of Laguna de Bay, the largest lake in the country.

Arwin Santos, a 27-year-old resident of Barangay Tagumpay in Bay town in Laguna, said in an interview Tuesday that most people in his village lost their sources of livelihood. His computer shop, for one, had to contend with waist-deep flood waters in the wake of SANTI.

But even as they are reeling from the twin disasters, Santos and other Laguna residents are in store for greater suffering. Vicente Tomazar, director of the Office of Civil Defense in Region 4-A, said it might take until December before the floods are flushed out.
Tomazar told GMANews.TV in a phone interview that waterways and floodways are still being constructed or fixed, making it difficult for the floodwaters to recede fast.

In the meantime, he said his office and local government units would continue helping displaced Laguna residents who have taken refuge in 45 evacuation centers across the province.

Santi is the fourth tropical cyclone to hit the country after Ondoy battered portions of Luzon last September 26.

NDCC’s FOCUS

LAGUNA is among the provinces badly hit by SANTI across the CENTRAL LUZON, SOUTHERN LUZON, BICOL, and METRO MANILA REGIONS.

Lt. Col. Ernesto Torres, spokesperson of the National Disaster Coordinating Council, said that they would focus their rehabilitation efforts in Laguna’s flood-stricken towns.

According to the NDCC’s latest report Tuesday, more than 60 percent or 183,243 people of Santi’s victims reside in Laguna province.

Thirty percent of the 3,129 totally damaged houses and almost 48 percent (11,736 houses) of the partially damaged houses are also in Laguna.

Of the P3.8 million worth of relief goods allotted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development for Santi’s victims, P2.3 million (more than 60 percent) are allotted for affected residents in the province.

BUSINESS AS USUAL

Despite the damage, some residents remain hopeful that they could overcome what Ondoy and Santi took away from them.

Erasto Arinuelo resides in Laguna’s capital city of Sta. Cruz, said: “Business as usual." He added that vendors from the city’s public market transferred to the city plaza in Barangay Poblacion to sell their wares. Despite the thick layer of mud that residents are still trying to remove from the streets, Arinuelo said the bustling activity proves that despite the tragedy, life still goes on.

In Majayjay, Laguna, where two bridges collapsed under the force of Santi, locals remain unfazed despite their near-isolation from the outside world.

The two bridges destroyed were Atillo Bridge in Bgy. San Isidro and the Olla Bridge in Bgy. San Miguel. Ever since the two bridges collapsed, commuters have to take an alternate route through Luisiana town to get to the provincial capital of Santa Cruz, extending travel time to more than an hour and raising the jeepney fare from P35 to P50.

Majayjay Mayor Victorino Rodillas told GMANews.TV that rains brought by Santi last weekend buried some streets in knee-deep floods and mud.

Without waiting for assistance from the national government, Rodillas gathered the town personnel and launched clearing operations in the streets. "Help from the national government is not necessary. We can do it by ourselves," he said.

Rodillas said he has advised people living near the collapsed bridges to move out to prevent injuries in case of further stormy weather. Like Rodillas, his constituents are equally hopeful.

"We will do our best to recover," said Jennylyn Breganza, a student from Majayjay.

- with a report from MARK MERUEÑAS, GMANews.TV


Storm signals lifted as ‘Tino’ weakens into low pressure area

(11/03/2009 | 06:32 PM )

State weather forecasters on Tuesday afternoon lowered all public storm warning signals in northern and central LUZON as tropical depression “TINO" WEAKENED into a low pressure area.

According to the 2 p.m. bulletin by the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), the low pressure area was last spotted 120 kilometers north-northeast of Casiguran, Aurora province.

TINO, earlier forecast to make landfall over Aurora province as early as Tuesday afternoon, weakened into a low pressure area due to the surge of the northeast monsoon or amihan, Pagasa said.

Pagasa however still warned of occasional RAIN SHOWERS over the eastern section of northern and central LUZON due to the low pressure area.

Tino is the 20th cyclone to enter the Philippine area of responsibility this year. Pagasa earlier said it expects one to two more cyclones to affect the country’s weather before the year ends.

Andreo Calonzo, GMANews.TV

(Update) 'MIRINAE' KILLS 23 in VIETNAM, leaves families stranded on rooftops

(11/03/2009 | 08:21 PM - GMA News.TV)

HANOI, Vietnam — Tropical Storm Mirinae unleashed severe flooding in parts of central Vietnam, killing 23 people, leaving two missing and stranding families on rooftops, disaster officials said Tuesday.

Five more bodies have been recovered, bringing the death toll in the hardest-hit province of Phu Yen to 15 people after the storm hit Monday, drenching the region with heavy rains, said disaster official Dang Thi Lanh.

"Many villages remain cut off by rising waters and we expect the death toll to rise," she said.

Several villages in neighboring Binh Dinh province suffered the worst flooding in four decades after the Ha Thanh River surged over its banks, said disaster official Nguyen Van Hoa. Five people were killed by falling trees or washed away by floods in Binh Dinh and two others were missing, Hoa said.

In Khanh Hoa province, south of Phu Yen, three people were killed, a disaster official there said refusing to give his name.

The military sent two helicopters to drop instant noodles to people in isolated villages and to rescue people who were still trapped on rooftops a day after the storm, which lost force as it moved inland.

"We have received many calls for help from people who are still stranded," Hoa said by telephone.

Ho Quoc Dung, vice chairman of Binh Dinh provincial People's Committee, said some 400 soldiers were mobilized to use speed boats to reach areas cut off by flooding and have ferried out more than 1,000 villagers.
Several thousand remain stranded, he said.

MIRINAE hit the PHILIPPINES with typhoon strength over the weekend, KILLING 20 people before losing strength as it moved across the South China Sea toward Vietnam.

Both VIETNAM and the PHILIPPINES were still RECOVERING from Typhoon KETSANA, which brought the Philippine capital of MANILA its worst FLOODING in 40 years when it struck in September. KETSANA KILLED 160 people in VIETNAM.

In the PHILIPPINES, KETSANA and two later storms killed more than 900. Some 87,000 people who fled the storms were still living in temporary shelters when Mirinae struck.

In a separate incident in northern Vietnam on Monday, one woman drowned and five others were still missing after a whirlwind toppled two boats in the northern province of Quang Ninh, disaster official Le Thanh Nam said.
Sixteen other passengers managed to swim to safety after the boats sank, Nam said. - AP

nancyk58
03-11-2009, 11:07 PM
AN ARTICLE FROM GMA News.TV / THE PHILIPPINES

In Bicol, a private center warns gov't of coming storms

(by Andreo C. Calonzo, GMANews.TV - 11/03/2009 | 08:50 PM)

Throughout the country, Pagasa (“hope") has also come to mean “weather forecaster" since it is the acronym for the state meteorological agency. But somewhere in the Bicol region, there is another source of hope when a weather disturbance threatens.

Like other Bicol provinces, Camarines Sur is among the country’s most typhoon-hit provinces, and had to brace itself against all four cyclones that hit Luzon in quick succession since end-September.

But thanks to the province’s Typhoon Preparedness Center, local government officials were able to get weather advisories that the state weather bureau, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), could not always provide.

“Our Typhoon Preparedness Center has really been a big help here. They issue hourly updates especially those within Pagasa’s six-hour interval," said Edison Petalio of the Camarines Sur Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC).

The Naga College Foundation, a non-government organization, established its Typhoon Preparedness Center (TPC) six months ago with the aim of providing Bicolanos with early warning whenever a weather disturbance nears the region.
Since then, the TPC has become what PDCC officials described as a “good supplementary data source" to information provided by the state weather bureau, which usually posts storm bulletins every six hours.
“In between gaps, we have another source of information," Petalio said.

TPC Director David Michael Padua, known to locals as “Mr. Typhoon," said the main purpose of the private weather station is to more thoroughly inform people in Camarines Sur of approaching weather disturbances.

TPC relies on forecasts of foreign weather agencies, which Padua and two other volunteers translate into information useful for their own local weather forecasts, to alert the provincial and other local governments of Camarines Sur.

For instance, when cyclone “SANTI" battered the nearby province of Camarines Norte last week, the TPC posted weather advisories in its website every three hours. These weather advisories have been localized, providing information such as typhoon location and strength specifically for Camarines Sur’s four districts.
“What we’re doing is really for ordinary folk, for them to get rid of their worries and to be prepared," he said in a phone interview with GMANews.TV.

The center also conducts trainings and seminars for government officials, students and teachers, for them to have a better understanding of weather forecasting and early warning during typhoons.


WORKING WITH LOCAL GOVERNMENT, MEDIA

Padua, a University of the Philippines geography graduate who has been doing weather forecasts since 1996, said meteorology has always been his passion.
“Ever since I was a kid, I get excited whenever there is a typhoon. I even go out of the house in such weather," Padua said.
He opted to go back to his home province after finishing his studies to do what he loves best—weather forecasting. Luckily, the NCF, which one of his relatives own, gave him the opportunity to do so.

Although a private center, the TPC closely coordinates with local government officials to achieve its goals.
“We link up with local governments to help them, and also for them to help us", Padua said.

He added that the Camarines Sur provincial government is planning to provide the center with a Doppler radar (a modern weather radar that uses the Doppler effect for better rainfall forecasting).

The TPC is also tapping local media in Camarines Sur and the Internet for it to be able to disseminate its weather advisories.
“That’s because you can find almost all the data in the Internet, and need only to explain them in layman terms," Padua said.

He likewise maintains a website called Typhoon2000.com, which he describes as a “one-stop shop" for information Filipinos need for a coming weather disturbance.

In this site, which he maintains using his own money, Padua posts links not just to Pagasa but to a big number of foreign weather forecasting agencies and sources of satellite imagery, including the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center and the Japan Meteorological Agency.
“I can’t complain about the accuracy of their forecasts, especially those of the US and Japan. I hope Pagasa improves because its own forecasts are deteriorating," he said.

He added that Pagasa should continue training and research on weather forecasting, since the country is geographically located in a region prone to extreme disturbances such as typhoons.

“We are the number one country visited by cyclones in the world. So we should also be the leader in research. It depends on the government, really," he said.

Padua said that TPC is still relatively new, and is trying to do further research in storm tracking in the Philippines in the hope of better informing people about weather disturbances entering the country.


DOST not keen on local storm trackers

But Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Estrella Alabastro is not keen on having independent local storm trackers.

“It is something we cannot prevent, but the disadvantage is local trackers like these do not have accountability. These are just private persons. That’s because with Pagasa, when our forecasts are a bit off, we really stand by it," Alabastro said in a separate interview with GMANews.TV.

Alabastro said it is better if local storm trackers like TPC will coordinate with Pagasa or DOST.

“It would be better if he simply links up with us. (We) should listen to our institutions. These institutions we have are really accountable to us," she said.

Alabastro added that her department already has a modernization plan for the state weather bureau, which involves the procurement and upgrading of weather forecasting equipment, as well as the training of personnel.

“Pagasa has improved quite a bit. But we need resources. The President is good in attending to our needs. It might take time, but we will get there. We just have to have the will to do things that needs to be done," she said. – GMANews.TV

nancyk58
04-11-2009, 02:31 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 4 NOVEMBER 2009

THE PHILIPPINES - from GMA NEWS.TV

Weather from Pagasa (23°C to 29°C). At 5 p.m. Wednesday, a northeast monsoon affects Luzon and Visayas while a wind convergence affects Mindanao. There is no existing tropical cyclone within the Philippine area of responsibility.


Floods isolate 9 Aurora villages; evacuation ordered

(11/04/2009 | 09:35 AM - GMA News.TV)

HEAVY RAINS since TUESDAY night caused FLOODS that isolated residents in at least nine villages in Casiguran town in Aurora province, even as state weather forecasters said there is no cyclone presently in Philippine territory.

Aurora Governor Bella Castillo said early Wednesday that she has ordered the forced evacuation of families in the affected areas, after they refused earlier calls to flee.
"It has been raining since Tuesday night, and nine villages in Casiguran have been flooded," Castillo said in an interview on dzBB radio.

Casiguran is a third class town with a population of 22,403 people in 4,366 households. The municipality has 24 barangays (villages). The exact number of villagers affected by the floods was unknown as of posting time.


NO CYCLONE

Ironically, state weather forecasters said there was no cyclone in Philippine territory as of late Tuesday. Tropical Depression TINO, which was earlier projected to hit Aurora, had weakened on Tuesday morning.

A separate report on dzXL radio said the Philippine Coast Guard has sent teams to Casiguran to help in the rescue operations.
Castillo said she had ordered the evacuation of the flood-prone areas since Tuesday when the rains started to fall, but residents did not heed her.
She said many of the families appeared to think that since they were spared by recent cyclones, they did not feel the need to flee. - "Only two families agreed to evacuate. The others did not," she said.

The governor said she had contacted the Philippine National Police and Philippine Army to forcibly evacuate the residents.

She also said she contacted the Department of Public Works and Highways to deploy heavy equipment and dump trucks to help in the evacuation. - "I asked the Army and local police to start forced evacuation," she said.

GMANews.TV

MAGNITUDE -5.4 QUAKE ROCKS MINDANAO - PHIVOLCS

11/04/2009 | 07:36 PM - GMA News.TV

A magnitude-5.4 quake rocked parts of Mindanao Wednesday afternoon but caused no damage. State seismologists however warned of possible aftershocks in the next few hours.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the quake was recorded at 2:22 p.m., with the epicenter traced 78 km northeast of Mati, Davao Oriental.

It said the quake was tectonic and was felt at Intensity III in Davao City, Tagum City, and Taguna in Davao Oriental.

The quake was felt at Intensity II in Bislig City, General Santos City, Kidapawan City, Cateel, Davao Oriental; Padada, Davao del Sur; Digos City; Carrascal, Surigao del Sur; and Kabacan, North Cotabato.

Earlier, the United States Geological Service (USGS) said the epicenter was also 140 km south-southeast of Hinatuan, 190 km northeast of General Santos City, or 1,035 km southeast of Manila.

GMANews.TV

nancyk58
04-11-2009, 09:45 PM
REPAIR OF ‘KILLER BRIDGE’ IN BATANGAS CITY STARTS


11/04/2009 | 09:50 PM - GMA News.TV

The public works department has started repairing a bridge in Batangas City that collapsed during the height of typhoon SANTI over the weekend, killing two people.

Romulo Soriano was crossing the Bridge of Promise with his family inside their car when the infrastructure, located at Barangay Kumintang, collapsed, killing him and his three-year-old son Nicolo. His wife Malou survived the incident.

It took authorities two days to find the victims' bodies.

Victor Domingo, acting secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), ordered the swift reconstruction of the Bridge of Promise, which he said plays a key role in the transport of petroleum products to Metro Manila.

"We are prioritizing the repair and rehabilitation of destroyed bridges so the people can move and transport goods, especially the Bridge of Promise, which is used by gas tankers to transport gasoline from the depot in Batangas to Metro Manila," he said.

DPWH senior undersecretary Manuel Bonoan said there would be no fuel interruption in Metro Manila because fuel trucks could use alternate roads and bridges while the Bridge of Promise is under repair.
"There are detour roads where people and fuel trucks can pass through,'' he said.

The reconstruction of the bridge would cost about P76 million and would take about three months to complete.

DPWH Region 4-A director Bonifacio Sequit said parts of the budget would be sourced from Batangas Rep. Hermilando Mandanas’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (pork barrel) for 2010.

Aside from the Bridge of Promise, THREE OTHER BRIDGES, all in Majayjay town in LAGUNA, were also DAMAGED by SANTI, which exited the country Monday.

GMANews.TV


30 FAMILIES RESCUED IN ISABELA DUE TO HEAVY RAINS

11/05/2009 | 01:38 AM - GMA News.TV

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya – Some 30 families have been evacuated in San Mariano, Isabela on Monday due to continuous rains in the Cagayan Valley region.

Joint teams from the Isabela Search Rescue and Response Team (ISRRT) and Isabela provincial police force reported that the rescued families who were trapped by flood waters in lower San Mariano’s sitio Pugo, barangay Maluno Norte have been rescued and are now safely housed in an evacuation center.

LANDSLIDES have been reported in capital town Ilagan’s Camonatan village and two other villages in San Mariano including Sta. Filomena.

MUDFLOWS were also recorded in District 1 of Benito Soliven town while hundreds of residents living near the Pinacanauan and Abuan Rivers in Ilagan were evacuated by rescue teams to higher ground. There were no reported injuries.

A Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) service vehicle which was parked near a cliff reportedly plunged over after the weakened earth gave way to rushing waters.
The vehicle’s four crew members who were undergoing road clearing operations escaped unharmed.

Meanwhile, the overflow bridges in Gucab and Annafunan in Echague town and Alicaoacao in Cauayan City were rendered impassable as of Monday along with Minanga Bridge in San Mariano and Pigalo Bridge linking the towns of Angadanan and San Guillermo.

Floro Taguinod, GMANews.TV

nancyk58
04-11-2009, 11:58 PM
QUEEN MARGRETHE OF DENMARK VISITED VIETNAM WHICH WAS HIT BY A FATAL STORM

(03-11-09: 18:34 - TV2 Gossip)

At least 40 DEAD after a TROPICAL STORM ravaged VIETNAM during Queen Margrethe’s visit in Vietnam.
But the Danish visitors are not in danger.

At least 40 human lives lost and 11 missing in connection with the tropical storm MIRINAE that ravaged central Vietnam. This information was given by the Vietnamese authorities.

For the time being, the Danish Queen Margrethe is on official visit in Vietnam. But the Danish visitors – the Danish Queen, the Prince Consort Henrik, Crown Prince Frederik and his wife Crown Princess Mary – were not in danger. On Tuesday, the Danish Queen participated in a series of events in Hanoi in Northern Vietnam.

Various TOWNS in the provinces Phu Yen and Quang Ngai are FLOODED due to OVERFLOWING RIVERS. At some places the STREETS are FLOODED – the water depth is more than one meter according to the NEWS PORTAL VIETNAMNet.

The storm with winds of up to 133 km per hour and 600 millimeter rains hit the provinces Phu Yen, Binh Dinh, Quang Ngai and Khanh Hoa on Monday.
MIRINAE has destroyed more than 150 houses, and the roofs of several schools and health clinics have blown off.

This Monday alone, Vietnam Airlines cancelled 34 flights to and from the central part of the country.

nancyk58
05-11-2009, 02:56 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA 5 NOVEMBER 2009

The Philippines - GMA News.TV

Laiban and San Roque: two dams, two protest actions

(11/05/2009 | 06:22 AM - GMA News.TV)

The two dams might be hundreds of kilometers apart; one is operational, the other still to be built. But both the proposed Laiban dam in Tanay, Rizal province and the gigantic San Roque dam in San Manuel, Pangasinan province have already generated volumes of turbulent debate on the pros and cons of harnessing rivers in such a massive way.

Saying the Laiban Dam construction would only do harm than good, an indigenous peoples’ group opposed to the P50-billion dam project will seek a dialogue with the officials of the San Miguel Bulk Water Corporation on Monday next week.

Napoleon Buendicho, tribal governor of the indigenous group, said the dialogue would be their main agenda when they reach Manila on November 9 after their 148-kilometer march from General Nakar town in Quezon province.

“The construction of dam will deepen our POVERTY because it will destroy our means of livelihood. Not only that, it will also DESTROY Our CULTURAL TRADITION because it will submerge our communities and the sacred burial grounds of our forefathers," Buendicho said.

Dubbed as “Lakad Laban sa Laiban Dam," the long-range protest action commenced on Wednesday with representatives from indigenous peoples, environmentalists, and non-government organizations joining the march.

The planned Laiban dam will be constructed across the Kaliwa River in Tanay, Rizal by the water subsidiary of San Miguel Corp. (SMC) in partnership with two Japanese firms. The multi-billion project has been touted to be METRO MANILA’s “future water source."

The project is in line with the aim of Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) to address the national capital region's expected water supply deficit of 1,600 million liters per day by 2015.

CRITICS, however, rejected the project, claiming that it THREATENS the ENVIRONMENT and would render THOUSANDS of people HOMELESS and JOBLESS.

The march is led by environmental group Save the Sierra Madre Network (SSMN), together with Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) and the Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka (Pakisama).
Haribon Foundation, Freedom from Debt Coalition, Ysiro Land Farmers, Sagibin Indigenous People’s Organization, Green Convergence, Urban Poor Center for Community Action (UPCCA), COPE, Infanta Ecowaste Coalition, and the Prelature of Infanta, Quezon Province are also joining the protest.


SAN ROQUE DAM PROTEST

Meanwhile, other various groups are likewise set to hold a protest caravan against the SAN ROQUE DAM in PANGASINAN, which was blamed for THE MASSIVE FLOODING along the lower Agno river basin when Typhoon PEPENG hit northern LUZON last October.

Militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said it has been almost a month since the disaster devastated the province but nobody has been held accountable.

Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said that aside from distributing relief goods to calamity-stricken areas, the group will conduct a signature drive aimed at supporting the growing calls to shut down the dam or at least drastically reduce its operation.

“Our mobile sign-up drive hopes to gather as many signatures as we can. We also want to support the people and their local officials who are considering the filing of a case against the San Roque dam officials," he said.
The caravan will start from Quezon City, pass through Pangasinan, then up to Baguio City.

The caravan participants plan to distribute relief goods in Baguio and other areas in the Cordillera region that have been isolated or damaged by landslides during Pepeng’s destructive one-week spin across the region. – Aie Balagtas See, GMANews.TV


3 people feared dead in Isabela province floods

(11/05/2009 | 09:39 AM - GMA News.TV)

Three missing people in Isabela are feared dead in the wake of floods caused by three days of heavy rains in the province, the local police chief said Thursday.
Senior Superintendent Jimmy Rivera said the three - two from Santa Maria town and one from Ilagan town - were feared to have drowned."We have three missing presumed to have drowned Wednesday. One is in Ilagan and two in Santa Maria," Rivera said in an interview on dzXL radio.

In Casiguran town in Aurora province, meanwhile, a five-year-old boy was reported missing.
A report by dzBB radio's Ronald Leander identified the boy as Enrique Caiclian.

The report also said Calanguasan village in Casiguran remained flooded, while families evacuated from other flooded villages have started returning to their homes.
In Isabela, Rivera said, low-lying areas were badly hit by floods due to three days of continuous heavy rains, though he said the rains had stopped Thursday.

He also said there were LANDSLIDES in San Mariano and Benito Soliven towns but there were no reported casualties.

A pickup of the Department of Public Works and Highways fell into a 30-foot ravine while conducting rescue and clearing operations in Sta. Felomina village in Santa Maria. No casualty was reported.

Rivera said some 1,700 families or 32,700 people were displaced because of the floods.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said in its 6 a.m. Thursday report that at least 6,656 families from 31 villages in Ilagan, Benito Soliven, San Mateo and Delfin Albano towns in Isabela were evacuated.

A total of 24 families or 5,753 people were evacuated to the Carbonel Funeral Homes and Isabela National High School.

IMPASSABLE BRIDGES, ROADS

In Cagayan, the Tawi Overflow Bridge in Peñablanca, Pinacanauan Bridge in Tuguegarao City and Bagunut and Abusag overflow bridges in Baggao were impassable.

Also impassable were:
* Cansan Overflow Bridge in Cabagan; Pilig, Abajao and Pilig Alto villages
* Minanga Bridge in San Mariano connecting Poblacion
* Alicaocao Bridge in Cauayan City
* Diator Overflow Bridge in Angandanan connecting San Guillermo
* Sitio Pugo and Maluno Norte in Benito Soliven near Ilagan boundary
* Cabisera 4 village in Ilagan

FLOODS
At least 18 villages in Casiguran and Dilasag towns in Aurora were flooded, with waters going up to neck-deep levels.

The NDCC said 166 families or 795 people were brought to four evacuation centers.

It also said the Nueva Ecija-Aurora Road in Cabangan River in Villa Aurora village in Maria Aurora town was impassable due to floods.

DAMS

Angat Dam released water due to large inflows of water, opening its spillway gates at 11 p.m. Wednesday to allow the inflow to pass through the spillway.
The NDCC said that as of 4 a.m. Thursday, one gate was open.
"Residents near the river particularly in the municipalities of Norzagaray, Angat, San Rafael, Bustos, Baliwag, Pulilan and Hagonoy are advised to take all precautionary measures," it said.

GMANews.TV

nancyk58
06-11-2009, 12:45 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 6 NOVEMBER 2009

Pagasa: Finally, A STORM-FREE WEEKEND

(11/06/2009 | 08:21 AM GMA News.TV)

Except for RAINS due to the northeast monsoon, the Philippines may finally expect a CYCLONE-FREE WEEKEND after experiencing stormy ones since late September.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said there is no weather disturbance likely to affect the country this weekend.

"For now there is no weather disturbance likely to enter Philippine territory this weekend," Pagasa forecaster Arnel Gonzales said in an interview on dzBB radio Friday.

But Gonzales said there may still be some RAINS brought by the northeast monsoon in LUZON and VISAYAS. A WIND CONVERGENCE will affect Mindanao, he added. These may bring cloudy skies and rainshowers, he said.

Gonzales also said a low-pressure area (LPA) spotted east of Philippine territory is still too far to affect any part of the country.

"There is a possibility it may enter Philippine territory. November is a time powerful cyclones hit us. But there is also a possibility it may not pass through our area of responsibility," he said.

But in its 5 a.m. bulletin for Friday, Pagasa said the whole country will experience mostly cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and isolated thunderstorms.

Pagasa also said strong to gale force winds are expected to affect the seaboards of LUZON.

Only last weekend, Typhoon SANTI (Mirinae) charged through Southern Luzon and Bicol, leaving several people dead or missing.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said that as of Thursday, the DEATH TOLL from SANTI had gone up to 26, with six still missing and 12 injured.

Of the 26 fatalities, one was from Muntinlupa City in Metro Manila; 17 from Southern Luzon; and eight from the Bicol Region.

The six missing included one from Muntinlupa City, one from Camarines Norte, and four in Laguna.

GMANews.TV


NDCC: 'SANTI' DEATH TOLLL CLIMBS TO 29, DAMAGE NEARS P500M
(11/06/2009 | 12:27 PM - GMA News.TV)

The death toll from tropical cyclone "SANTI" (MIRINAE) rose further to 29 Friday morning while damage to property it caused neared the P500-million mark, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said.

In its 6 a.m. update, the NDCC said the fatalities included 11 from Laguna in Southern Luzon, and 10 from Camarines Norte in Bicol.

At least six remained missing, including four from Laguna, and one each from Muntinlupa City and from Camarines Norte.

The NDCC said at least 101,749 families or 483,490 people from 1,018 villages in 20 cities and 121 towns in 13 provinces were affected.

Of these, 3,635 families or 18,562 people remained in 95 evacuation centers.

Damage to property was estimated at P494.698 million, including P307.77 million in infrastructure, P97.968 million in agriculture, P37.05 million in fisheries and P45.41 million in schools.

Some 6,655 houses were destroyed while 27,385 were damaged.
Electricity was still being restored in some towns in Laguna, Quezon and Rizal provinces as of 6 a.m.

Impassable roads and bridges included the Paete-Famy Poblacion Road which was submerged in knee-deep floods; and Camarines Sur-Caramoan Peninsula Road.

GMANews.TV

Special Report: CHILD VICTIMS OF STORM ONDOY REMAIN TRAUMATIZED
(2009-11-06 08:12:45 - GMA News.TV)

OTHER HEADLINES :

A NIGHT OF MONSOON RAIN

BSP keeps rates unchanged to support rehab efforts

Deficit cap may be breached as govt spends for ONDOY, PEPENG DAMAGES


(Update) Storm Mirinae death toll in Vietnam climbs to 87

(11/04/2009 | 04:51 PM - GMA News.TV)

(Update) VIETNAM STORM DEATH TOLL RISES TO 91

(11/04/2009 | 09:47 PM - GMA News.TV)

HANOI, Vietnam — The DEATH TOLL from Tropical Storm MIRINAE ROSE TO 91 in VIETNAM on Wednesday as authorities stepped up rescue and relief operations in affected areas of the central region.

In the hardest-hit province of Phu Yen, 26 more deaths were reported as information trickled in from isolated areas, bringing the death toll there to 65, disaster official Dang Thi Lanh said Wednesday. An additional 13 people were missing.

Elsewhere in the region, the storm and flooding left 26 people dead and five others missing, according to disaster officials and the government's Web site.

In Phu Yen, soldiers in dozens of speed boats rushed instant noodles, water and clothes to victims in flooded areas who have gone hungry for the past several days, Lanh said. Three military helicopters were also dropping food to victims in isolated areas.

Although flood waters were beginning to recede, many areas remain inundated.

Authorities have evacuated nearly 15,000 people from Phu Yen. Some were rescued from rooftops, where they had scrambled to escape the overflowing Ha Thanh River.

In the neighboring province of Binh Dinh, two military helicopters dropped food and water to villagers still stranded in isolated areas, said Ho Quoc Dung, deputy chairman of the provincial People's Committee.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung sent a telegram late Tuesday urging local authorities to use all means to bring people still stranded to safety and provide them with temporary shelters and food, the government said on its Web site.

The storm and flooding also left 52 people injured, destroyed or damaged 14,000 homes, and damaged about 12,400 acres (5,000 hectares) of rice and other crops, according the national committee for flood and storm control.

MIRINAE hit the PHILIPPINES with TYPHOON strength over the weekend, KILLING 27 people before losing strength as it moved across the South China Sea toward VIETNAM .

Both VIETNAM and the PHILIPPINES were still recovering from Typhoon KETSANA, which brought the Philippine capital of MANILA its WORST FLOODING IN 40 YEARS when it struck in SEPTEMBER. KETSANA KILLED 160 people in VIETNAM.

In the PHILIPPINES, KETSANA and two later storms KILLED more than 900. Some 87,000 people who fled the storms were still living in temporary shelters when Mirinae struck. - AP

nancyk58
07-11-2009, 08:29 AM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 7 NOVEMBER 2009

TROPICAL CYCLONE SANTI DEATH TOLL CLIMBS TO 30

(11/07/2009 | 12:35 PM - GMA News.TV)

The death toll from tropical cyclone SANTI (Mirinae) rose to 30 on Saturday, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said.

In its 6 a.m. report, the NDCC said the latest fatality was from Camarines Norte in Bicol, adding the other fatalities were from Metro Manila and southern Luzon.

NDCC said the latest fatality was Arthur Tierra, 23, of Alayaw village in Capalonga town in Camarines Norte. It indicated he died of drowning.

At least six people remained missing, including one each in Bicol and Metro Manila and four in Laguna, while 20 were injured.

'Santi' affected at least 107,466 families or 510,161 people in 1,028 villages in 22 cities and 121 towns in 13 provinces.

Of these, 5,213 families or 24,954 people are staying in 123 evacuation centers.

At least 6,866 houses were destroyed while 28,211 were damaged.

Damage to property was estimated at P494.698 million, including P307.77 million in infrastructure and P97.968 million in agriculture and P37.05 million in fisheries.

Still impassable are San Isidro Bridge, Atillo Bridge and San Miguel Bridge in Majayjay, and Santo Angel Bridge, all in Laguna; Bridge of Promise along Batangas-Lobo Road and Colong-Colong Bridge along Palico-Balayan Road in Batangas; and the third concrete bridge along
Marikina-Infanta Road in Rizal.

Paete-Famy Poblacion Road is impassable to light vehicles due to knee-deep floodwaters, while Caramoan Peninsula Road along Presentacion-Maligaya section in Camarines Sur is passable to
motorcycles only. - GMANews.TV



IOM STARTS 2nd WAVE OF RELIEF WORK FOR RP CYCLONE VICTIMS

(11/07/2009 | 02:03 PM - GMA News.TV)

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has started the "second wave" of its relief work for victims of recent cyclones, distributing hygiene kits to 8,000 families.

An article on the IOM website said the hygiene kits, distributed to families in Muntinlupa City, is the second wave of its humanitarian aid.

It said the 8,000 families were among those affected by tropical cyclone "Santi" (Mirinae), the most recent cyclone to hit the country.

The IOM also distributed cleaning kits that included shovels, brooms, scrubs and gloves.

It said the distribution of the kits will continue through the end of the week in two of the hardest hit areas – Region IV-A (Calabarzon) and the National Capital Region (NCR).

Last October, IOM distributed 20,000 hygiene kits and water containers contributed by USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) to typhoon-affected families in the two areas.

Citing government figures, IOM said more than 60,000 families were affected by "Santi," straining the already stretched capacity of responding agencies.

IOM has appealed for some $10 million to provide health services, emergency shelter and non-food relief items for the victims, and to help the government organize evacuation centres and other displacement sites.

The UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), the European Commission (ECHO), and USAID (OFDA) have already committed nearly $2.25 million, which will allow IOM to help some 61,000 families over the next three.

GMANews.TV

nancyk58
08-11-2009, 05:46 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA 8 NOVEMBER 2009

MAGNITUDE 4 QUAKE ROCKS CENTRAL VISAYAS

(11/07/2009 | 06:07 PM - GMA News.TV)

A MILD QUAKE rocked parts of Central Visayas Saturday morning, but state seismologists said NO DAMAGE was REPORTED or EXPECTED.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the quake was recorded at 8:20 a.m. and measured at MAGNITUDE 4.

It said the quake was tectonic and was felt at Intensity IV in Tuburan, Cebu; Intensity III in Cebu City; and Intensity I in Canlaon City.

Phivolcs said NO DAMAGE or AFTERSHOCK was EXPECTED.

GMANews.TV

nancyk58
09-11-2009, 06:14 PM
Update of the situation in Southeast Asia on 10 November 2009

No relevant news from GMA News.TV (the Philippines) - which is really GOOD NEWS

I have found the article below from the latest Unicef newsletter received 30 October 2009 describing UNICEF's WORK in connection with a natural disaster:

Help for victims of flooding in the Philippines

29-09-2009 - The devastation in the Philippines after the tropical storm Ketsana was enormous. Many thousands of children and families were on the run. UNICEF started distributing emergency and continued efforts the following days.

Assistance was out within 24 hours

Less than 24 hours after the tropical storm hit the capital Manila on 25 September, UNICEF was ready with both food and other relief to those affected. At the same time, UNICEF assisted the Filipino Social and Development Ministry in providing temporary shelter to the many who were forced to flee their homes.

More than one million affected by floods

As the tropical storm hit, the equivalent of one month's rain fell in just 12 hours. This resulted in large parts of Manila being flooded, and more than one million people were affected by the aftermath of the storm. 226,000 people fled their homes and were seeking refuge in 200 evacuation centers. In total 24 provinces in the country were concerned.

Shocking devastation

UNICEF chief in the Philippines, Vanessa Tobin, was even around the capital to look at the devastation: "I am shocked at the extent of damage in various areas, but I am also impressed by the cooperation and generosity manifesting itself in the city . Many have opened their homes for some of their country men who were more affected by this natural disaster, "says Tobin.

More help on the way

Vanessa Tobin said that UNICEF is already underway with more help: "Over the next 48 hours we will, among other things distribute water purification tablets and equipment to ensure clean water and packets / kits of the most necessary medical equipment. At the same time, we will distribute family kits containing, inter alia blankets and soap. We will also assist the government and other organizations in getting their help out to the right people," said Vanessa Tobin.

New storms expected (NOTE: written on 29 September 2009)

UNICEF is concerned for the future. The death toll is expected to rise, and we know from experience that children and families suffer a major health risk after flooding, when many refugees are assembled in small areas without clean water. Two new tropical storms were (THEN) on the way to the Philippines.

Make a difference for children affected by disasters.
Support UNICEF's emergency preparedness

I have one more very interesting article from this UNICEF NEWSLETTER (it will be posted in the near future) NANCY

nancyk58
10-11-2009, 08:26 PM
Updates of the situation in Southeast Asia

No relevant news from the Philippines on GMA NEWS.TV

No relevant news is good news.

Below you will find an interesting report from Tomas Jensen, a Communications Specialist employed by UNICEF, giving an insight into the relief work done by UNICEF after the tsunami struck SAMOA and TONGA.

Tomas Jensen writes from his UNICEF Pacific Office (SAMOA and TONGA)

Tomas Jensen
Communications Specialist
the UNICEF office in Fiji.

Office is currently working with the serious consequences of the Tsunami in SAMOA and TONGA.
When time permits, he writes home to the UNICEF website on the situation and ongoing relief work.


SUVA, on Saturday, 3 OCTOBER, 2009 in the morning

Three days after the tsunami hit Samoa and Tonga:

We have worked around the clock to send a UNICEF team to Samoa to ensure children and women quick and necessary help. We have also sent the first relief supplies and information materials off. It is clear now that this is a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions, and it will take a long time and many resources to get the affected areas back on their feet again. We need all the help we can get – to start with to have children vaccinated against measles, and to ensure that children and women are not subjected to physical abuse and that they have access to basic health services. We also have to restore sanitation in large areas. At least 150 people died, most of them children and elderly. In addition, more than 15,000 have been affected – having lost homes and possessions. There are also reports of entire villages that are deserted and totally ravaged.
Tomas Jensen, UNICEF Pacific


SUVA, on Monday, 5 OCTOBER, 2009 in the morning

Our UNICEF colleagues in Samoa report that about 3,500 people have lost everything as a result of Tuesday's tsunami. It is estimated that many more - up to 15,000 - are affected, including 9,000 children. 135 have died - including many women and children. The devastation is enormous. 40 villages have been badly affected, out of these 20 villages are completely ravaged. Three schools in the south of Samoa, which was hardest hit, are also destroyed. The many affected are frightened and the children are without basic healthcare services and supplies to care for their many physical injuries. They do not have access to water and the environment is not safe. TONGA is also affected, but to a lesser extent.

UNICEF cooperates with the local authorities and other international organizations to re-establish safe and secure environment for the children, and to re-establish schools. It is estimated that damage in Samoa alone financially amounts to more than 800 million Danish kroner. For a country like Samoa with a population of around 188,000 people and an annual gross domestic product of less than 25,000 Danish kroner per capita, the social and economic implications of Tuesday's tsunami are enormous / incalculable.
UNICEF needs your support to help the affected girls and boys in Samoa and Tonga back on their feet.
Tomas Jensen, UNICEF Pacific


SUVA, on Thursday 8 OCTOBER, 2009 in the evening

Children and adults in Samoa and elsewhere again got a fright, as there was yet another tsunami alert / warning in the Pacific at about 10:30 this morning. Several earthquakes hit the region around the island nation Vanuatu, but fortunately it did not result in more than the fright. From my colleagues in Samoa I can understand that the fright and fear could be traced clearly in the children and adults who had to flee in order to reach a higher location away from the water. They are all still very affected by last week's disaster and most of them swear that they will never again return to the water.

In FIJI, we were also forced to send most people home, because the UNICEF Pacific office is located at the port in the capital SUVA. In the afternoon, when the alert / warning was lifted, we received the latest update from our colleagues in Samoa. Rescue work has progressed well and the water supply has been restored in the affected areas. Schools also reopened, but for children in the hardest-hit areas, there is no school. Five schools are completely destroyed and there is no transport to schools further away. In addition, many children's school uniforms washed away during the tsunami, and without school uniforms they cannot attend school. Therefore UNICEF is now focused on organizing school buses, and on ensuring that the affected children receive new school uniforms. Tomas Jensen, UNICEF Pacific


SUVA on Thursday, 15 OCTOBER, 2009 in the morning

In SAMOA, children have access to water again and are back in school. Relief work has changed from emergency relief to longer-term rehabilitation of the water supply, schools and health care in the most affected areas.
We have trained school and health professionals to work with psychosocial support of the many affected children who have lost family, friends and everything they owned. In a few days, together with the local health authorities, we will start vaccinating all the children against measles.
It is important that they are vaccinated now, because many children in Samoa are not vaccinated against measles, which can infect very quickly and be very deadly now, when many children are lumped together under unhygienic conditions.

In the medium term, UNICEF will continue to deliver clean water to families who have lost their homes, ensuring transportation of school children to the schools which are again operational and establishing temporary schools in large tents supplied by UNICEF.

In the longer term we plan to help to re-establish the water supply, sanitation and schools in the affected areas. We will also continue our long-standing efforts to overcome the psychological traumas this tsunami has created for children and their families. It is a long way before everyday life has returned to children and young people in Samoa, but we have begun well, and are well under way.

Tomas Jensen, UNICEF Pacific

Tomas Jensen
Communications Specialist
the UNICEF office in Fiji.

Office is currently working with the serious consequences of the Tsunami in Samoa and Tonga.
When time permits, he writes home to the UNICEF website on the situation and ongoing relief work.

This report was a part of the UNICEF newsletter I received at the end of October 2009.

nancyk58
11-11-2009, 12:14 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 11 NOVEMBER 2009

2 KILLED BY STRONG CENTRAL INDONESIAN QUAKE

(11/09/2009 | 10:50 AM - GMA News.TV)

(Updated 11:59 a.m.) JAKARTA, Indonesia — A strong undersea earthquake killed two people and damaged buildings on the remote island of Sumbawa in central Indonesia, officials said Monday.

At least 20 people were hospitalized on the island after the 6.7-magnitude temblor, many of them with broken bones, said Rustam Pakaya, the head of the Health Ministry's crisis center. He said at least 40 people were injured.

The quake struck at 3:41 a.m. local time (19:41 GMT) near a small island chain just east of the Lombok resort island. It had a depth of 11 miles (17.7 kilometers) and the epicenter was about 830 miles (1,335 kilometers) east of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.

TWO people were KILLED in a part of Sumbawa called Ambalawe, local government spokesman Abdul Wahab Usman said.

"They were hit by a collapsing building," Usman said. "There are believed to be many injuries, but we are still checking."

The quake damaged streets and schools, while a LANDSLIDE blocked a main road linking the town of Bima to the remote districts, he said.

Indonesia is still clearing the rubble from a devastating 7.6 magnitude QUAKE on WEST SUMATRA that killed more than 1,100 people in September.

Indonesia, a vast island nation of 235 million people, straddles a series of fault lines, making it extremely prone to volcanic and seismic activity. - AP


MAGNITUDE-4.8 QUAKE ROCKS MINDANAO

(11/11/2009 | 08:35 AM - GMA News.TV)

A magnitude-4.8 quake rocked parts of Mindanao early Wednesday, as a result of the movement at Philippine fault zone, state seismologists said.

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) head Renato Solidum Jr. said there was no damage expected from the quake.

"The Philippine fault zone moved, and the quake was felt at Intensity III in Butuan City, Surigao City and Dinagat Island," Solidum said in an interview on dzBB radio.

Wednesday's quake occurred less than five hours after an ash explosion at Mayon Volcano in Bicol, but Solidum said there was no connection between the two incidents.

On the other hand, the United States Geological Service (USGS) said the quake was recorded at 6:27 a.m., with the epicenter traced to 30 km northwest of Butuan.

It said the epicenter was also 70 km south-southwest of Surigao, 105 km northeast of Cagayan de Oro City, or 770 km southeast of Manila.

GMANews.TV

nancyk58
12-11-2009, 03:04 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 12 NOVEMBER 2009

CLINTON ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL $5.2-M US DISASTER AID TO RP

(11/12/2009 | 08:58 PM - GMA News.TV)

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced on Thursday that her government will give an additional $5.2 MIO IN DISASTER RELIEF and RECOVERY ASSISTANCE to the PHILIPPINES, following a series of destructive storms that hit the country the past two months.

Clinton made the announcement after her visit to the Malanday National High School in Marikina City, one of Metro Manila areas worst hit by floods brought by Typhoon ONDOY.

The State secretary said the additional funds, which come on top of more than $14 million in rescue and relief aid that the US has already given the country, should be used to meet the needs of those affected by the cyclones and for the government’s DISASTER PREPAREDNESS EFFORTS.

“I was saddened as so many here (were affected by) the recent storms and flooding. I want to convey the sympathy of the Obama administration and the US to the Philippines. You have shown great resolve in these great calamities," Clinton said in a speech in Malacañang.

As Clinton arrived at the high school, she was greeted and applauded by students who waved Philippine and American flaglets in warm welcome, while she smiled and waved back. The students had been waiting for Clinton since noon.

Clinton, together with Education secretary Jesli Lapus, also opened a book fair at the Malanday National High School where she DONATED 50,000 BOOKS. She also DONATED DESKS and ELECTRIC FANS to the HIGH SCHOOL, which had lost much of its equipment due to the floods caused by ONDOY.

Security was tight during Clinton’s visit to the area, with policemen securing the school’s perimeter while the top State official went the rounds.

3 CYCLONES – ONDOY, PEPENG and SANTI – battered various parts of LUZON the past two months, killing hundreds and leaving thousands homeless due to widespread FLOODING and LANDSLIDES.

Andreo C. Calonzo, GMANews.TV

HILLARY CLINTON LIKELY TO VISIT RP TYPHOON VICTIMS
(11/10/2009 | 01:03 PM - GMA News.TV)

While she will have just 24 HOURS IN MANILA, US SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON will likely try to squeeze in a visit to typhoon victims in her packed schedule, the US ambassador to the Philippines said Tuesday.

US Ambassador Kristie Ann Kenney said in a radio interview that they are trying to fit in a POSSIBLE VISIT TO A RELIEF CENTER so Clinton can show her “SOLIDARITY" with the VICTIMS of recent cyclones “ONDOY" (KETSANA) and “PEPENG" (PARMA), which caused MASSIVE FLOODING in portions of METRO MANILA the Ilocos, Cagayan, CENTRAL LUZON, SOUTHERN LUZON, and Cordillera regions.

“She wants to show SOLIDARITY WITH the PHILIPPINE PEOPLE in the wake of the STORMS and TYPHOONS. We are still developing her schedule but we very much expect to include a VISIT TO A RELIEF SITE so she can get a chance to see how people are doing and see how else we can continue to help our Philippine friends," Kenney told dzBB radio in an interview.

During the recent cyclones that hit the Philippines, hundreds of US troops helped in the rescue and relief efforts. [Reference to this article: US troops help Philippines as storm toll tops 600 dated 10/11/2009 | 03:13 PM). In ONDOY and PEPENG’s aftermath, Philippine officials asked US TROOPS, who were in the country for an annual military exercise, to help with RELIEF OPERATIONS. About 700 US Marines and sailors were on hand to help out.

The AMERICAN SOLDIERS ASSISTED the Philippine military in DISTRIBUTING RELIEF GOODS to calamity-stricken provinces.

Japan-based American troops also helped in CLEANUP WORK in METRO MANILA, which experienced the WORST FLOODING in over 40 years after ONDOY dumped RECORD RAINS on SEPTEMBER 26.

APEC MEETING

Clinton's visit to the country on Thursday and Friday will come ahead of her trip to Singapore for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting.

During her stay in the Philippines, Clinton will also talk with Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo and President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
In Tuesday’s interview, Kenny said Clinton would likely discuss other issues such as making global jobs available to people. “I think she’ll be approaching much more in how can we keep working together and how we can use that influence in the region," Kenney said.

Other topics that Clinton may take up with Romulo may include global issues like developments in Burma and North Korea, the economy, and “probably" counter-terrorism and climate change.

“You know, the issues that affect not only America and the Philippines but our other Asian neighbors as well," she said.

PHILIPPINE POLITICS

Kenney said Clinton may also take up Philippine politics, but insisted the Secretary of State will not go into the specifics or endorse any candidate. She said Clinton will likely be more interested in a good election and a good transition of government.

“It will be interesting to see how it goes. You cannot possibly be in the Philippines now without being caught up in election fever," Kenney said.

“Sec. Clinton does not want to get into specific politics, she’s not going to support any one candidate or interfere in one way but I am sure she’ll be excited to think about a good election coming up how it will be transparent, a good transition between governments," she added.

with reports from Sophia Dedace, GMANews.TV

nancyk58
13-11-2009, 02:17 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 13 NOVEMBER 2009

THE PHILIPPINES


390 FAMILIES IN ALBAY EVACUATED DUE TO MAYON 'THREAT'

(11/13/2009 | 08:57 AM - GMA News.TV)

At least 390 families in Albay province in Bicol were preemptively evacuated amid increased activity at Mayon Volcano.

Radio dzRH reported that the 390 families, or 1,665 people, from two villages in Daraga town were brought to the Daraga Supermarket for temporary shelter.

The report said the town's local officials will meet Friday with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) to discuss the activity of the volcano.

Earlier, Phivolcs advised residents to take precautions as Mayon spewed ash into the air before dawn last Wednesday.

Phivolcs head Renato Solidum Jr. said residents should clean their surroundings after an ash fall as the ash poses a health hazard.

"We have to remind our residents that ash poses a health hazard. Avoid the ash when possible. In case of an ash fall, close your windows if you are indoors. If outdoors, cover your nose with a handkerchief or a damp cloth", Solidum said in an interview on dzBB radio.

He said ash fall remains possible even when Mayon is still under Alert Level 2. Phivolcs placed Mayon under Alert Level 2 last July 10.

Solidum also advised residents to remove the ash from streets in their surroundings immediately after an ash fall, or at least pour water on them so the ash particles will not fly.

On Wednesday, Mayon spewed ash more than a kilometer into the air but Phivolcs said there was no basis to raise the alert level for the volcano.

In the meantime, Solidum said Phivolcs continues to keep watch over Mayon, particularly for a possible magmatic eruption.
"We do not see a magmatic eruption soon but neither can we discount it at this time. It is always possible that volcanic activity will continue," he said.

He advised residents in the area to continue observing the 6-km permanent danger zone around the volcano, and the 7-km extended danger zone in the Legazpi City-Daraga area.

GMANews.TV

----------------------------------

INDONESIA:

REBUILDING LIVES AND BUILDINGS IN THE AFTERMATH OF WEST SUMATRA’s EARTHQUAKE

http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/indonesia_51580.html

By Lely Djuhari

PARIAMAN, Indonesia, 29 October, 2009 – It was the sudden, eerie stillness at her family’s small paddy field that gave Cici Yuhendri, age 11, an impending sense of catastrophe. The usual cacophony of the birds disappeared minutes before an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter-scale devastated her home in Indonesia’s West Sumatra Province.

“The earth beneath me shook from side to side,” she recalled. “Then, it jolted up and down; my knees buckled and all I could do was to collapse and whisper my prayers.”

Cici dropped her stick, which she used for shooing away the birds feasting on the harvest-ready rice plants. She fell to the ground and clung to a clump of golden yellow stalks.

HOMES DESTROYED
When the quake subsided she called out to her older sister and raced back to their home – to their dismay, it had been levelled. Her mother and father, however, were safe. Her baby brother spent the next few nights refusing to leave his mother’s arms.

Less than a week after the earthquake, Cici rejoined her friends at the local junior high school where now they are able to share experiences and comfort each other. Many children have expressed their fears for the future—of more earthquakes, more building collapses and the inability to rebuild their lives.
To assist children in their recovery UNICEF and the Department of Social Affairs that has set up a joint Child Protection secretariat.
“Children are resilient (robust). With the right support from their families and communities, it is amazing how they can cope,” said UNICEF Representative in Indonesia Angela Kearney.

INTENSIVE TRAINING
Intensive training is being provided to teachers and social workers on how to recognize psychosocial needs and provide support.
According to official figures from the government’s National Disaster Management Agency, more than a thousand people died following the 30 September earthquake. But an important aspect of work now is to support those who survived.Many children have lost parents or have been taken into the care of relatives, friends and neighbours. Others are known to have left the area after the quake. However, the government estimates that more than one million people were affected by the earthquake, of which one-third are believed to be children. Helping them live through the coming weeks and months is a priority for UNICEF.

SUPPORTIVE TEACHERS
“My teachers were very kind and told me not to worry. Without them, I wouldn’t have come back to school. They are very supportive and told us to talk to our friends as much as we want; about anything,” Cici said.
“My mathematics homework was just lying there in the dark last night. This stuff about the mean, modus and averages used to be so easy but now it is just flying about in my head.”
Apart from the social worker and teacher networks, UNICEF is also supporting an Indonesian faith-based foundation, Muhammadiyah, with tents, educational toys, books and games. Nine children’s centres have already been established in Pariaman and three other districts affected by the quake.


RAPID ASSESSMENT
In the child-friendly spaces, children have the opportunity to play games, sing, dance and painting, all of which will help them to reduce feelings of isolation. The centres’ activities are also designed to help trained workers to identify those children showing signs of more serious distress, so that they can be provided with more specific support.
UNICEF has also supported the Ministry of Social Affairs to undertake a rapid assessment of broader child protection concerns in Padang City, Pariaman City and Pariaman District, which found that there is currently no evidence of family separation, movement of children to other locations or trafficking. That is certainly good news, but the task of helping children rebuild their lives after the West Sumatra earthquake remains at the forefront of UNICEF’s activities.


BREASTFEEDING ENCOURAGED FOR QUAKE-AFFECTED INDONESIAN MOTHERS

By Lely Djuhari

PADANG, Indonesia, 4 November 2009 – The stacks of formula milk in a former ballroom in the city of Padang, West Sumatra, had to be quickly removed. Though generosity motivated local companies to donate these supplies in response to the 30 September earthquake here, such donations could have proved fatal.
In a crisis such as this, continued breastfeeding for infants is a far safer alternative to milk substitutes, which can be mixed with contaminated water and cause serious diarrhoeal disease.

BREASTFEEDING REMINDERS
Working closely with the Ministry of Health after the disaster struck, UNICEF quickly called local and national radio stations, asking them to broadcast requests to stop milk-substitute donations. Volunteers from a partner organization reminded mothers at temporary shelters not to stop breastfeeding.
The result of these appeals – including a ban on the direct distribution of formula milk to survivors’ babies – was largely positive.

“In disasters, given the likelihood of poorer environmental conditions such as the lower availability of safe water, it is crucial for mothers to continue breastfeeding their children instead of resorting to formula milk,” said UNICEF Representative in Indonesia Angela Kearney.

INFANT FEEDING IN EMERGENCIES
The day after the earthquake, UNICEF distributed information on infant feeding in emergencies to humanitarian communities and local authorities. This material was used by Muhammadiyah, Indonesia’s second biggest faith-based organization, which had sent volunteers to distribute aid in a remote village in Agam District.When these volunteers approached Desi Fitria, who was eight-months pregnant at the time, she expressed apprehension about delivering her baby at the end of October.
“The health centre I used to go to is completely destroyed. I may have to go to the one about two hours away,” she said.
Despite such worries, she seemed relieved after listening to the volunteers’ advice - that breastfeeding in the first hour after birth, and exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months, would provide her baby with critical antibodies and nutrition for a healthy start in life.
“It’s so much easier to breastfeed. I don’t have to worry about boiling water and cleaning cups, teats or bottles from there,” she said, pointing to the lake that she and others at a temporary shelter were using as a water source.

DANGEROUS AID
Previous experiences in Indonesia have shown that infant formula and powdered milk are common donations during emergencies. Unfortunately, these products are often distributed in an uncontrolled manner and consumed by infants and children who would otherwise be breastfed.

Results of a UNICEF assessment carried out one month after the Yogyakarta earthquake in 2006 indicated that three out of four families with children under six months old had received donations of infant formula. This led to an increase in infant formula consumption from 32 per cent before the earthquake to 43 per cent afterwards.

The rate of diarrhoea amongst infants less than six months old who received donations of infant formula were twice that of those who did not. On average, the rate of diarrhoea amongst children between six months and 23 months was five times the pre-earthquake rate.

Such statistics underscore the importance of teaching continued breastfeeding during and after emergencies.

GUARANTEEING HEALTH AND GROWTH
Exclusive breast-feeding for the first six months of an infant's life followed by continued breastfeeding – with the appropriate supplementation – until the age of two is the single most effective means of guaranteeing infants’ health and growth.
Infants who are breastfed in their early childhood grow to be bigger, stronger and better educated than those who are not.
With campaigns to socialize the practice of breastfeeding by mothers of young infants being intensified throughout the country, communities facing sudden emergencies and natural disasters are becoming increasingly prepared to care for their infants under these stressful conditions.

http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/indonesia_51629.html

nancyk58
16-11-2009, 03:10 PM
I have not posted on the humanitarian threads during the past week-end simply because I couldn't find relief work-related news to report on Unicef's, Red Cross' or GMA News.TV's websites. NANCY / nancyk58



UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 16 NOVEMBER 2009

The latest news from UNICEF's Press Centre (UNICEF)

Future generations in jeopardy unless urgent efforts are made to tackle undernutrition

UNICEF Deputy Executive Director calls for immediate action to tackle food shortages in areas of Southern Sudan

Statement by UNICEF Regional Director about the escalation in Northern Yemen

UNICEF Executive Director raises child health and child rights in Mali

UNICEF to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child


EDUCATION PROVIDES A FUTURE FOR CHILDREN IN EARTHQUAKE-AFFECTED PAKISTAN

(By Jasmine Pittenger - http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/pakistan_46013.html )

MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan, 5 November 2009 – The earthquake that devastated this region in 2005 was a catastrophe for schoolchildren in Pakistan. An estimated 17,000 students were killed in their classrooms, and 6,000 schools damaged or destroyed.
For teachers and students, the events of that October morning are burned into their memories.

“We were taking our tests when everything started shaking,” recalls Iqura Rehman, 10. “The teacher said, ‘Run,’ so we ran. We weren’t able to understand what was happening.... We thought that everything was finished.”

UNICEF supplied a temporary school in a tent was pitched amidst the destruction. Within a month, classes resumed. Still, parents hesitated to send their children to school.

“So many children lost their lives in schools, it was not easy to convince parents to send them back,” says teacher Nabila Kiani. “We teachers went from house-to-house to ask parents to send their children back to school.”

THE NEW SCHOOL
Now, with help from UNICEF, girls in a quake-affected migrant village have a new school. The Mohajir Colony Government Girls’ School is one of 100 schools built by UNICEF as of last month, with 186 more due to be completed by the end of 2010. Nearly every day during the school's construction, young girls would travel down the narrow path to peek into a window and imagine what was to come.

“When they were building our new school, we were already happy and excited,” says fourth-grader Zeenat Ghutam, 10. “We knew it was for us, but we weren’t expecting it to be so beautiful. On the first day of school, a month ago, I had a feeling I don’t have words for. How can I explain what it’s like to walk into a school that’s more beautiful than our own homes?”

IMPORTANT ROLE FOR TEACHERS

Rehabilitation became an opportunity to ‘build back better.’ This means that the 286 new schools being built with UNICEF support are earthquake-safe. “We’re not scared now because this is a new building, not like our old school, and we know it’s earthquake-safe,” says fourth-grader Shazia Ali Lone. Teachers have played an important role in helping the government, with UNICEF assistance, to re-enrol about 428,000 children, including over 186,000 girls. The enrolment drive includes 36,000 children who were out of school prior to the earthquake.


“My mother helps me with my homework,” says Zeenat. “She can only do this because she went to school. TO EDUCATE A GIRL IS TO EDUCATE A WHOLE FAMILY. We know that women doctors are much needed in our country.”

BUILDING A STABLE FUTURE

The new schools are spacious, with at least one square metre of classroom space per child. They promote good hygiene through sanitary toilets and handwashing stations. Teachers are trained in child-friendly methods to support and empower children and are prohibited from using corporal punishment.

School tents and emergency supplies such as School-in-a-Box kits, blackboards, recreational kits, furniture and textbooks were also provided.

“EDUCATED WOMEN are far more likely to have EDUCATED CHILDREN,” says UNICEF Deputy Representative in Pakistan Luc Chauvin. “WOMEN WITH ACTIVE VOICES IN THEIR FAMILY's ECONOMIC LIVES are better at ensuring that the family’s resources go toward building a more stable future. We also know that women with at least a basic education are proven to have FEWER, HEALTHIER and BETTER-NOURISHED CHILDREN.”


RELATED (NOT NEW) STORIES from http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/pakistan_ xxxx.html

'Building back better' for students in earthquake-affected Pakistan
By Solmaz Dabiri - SHATAY VILLAGE, Pakistan, 17 October 2008
(http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/pakistan_46013.html)

Sabnan’s story: Support for the most vulnerable in Pakistan quake aftermath
By Antonia Paradela - BALOCHISTAN, Pakistan, 31 October 2008

A model school for girls and boys is building back after Pakistan floods By Fatima Raja - BALOCHISTAN, Pakistan, 3 October 2007

nancyk58
17-11-2009, 06:43 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 17 NOVEMBER 2009

PHILIPPINE FIRMS PREPARE FOR THE NEXT 'ONDOY' AND 'PEPENG'

(11/17/2009 | 07:04 PM - GMA News.TV)

The devastation caused by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng prompted listed companies to ramp up their allocation for disaster recovery program.

At a briefing at the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday, company officials cited measures such as ensuring that all operating units have adequate power supply even during period of prolonged power outage and activating emergency responses during calamities.

Officials of Manila Water Co. Inc., SM Investments Corp., San Miguel Pure Foods Inc. and Robinsons Land Corp. admitted that their operations and businesses were affected by the destructive weather disturbances.

Pure Foods, according to company president Francisco Alejo III, had suffered damages of goods and property worth P1.5 billion.

“Calamities have to be factored in," Alejo said.

Most of the damage were on the company's plant in Marikina City, where Pure Foods kept stocks of processed meat products, and its warehouse in Pasig City.

Despite this, Alejo said most of the damages were covered by insurance.

Meanwhile, SM Investments had to do some “engineering changes" such as placing their power sources on the upper portion of the building.

“We have old and new malls. In the past, power sources are in the basement," said Cora Guidote, SM Investments vice president for investor relations

Two SM malls were affected by the flooding – SM Centerpoint in Sta. Mesa, Manila and SM Rosales in Pangasinan. SM has network of 35 malls and 111 stores in the country.

Because the two SM malls had to be temporarily closed for rehabilitation, some 6,200 workers are also presently out of work.

Guidote said SM was committed to expedite the rehabilitation of the malls within two months to help their displaced workers.

Henry Yap, RLC general manager, said that because of the calamities, his company's building management team's capability is being reviewed and modified according to the needs of their mall and BPO office tenants, mostly run by foreign groups.

Metro East, one of RLC's malls, was flooded on the lower floors.

Owing to the massive flooding, Yap said, Filipinos may begin to favor residing in high-rise buildings.

Frank Beaumont, Manila Water group director, said that before the flooding some of their units had no power generators. After Ondoy and Pepeng, however, the company has ensured that all their units had a minimum three-day standby power supply.
Cheryl M. Arcibal, GMANews.TV
_______

UNICEF DENMARK - GIFTS FOR CHRISTMAS THAT YOUR FRIENDS DO NOT NEED

Gifts your friends do not need (verdensgaver = world gifts)

17-11-2009 - Skip the traditional Christmas gift / present and give instead a gift that really helps. This is the invitation of UNICEF, which - on Verdensgaver.dk - sells gifts of the sort that your friends do not need.

Mosquito nets and vaccines

On Verdensgaver.dk UNICEF has set a number of its most popular products for sale. However, it is not the classic well-selling articles such as Christmas cards or sweatshirts with the UNICEF logo, but mosquito nets, vaccines and other help / relief articles / items, saving children's lives in developing countries.

Christmas gift
Gifts from Verdensgaver.dk do not take up space under the Christmas tree. UNICEF sends the gift to children needing help. When you buy a World Gift, you will receive a gift certificate, which, for example, you can give as a Christmas gift.

Carefully selected among UNICEF's help / relief articles
World gifts are carefully chosen among the many special items that every day throughout the year, UNICEF sends to children in the world's poorest countries. There is an urgent need for these things, and UNICEF knows from experience that the organization makes a huge difference for the children who receive them.

Gifts / donations save lives

This year, UNICEF sells 23 different World Gifts. You can buy:

Mosquito nets for five families for (the equivalent of ) 179 Danish kroner: They protect children against the malaria mosquito, which is Africa's biggest killer despite its modest size.

120 vaccines for (the equivalent of) 150 Danish kroner: These vaccines protect children against infectious diseases such as polio and measles.

Powder against dehydration for (the equivalent of) 453 Danish kroner: The powder restores the fluid balance of children whose lives are threatened by dehydration due to diarrhoea.

Nutritious (nourishing) nut mixture for (the equivalent of) 261 Danish kroner.
Effective treatment of malnourished children. Three packs a day for a couple of weeks are enough to save a child's life.

View all gifts at Verdensgaver.dk



I was on the internet googling "Unicef gifts" to find some online UNICEF shops in various countries. I not only found that but also found (and saw)

The Gift - a short film from UNICEF UK. It is a dramatisation of a new poem by Simon Armitage, narrated by actress GWYNETH PALTROW.
Watch the film and support our Born Free from HIV campaign to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. thegift.unicef.org.uk/

Inspired Gifts Helps Fight HIV: UNICEF's Store Offers Christmas gifts. Inspired Gifts, an online store run by UNICEF, offers Christmas and holiday presents that help fight HIV by supporting the work being done around the world. aidshiv.suite101.com/article.../inspired_gifts_helps_fight_hiv

Shop UNICEF :: U.S. Fund for UNICEF - UNICEF USA
When you purchase UNICEF Cards & Gifts you are doing much more than sending a goodwill gesture. You are making a real difference in the lives of children.
www.unicefusa.org/shop/

UNICEF USA: Inspired Gifts
Since 1947, the US Fund for UNICEF has supported the work of UNICEF by fundraising for its programs and increasing public awareness of the challenges. inspiredgifts.unicefusa.org/

Home | Shop UNICEF Canada
Shop UNICEF · Cards & Gifts · Gifts of Magic · Education Resources ... Learn about UNICEF's work for children and how your support can help us. www.shopunicef.ca/

Gifts of Magic | Shop UNICEF Canada
Learn about UNICEF's work for children and how your support can help us fulfill our mission. Help · Gifts of Magic - www.unicefgiftsofmagic.ca/

Cards & Gifts - www.supportunicef.org/catalog/
If your country is not listed below, we are sorry that UNICEF products are not yet available. Click Here to locate your local UNICEF. www.supportunicef.org/catalog/

Buy cards and gifts - UNICEF UK - Homepage
www.unicef.org.uk/store/

UNICEF Inspired Gifts | Charity Christmas Cards & Gifts | United.
UNICEF Inspired Gifts virtual charity gifts provide real, life saving and changing items to children and communities throughtout the world.

www.charity-gifts.org/unicef-shop.php

Verdensgaver.dk (Unicef Danmark)

I saw the Gift and it was really good:D - I am glad to see that Gwyneth is supporting this good cause:) - go see it yourself: The GIFT - a short film from UNICEF UK. - a dramatisation of a new poem by Simon Armitage, NARRATED BY actress GWYNETH PALTROW. Watch the film and support our Born Free from HIV campaign to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. thegift.unicef.org.uk/

nancyk58
18-11-2009, 02:02 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 18 NOVEMBER 2009

Weather forecast for the Philippines today: 23°C to 32°C.

At 2 p.m. Wednesday, a shallow low-pressure area (SLPA) was estimated at 590 km east of Mindanao while a northeast monsoon affects northern Luzon.

------------------------

At the thread "Help Red Cross and Unicef help victims of natural disasters" I have posted an interesting article from:

http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.94aae335470e233f6cf911df43181aa0/?vgnextoid=e370f2fa2f305210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCR D with the title:

"American Red Cross Launches “Gifts that Save the Day” Holiday Campaign

New survey shows many people will cut holiday activities, but still plan to give to charities"

A central part of the article:

"Through the online catalog at www.redcross.org/gifts, people can make a donation that could provide food and shelter for a disaster victim for a day; a military comfort kit with a robe, phone card and other supplies for a wounded warrior; or a month of basic necessities for a family in another country who lost everything in a disaster.

In addition, the online catalog provides an opportunity for people to give a charitable gift while doing their online shopping. Although retail sales are projected to remain flat this holiday season, online holiday gift-giving is expected to grow by 4 percent.

Gifts made through the catalog are contributions towards a Red Cross program area, not a donation to a specific project or item. The donations will be used to provide assistance where it is needed most within the program area; remaining money is put to use where it is needed most."

nancyk58
19-11-2009, 04:23 PM
Updates of the situation in Southeast Asia on 19 November 2009

Weather for the Philippines on the 19 November 2009
(22°C to 31°C).

At 2 p.m. Thursday, a shallow low-pressure area (SLPA) was estimated based on satellite and surface data at 450 km east of northern Mindanao while a northeast monsoon affects Luzon and Visayas.

No relevant news on the websites of Red Cross and Unicef or GMA News.TV.

nancyk58
20-11-2009, 06:55 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 20 NOVEMBER 2009 – THE PHILIPPINES

GMA News.TV

Weather forecast: (21°C to 33°C). At 2 p.m. Friday, a low-pressure area (LPA) was estimated based on satellite and surface data at 200 km east of Mindanao while a northeast monsoon affects northern Luzon.


PINOYS JOIN RAISE YOUR VOICE CAMPAIGN ON CLIMATE CHANGE

11/20/2009 | 07:37 PM – GMA News.TV

A six-minute amateur video featuring dramatic footage that showed the devastation caused by tropical storm ONDOY is the lone Philippine entry in a YouTube campaign to raise awareness on the issue of climate change.

In a news release, De La Salle University graduates Alfonso Orioste Jr. and Paul Darwynn Garilao said the destruction from the cyclone was the motivation for their decision to join the “Raise Your Voice" campaign.

The contest encourages individuals to send videos containing their views and questions about the United Nations conference on climate change in Copenhagen next month. The campaign is sponsored by CNN, Youtube, and the government of Denmark.

Two winners who will be selected by public voting on YouTube from November 6 to 30 will get a free trip to Copenhagen to attend the landmark conference.

The global gathering will determine new targets for curbing carbon emissions from human activities that scientists have deemed responsible for the earth’s changing weather.

Video entries may also be aired during the CNN/Youtube debates on December 15, one of the many activities during the conference that are meant to draw global attention to the issue.

In their entry, Orioste and Garilao highlighted the disastrous impact of climate change in a developing country – in this case the Philippines – and contrasted the image with initiatives that are underway in rich countries to address the issue.

From Manila, Orioste talked about the need for DISASTER PREPAREDNESS and IMPROVED COMMUNICATION as part of environmental management systems that are necessary to respond to natural calamities more effectively.

“As we have experienced, the storm Ondoy (Ketsana) taught us a lot of lessons. This is a wake-up call for the Philippine government to implement laws and programs on environmental management and disaster preparedness," said Orioste, who is studying law at San Beda.

Meanwhile, from his current work base in Hawaii, Garilao advocated the use of renewable energy such as solar panels and wind turbines as the “best step to combat climate change." An engineer, Garilao has done research on the use of LPG two-stroke engines as an alternative form of clean energy.

To vote for the Philippine entry, visit www.youtube.com/cop15 and click the thumbs up sign for the video entitled “Raise Your Voice by Filipino environmental advocates."

Although their entry may not win awards for best editing or script, it is nonetheless a good push for what they call “GREEN EDUCATION" at a time when disasters are increasingly causing massive destruction in the Philippines.
Yasmin D. Arquiza, GMANews.TV

--------------

I really hope for a good result at the Climate summit in Copenhagen in December.

Now North-West England, Scotland and Ireland have experienced floodings too. Overflooded rivers after RECORD REAINFALL, bridges collapsed, and in England a policeman died. Citizens had to be rescued out of their houses by helicopter.

Terrible, but I still think of places like the Philippines having to go through this - at least four times!

nancyk58
21-11-2009, 06:42 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 21 NOVEMBER 2009

THE PHILIPPINES

Weather report: (23°C to 33°C). At 2 pm, Saturday, a LOW PRESSURE AREA was estimated based on satellite and surface data at 220 km. EAST OF MINDANAO.

NORTHEAST MONSOON AFFECTING EXTREME NORTHERN LUZON.

LANDSLIDES STILL LOOM OVER MINDANAO AS LPA MOVES AWAY

11/21/2009 | 10:20 AM - GMA News.TV

A LOW PRESSURE AREA - LPA - that threatened to become a cyclone MOVED AWAY FROM EASTERN MINDANAO Saturday, but STILL THREATENED TO TRIGGER LANDSLIDES AND FLASH FLOODS there.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration - PAGASA - said the LPA was spotted 560 KILOMETERS EAST OF MINDANAO at about 2 a.m.

In its 5 a.m. bulletin, Pagasa also said THE NORTHEAST MONSOON WAS AFFECTING EXTREME NORTHERN LUZON.

GMANews.TV


AFTERNOON RAINS DUE TO LPA AND MONSOON, NOT CYCLONE - PAGASA

11/21/2009 | 08:39 PM - GMA News.TV

The RAINS that pelted parts of METRO MANILA Saturday afternoon were not due to a cyclone but to a low-pressure area (LPA) and the NORTHEAST MONSOON, according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

Due to the LPA and the MONSOON, "PALAWAN, VISAYAS, and MINDANAO will experience cloudy skies with SCATTERED RAIN SHOWERS and THUNDERSTORMS," said Pagasa.

The RAINS will become "WIDESPREAD" over EASTERN MINDANAO, which "may trigger FLASHFLOODS and LANDSLIDES," the weather bureau added in its 5 p.m. bulletin.

MINDANAO should expect OCCASIONAL TO FREQUENT RAINS, particularly the eastern and central portions in the next "two to three days." - Pagasa advised residents in said areas to take all necessary precautionary measures.

Meanwhile, it said MODERATE TO STRONG WINDS blowing from the Northeast would prevail over LUZON, VISAYAS, and EASTERN MINDANAO. Coastal waters along these areas will be moderate to rough.

Elsewhere, winds will be light to moderate coming from the northeast to north with slight to moderate seas except during thunderstorms.

STRONG TO GALE FORCE WINDS are also expected to affect the seaboards of LUZON and VISAYAS.

"Fishing boats and other small sea craft are advised not to venture out into the sea while larger sea vessels are alerted against BIG WAVES," PAGASA said.

GMANews.TV

nancyk58
22-11-2009, 09:29 PM
UPDATE OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 22 NOVEMBER 2009

Weather forecast for the Philippines: (23°C to 31°C). At 2 p.m. Sunday, the low pressure area was estimated based on satellite and surface data at 160 kms east of Mindanao. A northeast monsoon meanwhile is affecting extreme northern Luzon.

An interesting article below as the many natural disasters over the last couple of years may have been caused - at least partly - by GLOBAL WARMING !


GLOBAL WARMING's IMPACT WORSENED SINCE 1997 PACT
(11/21/2009 | 12:09 PM – GMA News.TV)

WASHINGTON — Since the 1997 international accord to fight global warming, climate change has worsened and accelerated — beyond some of the grimmest of warnings made back then.

As the world has talked for a dozen years about what to do next, new ship passages opened through the once frozen summer sea ice of the Arctic. In Greenland and Antarctica, ice sheets have lost trillions of tons of ice. Mountain glaciers in Europe, South America, Asia and Africa are shrinking faster than before.

And it's not just the frozen parts of the world that have felt the heat in the dozen years leading up to next month's climate summit in Copenhagen:

— The world's oceans have risen by about an inch and a half.

—Droughts and wildfires have turned more severe worldwide, from the U.S. West to Australia to the Sahel desert of North Africa.

—Species now in trouble because of changing climate include, not just the lumbering polar bear which has become a symbol of global warming, but also fragile butterflies, colorful frogs and entire stands of North American pine forests.

—Temperatures over the past 12 years are 0.4 of a degree warmer than the dozen years leading up to 1997.

Even the gloomiest climate models back in the 1990s didn't forecast results quite this bad so fast.

"The latest science is telling us we are in more trouble than we thought," said Janos Pasztor, climate adviser to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

And here's why: Since an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas pollution was signed in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997, the level of carbon dioxide in the air has increased 6.5 percent. Officials from across the world will convene in Copenhagen next month to seek a follow-up pact, one that President Barack Obama says "has immediate operational effect ... an important step forward in the effort to rally the world around a solution." The last effort didn't quite get the anticipated results.

From 1997 to 2008, world carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels have increased 31 percent; U.S. emissions of this greenhouse gas rose 3.7 percent. Emissions from China, now the biggest producer of this pollution, have more than doubled in that time period. When the U.S. Senate balked at the accord and President George W. Bush withdrew from it, that meant that the top three carbon polluters — the U.S., China and India — were not part of the pact's emission reductions. Developing countries were not covered by the Kyoto Protocol and that is a major issue in Copenhagen.

And the effects of greenhouse gases are more powerful and happening sooner than predicted, scientists said.

"Back in 1997, the impacts (of climate change) were underestimated; the rate of change has been faster," said Virginia Burkett, chief scientist for global change research at the U.S. Geological Survey.

That last part alarms former Vice President Al Gore, who helped broker a last-minute deal in Kyoto.

"By far the most serious differences that we've had is an acceleration of the crisis itself," Gore said in an interview this month with The Associated Press.

In 1997, global warming was an issue for climate scientists, environmentalists and policy wonks. Now biologists, lawyers, economists, engineers, insurance analysts, risk managers, disaster professionals, commodity traders, nutritionists, ethicists and even psychologists are working on global warming.

"We've come from a time in 1997 where this was some abstract problem working its way around scientific circles to now when the problem is in everyone's face," said Andrew Weaver, a University of Victoria climate scientist.

The changes in the last 12 years that have the scientists most alarmed are happening in the Arctic with melting summer sea ice and around the world with the loss of key land-based ice masses. It's all happening far faster than predicted.

Back in 1997 "nobody in their wildest expectations," would have forecast the dramatic sudden loss of summer sea ice in the Arctic that started about five years ago, Weaver said. From 1993 to 1997, sea ice would shrink on average in the summer to about 2.7 million square miles. The average for the last five years is less than 2 million square miles. What's been lost is the size of Alaska.

Antarctica had a slight increase in sea ice, mostly because of the cooling effect of the ozone hole, according to the British Antarctic Survey. At the same time, large chunks of ice shelves — adding up to the size of Delaware — came off the Antarctic peninsula.

While melting Arctic ocean ice doesn't raise sea levels, the melting of giant land-based ice sheets and glaciers that drain into the seas do. Those are shrinking dramatically at both poles.

Measurements show that since 2000, Greenland has lost more than 1.5 trillion tons of ice, while Antarctica has lost about 1 trillion tons since 2002, according to two scientific studies published this fall. In multiple reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, scientists didn't anticipate ice sheet loss in Antarctica, Weaver said. And the rate of those losses is accelerating, so that Greenland's ice sheets are melting twice as fast now as they were just seven years ago, increasing sea level rise.

Worldwide glaciers are shrinking three times faster than in the 1970s and the average glacier has lost 25 feet of ice since 1997, said Michael Zemp, a researcher at World Glacier Monitoring Service at the University of Zurich.

"Glaciers are a good climate indicator," Zemp said. "What we see is an accelerated loss of ice."

Also, permafrost — the frozen northern ground that oil pipelines are built upon and which traps the potent greenhouse gas methane — is thawing at an alarming rate, Burkett said.

Another new post-1997 impact of global warming has scientists very concerned. The oceans are getting more acidic because more of the carbon dioxide in the air is being absorbed into the water. That causes acidification, an issue that didn't even merit a name until the past few years.

More acidic water harms coral, oysters and plankton and ultimately threatens the ocean food chain, biologists say.

In 1997, "there was no interest in plants and animals" and how they are hampered by climate change, said Stanford University biologist Terry Root. Now scientists are talking about which species can be saved from extinction and which are goners. The polar bear became the first species put on the federal list of threatened species and the small rabbit-like American pika may be joining it.

More than 37 million acres of Canadian and U.S. pine forests have been damaged by beetles that don't die in warmer winters. And in the U.S. West, the average number of acres burned per fire has more than doubled.

The Colorado River reservoirs, major water suppliers for the U.S. West, were nearly full in 1999, but by 2007 half the water was gone after the region endured the worst multiyear drought in 100 years of record-keeping.

Insurance losses and blackouts have soared and experts say global warming is partly to blame. The number of major U.S. weather-related blackouts from 2004-2008 were more than seven times higher than from 1993-1997, said Evan Mills, a staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

"The message on the science is that we know a lot more than we did in 1997 and it's all negative," said Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. "Things are much worse than the models predicted."

AP
----------------------
IRELAND: I heard the midnight news on the Danish radio. One of the news items was about IRELAND which is BADLY affected by floodings due to flooded rivers, and the seaside towns - among them Ireland’s second largest city CORK - are flooded. CORK city is completely ruined. For 800 years Ireland has not been so badly affected by floodings as now..

England and Scotland are also affected by floodings due to rainfall. And more rain to come!

nancyk58
23-11-2009, 08:39 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

Weather forecast for THE PHILIPPINES (23°C to 32°C)
At 4 p.m. Monday, Tropical Depression 'Urduja' was estimated based on satellite and surface data at 170 km east of Surigao City with maximum winds of 55 kph near the center. It is forecast to move west northwest slowly. Meanwhile, a northeast monsoon affects northern Luzon.


RP, 11 NATIONS VOW TO PROTECT REGION's COASTLINES, MARINE ENVIRONMENT

(Amita O. Legaspi, Gma News.TV - 11/23/2009 | 09:46 PM)


The PHILIPPINES, together with 11 OTHER EAST ASIAN NATIONS, are set to endorse on Thursday a declaration stipulating their commitment to protect the region’s coastline and marine environment.

The so-called Manila Declaration will contain agreements resulting from technical meetings during the 3rd East Asian Seas (EAS) Congress held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

The meetings, which started on Monday, will discuss protection of marine biodiversity, integrated coastal resource management programs, and ways of mitigating climate change, among others.

With the theme “Partnerships at Work: Local Implementation and Good Practices," the congress will highlight the initiatives at the local level and good practices covering a wide area of subjects on coastal and ocean management and how interregional, interagency, and multisectoral partnerships are contributing to regional and international environmental targets.

“[The Manila Declaration] will be binding in a way because it will develop a plan of action. We must protect the richness of our natural resources and our seas," Joselito Atienza, the Philippines’ environment secretary, told reporters at the sidelines of the EAS Congress.

If the coastal areas will not be protected, it is not only the Philippines which will suffer but other countries as well, he said. “So therefore we must act as one," Atienza said.

Besides the Philippines, other countries expected to sign the Manila Declaration are Cambodia, China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam which are all members of Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia.

The seas of East Asia are made up of six subregional seas which includes East China Sea, Yellow Sea, South China Sea, Sulu-Celebes Seas, Indonesian Seas and Gulf of Thailand.

These bodies of water sustain 30 percent of the world’s coral reefs and mangroves and produce about 40 percent of the world’s fish catch and 84 percent of world’s aquaculture.

They also represent one of the world’s centers for tropical marine biodiversity.

GMANews.TV
-------------------

LATEST NEWS from AMERICAN RED CROSS

(http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.edd4398600b584f5fef71210c23f78a0/?vgnextoid=23f28d5f8b6de110VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCR D&vgnextfmt=default)

Monday, November 23, 2009 — American Red Cross Elected to International Governing Board American Red Cross and 19 other national societies to serve on the governing board of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Monday, November 23, 2009 — Through a Child’s Eyes
Excited children came to the Red Cross to help create Holiday Mail for Heroes holiday cards for service members, veterans and military families.

Friday, November 20, 2009 — Red Cross Responds to Flooding in El Salvador
TROPICAL STORM IDA unleashed HEAVY RAIN, triggering FLOODS and LANDSLIDES that left scores DEAD and MISSING.

Friday, November 20, 2009 — Congress and the Red Cross Team Up to Spread Holiday Joy to Troops Overseas
Congress joined the American Red Cross to sign holiday cards for United States service members, showing appreciation and support.

Friday, November 20, 2009 — Rapid City Red Cross Takes H1N1 Flu Message to the Workplace
People don’t want to miss work; they want to learn know how to protect themselves.

nancyk58
24-11-2009, 05:18 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEASTASIA ON 24 NOVEMBER 2009

Today only news from the PHILIPPINES


More than 2,700 stranded due to ‘URDUJA’

(11/24/2009 | 04:23 PM - GMA News.DK)

More than 2,700 passengers in Eastern and Western Visayas, Southern Luzon and Northern Mindanao were stranded due to TROPICAL DEPRESSION "URDUJA," the government said on Tuesday.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), in its noon report, said those stranded included 1,519 in Eastern Visayas; 719 in Western Visayas; and 399 in Sorsogon province.

Stranded passengers in Southern Tagalog included 10 in Lucena and 25 in San Jose, while those in Sorsogon included 237 in Pilar and 162 in Bulan.

Passengers stranded in Western Visayas included 384 in Bacolod and 335 in Iloilo. Those in Eastern/Central Visayas included 746 in Cebu, 282 in Maasin, 50 in Tagbilaran, 309 in Dumaguete, and 150 in Catbalogan.

Another 19 were stranded in Dapitan in Northern Mindanao.

The NDCC said 99 vehicles and 86 vessels in Southern Luzon, Bicol, Eastern Visayas and Northern Mindanao were also stranded due to the weather disturbance.

A LANDSLIDE occurred 10 a.m. in Guintoylan in Liloan town in SOUTHERN LEYTE, but NO CASUALTIES were reported, according to NDCC.

In Caraga in MINDANAO, Santo Niño, Limaha and Tandang Sora villages in Butuan City were FLOODED.

KK, GMANews.TV


Magnitude-4.2 quake rocks Davao - Phivolcs

(11/24/2009 | 10:28 AM - GMA News.TV)

A magnitude-4.2 quake rocked the Davao area in Mindanao before dawn Tuesday, but state seismologists said there was no initial report of casualty or damage.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the quake was recorded at 1:54 a.m., with the epicenter 16 km west of Davao City.

Phivolcs said the quake was tectonic and was felt at Intensity II in Davao City and Perez village in Kidapawan City.

It said it did not expect any damage to property or aftershock from the quake.

RSJ, GMANews.TV


On the 17 November 2009 there was another quake at Davao (I am not sure that I found and posted that - so here it is:

Magnitude-5.1 quake hit Davao = 13 days ago; tsunami ruled out

(11/17/2009 | 09:11 AM - GMA News.TV)

A predawn quake rocked parts of Davao Oriental province in Mindanao Tuesday, but state seismologists quickly allayed fears of a tsunami resulting from the tremblor.

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) director Renato Solidum Jr. said the quake was recorded at magnitude 5.1, which is not enough to cause a tsunami.
Citing initial reports reaching him, he said the epicenter was traced to the sea 62 km south of Mati, Davao Oriental.

He said the quake was felt at Intensity IV in Tarragona in Davao Oriental; Intensity III in Davao City; and Intensity II in Caraga town in Davao Oriental, Polomolok in South Cotabato, and Tagum in Davao del Norte.
Solidum said there were no initial reports of damage to property.
“We do not expect significant damage because the highest intensity was Intensity IV," he said.

On the other hand, the United States Geological Service said the quake was recorded at magnitude 5.2, and recorded at 3:58 a.m.
It traced the epicenter to 95 km east-southeast of Davao, 140 km east-northeast of General Santos City, 185 km south of Hinatuan, or 1,065 km southeast of Manila.

GMANews.TV

nancyk58
25-11-2009, 04:49 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 25 NOVEMBER 2009

The PHILIPPINES

Weather forecast (23°C to 32°C). At 2 p.m. Wednesday, a low-pressure area (LPA) was estimated based on satellite and surface data at 350 km east of Surigao while a northeast monsoon affects northern and eastern Luzon.

‘URDUJA’ DISPLACES MORE THAN 400 FAMILIES - NDCC

(11/25/2009 | 07:27 PM - GMA News.TV)

More than 400 FAMILIES were AFFECTED BY the series of LANDSLIDES and FLASH FLOODS that struck EASTERN VISAYAS and NORTHERN MINDANAO due to HEAVY RAINS caused by TROPICAL STORM “URDUJA" since Tuesday, even as the cyclone WEAKENED INTO a LOW-PRESSURE AREA.

In its situation report, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said at least 239 families or about 1,054 people were affected in the provinces of Camiguin and Misamis Oriental since November 24.

Meanwhile, the LANDSLIDES that hit Liloan, Southern Leyte have also DISPLACED 52 FAMILIES, according to a GMA News Flash Report.

In northeastern Mindanao’s Caraga region, 10 people were INJURED AFTER a MINOR LANDSLIDE caused their van to fell off a cliff in Surigao City.
The NDCC also said that 148 FAMILIES in 13 villages have been EVACUATED as the Puyo and Celopan RIVERS OVERFLOWED due to the CONTINUOUS RAINS in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, and Dinagat Islands, although NO CASUALTIES have been reported so far.

Meanwhile, all 11 passengers of a motorbanca (outrigger pump boat), MBCA Lady Coco, including four Germans and one Swiss, have been rescued after their boat sunk in the waters off Limasawa, Southern Leyte on Tuesday.

In its latest update, state weather forecasters warned that FLASH FLOODS and LANDSLIDES still loom over Mindanao even after Urduja weakened into a low-pressure area.

As of 2 p.m., the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Urduja was spotted 350 kilometers east of Surigao.

"Palawan, Visayas and Mindanao will have cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms becoming widespread rains over Mindanao, which may trigger flashfloods and landslides," Pagasa said.

Pagasa also said the northeast monsoon is affecting Northern and Eastern Luzon, while the rest of Luzon will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated light rains.

Moderate to strong winds blowing from the northeast will prevail over Luzon and coming from the northeast to northwest over the rest of the country, while coastal waters throughout the archipelago will be moderate to rough, the weather bureau said.

Earlier, Pagasa said it is monitoring the POSSIBLE ENTRY OF a NEW TROPICAL STORM, internationally code-named "NIDA." The cyclone may be named "VINTA" once it enters Philippine territory.

Aie Balagtas See/JV, GMANews.TV


6.8 QUAKE HITS NEAR TONGA

November 24, 9:43 AM Reno Headlines Examiner William Robinson

http://www.examiner.com/x-25860-Reno-Headlines-Examiner~y2009m11d24-68-quake-hits-near-Tonga

NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga (AP) — A 6.8-magnitude EARTHQUAKE struck off the Pacific island nation of TONGA, sending panicked residents into the streets at night, but there were NO immediate REPORTS of DAMAGE OR INJURIES.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported shortly after the quake struck at 3:32 a.m. (1332 GMT, 8:32 a.m. EST) that there was NO threat of a destructive widespread TSUNAMI, although waves were possible within 100 kilometers (60 miles) of the epicenter.

“There’s no indication of damage right now in this area,” said Faleo Vico, the duty Weather Office staffer in the capital, Nuku’alofa, 120 miles (195 kilometers) southwest of the epicenter.
Residents in the capital said their homes rattled, and the tremors set off frantic barking of dogs.

In the town of Ha’apai, on an island 185 miles (300 kilometers) northeast of the capital, resident Lano Fonua said the quake was strong and lasted about 45 seconds.
“Many people went out into the streets as the quake was shaking the area quite a bit. It was really going,” he said. “We don’t have any reports of major damage here in the center of town.”

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was 6.8-magnitude and was generated from a depth of 38 miles (62 kilometers) in the ocean.

On SEPT. 29, a TSUNAMI spawned by a magnitude-8.3 EARTHQUAKE KILLED 34 people in AMERICAN SAMOA, 183 in SAMOA and NINE in TONGA.

nancyk58
26-11-2009, 02:56 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

The PHILIPPINES:

'URDUJA' MOVES EASTWARD; PAGASA MONITORS ANOTHER CYCLONE

(11/25/2009 | 08:02 AM - GMA News.TV)

Even as Tropical Depression Urduja moved eastward and continues to threaten eastern Visayas and Mindanao, state weather forecasters are monitoring a new tropical storm that may enter Philippine territory in three days.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Wednesday the incoming storm is more powerful than Urduja.

"We are monitoring a NEW TROPICAL STORM but it is FAR FROM THE PHILIPPINE AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY as of now. But this is FAR BIGGER THAN URDUJA," Pagasa forecaster Buddy Javier said in an interview on dzBB radio.

Javier said the new storm, with international code-name "NIDA," may affect areas between Visayas and Mindanao once it enters Philippine territory.
When asked when it may enter the country's area of responsibility, he said, "at least in three days’ time."

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) 6 p.m. Tuesday report said Nida packed maximum winds of 55 knots (102 kph) near the center and gustiness of 80 knots (148 kph).

But in the next 24 hours, it may intensify and pack winds of up to 70 knots (130 kph) near the center. JMA said that Nida was moving north northwest.

On the other hand, Pagasa's 5 a.m. bulletin said Urduja was estimated at 70 km east of Surigao City as of 4 a.m. Wednesday, packing maximum sustained winds of 55 kph near its center and moving east slowly.

"Northeastern Mindanao will have rains and occasional gusty winds with moderate to rough seas. Visayas and the rest of Mindanao will experience cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms while Luzon will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rainshowers," Pagasa said.

Urduja is expected to be 130 km east of Surigao City Thursday morning, and 220 km east of Surigao City or 210 km east southeast of Guiuan, Eastern Samar Friday morning. By Saturday morning it is expected to be 310 km east southeast of Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

Areas under Storm Signal No. 1 include Southern Leyte, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Dinagat Island, and Siargao Island.
Pagasa reminded residents in low-lying areas and near mountain slopes in areas under Storm Signal 1 to take all precautions against POSSIBLE FLASHFLOODS and LANDSLIDES.

LG/RSJ, GMANews.TV


2 DEAD, ROADS IMPASSABLE IN 'URDUJA' WAKE - NDCC

(11/26/2009 | 07:34 AM - GMA News.TV)

At least TWO PEOPLE were reported KILLED in the wake of tropical depression URDUJA, the National Disaster Coordinating Council said late Wednesday.The NDCC only identified the two fatalities as members of the Rallos family in Jasaan town in Misamis Oriental.

It added FLOODING and LANDSLIDES in Camiguin and Misamis Oriental, and in Cagayan de Oro and Gingoog cities have affected 900 families or 4,229 people.

Of these, 813 families or 2,938 people were brought to evacuation centers.

NDCC also said several roads were impassable due to LANDSLIDES and OVERFLOWING OF CREEKS, are:

* Cagayan de Oro City: Road section along Sitio Kablua, Bayanga village, where two lanes are not passable because of LANDSLIDE DEBRIS.

* Camiguin: Tupsan Bridge along Tupsan village in Mahinog not passable due to debris; and national highway along Punta Gorda village, Baslingasag and road section along Sitio Mayang in Kabulawan, Lagonglong not passable due to debris.

Water levels of Cagayan de Oro River and its tributaries may still keep rising due to CONTINUOUS RAINS, the NDCC said.

POWER OUTAGES were still experienced in several areas in Camiguin and Gingoog City since Tuesday, it added.

In Caraga region, at least 26 VILLAGES were FLOODED due to the OVERFLOW OF Puyo and Celopan RIVERS. These include 23 in Agusan del Norte and three in San Jose, Dinagat Islands.

Some 1,464 FAMILIES or 7,396 PEOPLE were AFFECTED. Of these, 335 families or 1,751 people were brought to nine evacuation centers.

CLASSES were SUSPENDED in affected areas in Misamis Oriental, Camiguin, Cagayan de Oro and Gingoog.

LG, GMANews.TV

nancyk58
27-11-2009, 09:34 PM
Updates of the situation in Southeast Asia

FILIPINO UNICEF STAFFER SHOT IN MAGUINDANAO

(11/27/2009 | 06:29 PM - GMA News.TV)

MANILA, Philippine — A Filipino staffer working for UNICEF in the southern Philippines was shot in an attack and is in critical condition, the UN agency said Friday.

Police earlier reported that Nestor Bulahan had died after the attack Thursday, but a UNICEF statement later said the staffer was still alive and in critical condition.

UNICEF spokeswoman Angela Travis said the incident was not connected with his work. "He was not on official business and we understand the incident is personal," she said.

Police official Siegfredo Ramos said Bulahan was riding on a motorcycle taxi to meet an acquaintance in Parang township when a gunman shot him.

The shooting occurred in the same province, Maguindanao, where a powerful local politician was accused of ordering a massacre Monday of 57 people, including journalists, relatives and supporters of a political rival.

AP



FILIPINO Weather forecast: At 5 p.m. Friday, an intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) affects SOUTHERN MINDANAO while a northeast monsoon affects NORTHERN and EASTERN LUZON.

nancyk58
28-11-2009, 04:40 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 28 NOVEMBER 2009

THE PHILIPPINES

Weather forecast: (24°C to 32°C). At 5 p.m. Saturday, the Northeast monsoon is affecting NORTHERN and EASTERN LUZON.


4 DEAD IN 'URDUJA' WAKE, SOME ROADS IMPASSABLE

(11/28/2009 | 11:01 AM - GMA News.TV)

At least FOUR people were left DEAD while several roads remained impassable in the wake of tropical depression "URDUJA," the National Disaster Coordinating Council said.

In its 6 p.m. Friday report, NDCC said three of the four died from a LANDSLIDE in Misamis Oriental, while one died of electrocution in CEBU.

The Misamis Oriental residents were identified as Isnaje Rallos, 1, and Jenebeb Rallos, four months old, of San Antonio village in Jasaan town; and Dionisio Quilloman, 62, of Santiago village in Gingoog City.

A fourth fatality, Roynaldo Zorobrado, was electrocuted in Dumanjug, CEBU.

NDCC said 13 were INJURED, including three in Misamis Oriental and 10 whose bus fell off a cliff due to a LANDSLIDE in Claver, Surigao del Norte.

SEVEN HOUSES were DESTROYED while 58 were DAMAGED in CARAGA REGION.

STILL IMPASSABLE are:

* Caraga: national highway in Gawad Kalinga area in Claver, Surigao del Norte;
* Manoligao Provincial Road at Sitio Manlangit in Carmen, Agusan del Norte;
* Tupsan Bridge in Camiguin Province; national highway in Mambajao, Camiguin.

POWER was RESTORED in areas of Camiguin province and Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental; and in Bayugan, Agusan del Sur.

JHU, GMANews.TV


OVER 50 FAMILIES in SOUTHERN LEYTE affected by LANDSLIDE caused by 'URDUJA' (news from 2009-11-25)

nancyk58
29-11-2009, 06:24 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 29 NOVEMBER 2009

THE PHILIPPINES:

Phivolcs: PREDAWN MAGNITUDE-5.9 QUAKE ROCKS PARTS OF MINDANAO

( 11/29/2009 | 07:26 AM - GMA News.TV )

Residents in the General Santos and Davao areas in Mindanao got a predawn jolt Sunday as a quake measuring magnitude 5.9 hit the area.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported that the temblor with a tectonic origin struck at 2: 10 a.m. Sunday east of General Santos City.

Phivolcs' earthquake bulletin no. 1 sent to GMANews.TV, indicated that the agency expects neither damage nor aftershocks from the quake.

On the other hand, the United States Geological Service (USGS) said the quake occurred at about 2:10 a.m., even as there was no initial report of damage or aftershocks as of Sunday morning.

USGS said the epicenter was about 160 km east-southeast of General Santos City; 205 km south-southeast of Davao; or 1,185 km south-southeast of Manila. - It said the epicenter was also some 2,535 km east-northeast of JAKARTA, INDONESIA.

GMANews.TV


WEATHER FORECAST: (24°C to 32°C). At 5 p.m. Sunday, NORTHEAST MONSOON IS AFFECTING NORTHERN AND EASTERN LUZON. No tropical cyclone is existing within the Philippine area of responsibility.

nancyk58
30-11-2009, 04:34 PM
UPDATES OF THE SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 30 NOVEMBER 2009

Weather forecast for the Philippines: (22°C to 31°C). At 5 p.m. Monday, a northeast monsoon affects northern and eastern Luzon. There is no existing tropical cyclone within the Philippine area of responsibility.

GMA News.TV



AMERICAN RED CROSS

http://redcrosschat.org/2009/11/30/cyber-monday/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+RedCrossChat+%28Red+Cross+Cha t%29


Cyber Monday (posted on November 30th, 2009 by Gloria Huang)

Happy Cyber Monday! As you prepare to do some online holiday shopping today, remember to take a look at our Holiday Giving catalog. You can send a gift that will help someone who needs it the most this season.

Help save the day by sharing this with your friends:

You can share this blog post with your friends, on Facebook, and on Twitter (use #HolidayGiving)
You can share this Catalog widget
You can join our brand new Facebook Cause called Give the Gift that Saves the Day.


Posted in Press Releases, 11/30/09:

American Red Cross Survey Finds 62 Percent of Americans Plan to Donate More than $25 to Charity this Holiday Season in Spite of Economic Downturn

Red Cross offers online giving catalog to help families make charitable gifts in the name of others.

National Headquarters
2025 E Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20006
www.redcross.org

WASHINGTON, Monday, November 30, 2009 — In spite of the economic downturn, Americans are entering this holiday season willing to support charities in two ways, with 62 percent planning to dig deep into their own wallets to support charities and nearly 40 percent talking with others about donating to charity instead of buying them a gift, according to a new survey for the American Red Cross. The survey shows that nearly 90 percent of Americans planned to donate to charity this holiday season. Half of those making donations plan to donate at least $50 to charity this holiday season, with 25 percent intending to give more than $100.

Importantly, the survey shows that in addition to making their own donations, 39 percent of people are willing to forego another holiday gift and have that money given to charities instead. Moreover, 80 percent said that if asked, they would be happy to make a donation to charity instead of buying a gift for someone. And with many people shopping online this holiday season, the Red Cross is making it easier to give charitable gifts through an online “Gifts that Save the Day” catalog that enables people to make a tax-deductable charitable gift this holiday season. The catalog, at www.redcross.org/gifts, allows people to make a donation that could provide FOOD and SHELTER for a DISASTER VICTIM for a day; a MILITARY COMFORT KIT with a robe, phone card and other supplies for a wounded warrior; or a month of BASIC NECESSITIES for a family in another country who lost everything in a disaster.

“In this season of hope, the Red Cross is asking people to give a gift that can really save the day for someone in need,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. “Shoppers doing their online gift-buying on Cyber Monday or at other times this holiday season can make a donation to the Red Cross in the name of someone special.”
Gifts made through the catalog are contributions towards a Red Cross program area, not a donation to a specific project or item. The donations will be used to provide assistance where it is needed most within the program area; remaining money is put to use where it is needed most.

WOMEN Most Often Involved in Family Decisions on Charitable Donations

WOMEN have a great deal of influence over charitable giving decisions in the home. Ninety percent of the women surveyed indicated that they are involved in decisions about which charities to support, compared to 81 percent of men. 22 percent said that they involved children in determining charitable donations.

Popular charities for holiday giving this year include those that HELP THE POOR (83 percent); HELP SERVICE MEMBERS (58 percent), HELP PEOPLE WITH A SPECIFIC DISEASE (55 percent) and that ASSIST DISASTER VICTIMS (51 percent).B]In addition, people are supporting charities during the holiday season with more than money, donating CLOTHING, TIME and even BLOOD. The survey found that [B]84 percent planned to donate used CLOTHING or HOUSEHOLD ITEMS; 75 percent would contribute FOOD to a food bank, 39 percent planned to VOLUNTEER FOR A CHARITY and 22 percent said they would donate BLOOD during the holiday season.
The telephone survey of 1,001 U.S. adults 18 years and older was conducted November 5-8, 2009 by CARAVAN® Opinion Research Corporation. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

nancyk58
01-12-2009, 07:39 PM
Updates of the situation in the Southeast Asia on 1 December 2009

THE PHILIPPINES

Weather forecast for the Philippines [/COLOR](22°C to 32°C). At 5 p.m. Tuesday, a NORTHEAST MONSOON affects NORTHERN and EASTERN LUZON. There is no existing tropical cyclone within the Philippine area of responsibility.


PHOTO EXHIBIT SHOWS BAGUIO BACK ON TRACK AFTER ‘PEPENG’

(PAULINE NIKKA CORSINO11/30/2009 | 12:38 AM - GMA News.TV)

TUBA, Benguet - The pulling out of this year’s Advertising Congress in Baguio City did not deter [COLOR="Yellow"]four of the country’s top photographers from showcasing some of their works in an exhibit dubbed Optical Medium.

“This was originally part of the Advertising Congress. Unfortunately THE TYPHOONS came and the Ad Congress was pulled out of Baguio City," explains National Artist Ben Cabrera, who joins veterans Bien Bautista, Wig Tysmans, and Jaime Zobel in the exhibit.

“All the more that we need an exhibit like this to send the message that Baguio is back to normal," explains Cabrera, when postponement of the exhibit’s opening was thought of following the pullout of the Ad Congress.

However, the exhibit opened as planned on November 17, a day before the opening of the Advertising Congress in Subic.

The exhibit’s opening pushed through without much pomp, with no ribbons cut and no speeches made. Only Bautista and Cabrera were present along with some family members and friends.

Bencab’s works on display reveal the maestro’s versatility with his media. For Optical Medium, Cabrera used digital painting as finishing touches to facial close-ups of his subjects.

Veterans Bien Bautista and Wig Tysmans each rendered the human body in its intense, natural forms—Bautista’s set of passionate, emotion-filled nudes, and Tysmans’ Wrap-ture series with his nude silhouettes rendered in monochrome.

Art photographer Jaime Zobel’s pieces include the master’s signature abstracts rendered in full color. All in all, the four-man exhibit contains 28 pieces, some printed on wood and others on archival watercolor paper.

“This is our contribution to Baguio and the Cordilleras after the recent typhoons. I hope that people will come to Baguio to see the exhibit," says Cabrera.

Optical Medium runs until January 3, 2010 at the BenCab Museum located along Km. 6, Asin Road, Tuba, Benguet. The museum is open daily from 9 AM to 6 PM except Mondays, on Christmas Day, and on New Year’s Day. For more information, visit www.bencabmuseum.org.

KBK, GMANews.TV


Some older articles from GMA News.TV:


ONDOY, PEPENG PUSH CONSUMER PRICES HIGHER IN NOVEMBER

(11/25/2009 | 06:23 PM - GMA News.TV)

Consumer prices likely rose for the third consecutive month in November owing to the recent weather disturbances which hit the country.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas estimated that inflation for this month could have climbed between 2.4 percent and 3.3 percent, pushed higher by the effects of tropical storm ONDOY and typhoon PEPENG as well as the INCREASE IN POWER RATES imposed by the National Power Corp. and in OIL PRICES.

"he pick up in inflation could be largely attributed to SUPPLY DISRUPTIONS brought about by the recent TYPHOONS and HEAVY RAINS; INCREASES IN UTILITY RATES and INTERNATIONAL CRUDE," Tetangco stressed.

For January to October, inflation climbed 3.2 percent, a marked slow down from the 9.4-percent recorded in the same period in 2008.

Consumer prices had been rising steadily since February until it dropped to a two-decade low in August as Filipinos delayed spending amid the worldwide economic slump.

Despite the HIGHER INFLATION, Tetangco said consumer prices are seen to remain within forecast set by economic managers for this year and in 2010.

“Despite an uptick, November inflation falling in this range would still be consistent with a within-target inflation for 2009 and 2010," Tetangco said.

Inflation for this year is estimated to be between 2.5 percent and 4.5 percent, while for next year inflation range is from 3.5 percent to 5.5 percent.

Tetangco also said the IMF has put no pressure on the BSP to come up with an exit strategy for its relaxed monetary stance.

Owing to the global slump, the central bank has eased key policy rates by 200 basis point since December last year, bringing overnight borrowing rate at a record low of four percent and overnight lending rate at six percent.

Il Houng Lee, head of the visiting International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission, said inflation is expected to be contained to 3.1 percent this year and to pick up to 4.3 percent next year as commodity prices and economy of developed countries recover.

“Monetary tightening should only commence when the recovery is on a solid footing. The mission supports the authorities’ policy of limiting foreign exchange intervention to smoothing operations and allowing the exchange rate to adjust to market pressures," Lee added.

GMANews.TV

HER HOME TEETERING ON A SLOPE, BAGUIO WOMAN RECALLS LOSING LOVED ONES TO PEPENG LANDSLIDE

(PAULINE CORSINO, GMANews.TV11/23/2009 | 09:48 PM - GMA News.TV)

On the night of October 8, while typhoon Pepeng was dumping heavy rains over the Cordilleras, laundrywoman Teresita Andrada found herself shivering on the street and unable to get a cab ride home to Bakakeng Central along Marcos Highway.

Giving up hope, she then decided to spend the night in the tourist inn where she works. But despite the safety and comfort the place provided for the unfriendly night, Teresita remained ill at ease. Her family, including her pregnant daughter, was out there fending for themselves.

The next morning, she immediately went home. She was glad to find out her husband and four children were safe and sound, sheltered at the basketball court in front of their house. However, her eldest daughter, Leonora Picar, along with her own brood of six, were missing.

Andrada remembers running to her eldest daughter’s house, only to see that it wasn’t there anymore. Pieces of galvanized iron sheets that had been its walls lay crumpled beneath mounds of earth instead.

“I was worried because no one had seen them. I ran to their house, but it was not there anymore," Andrada says.
Running to the neighbor’s house below, Andrada asked if they had seen Leonora and her family. The neighbors said they didn’t.

The discovery
With the help of a barangay official, Andrada rushed to the Baguio City Hall to ask for help. According to her, it was already 3:00 p.m. when the bodies of all eight family members were dug out - Leonora, 28; her husband Simeon, 40; and their children Edmund, 11; Edison, 10; Loudy Boy, 8; Jennifer, 5; Jane Pamela, 4; and Simeon Jr., 1.

Andrada laments, “No one among the neighbors seemed to have heard the entire house collapse with my grandchildren in it. Not even one went to check them out."

Leonora, who was three months pregnant with her seventh child, was dug up holding Simeon Jr.
All eight members of the family were placed on wooden caskets and laid at the basketball court of the barangay. - Andrada believes Leonora's house collapsed in the wee hours of the morning.B]

[COLOR="DarkOrange"]Scarce burial lots
Even burial was a problem, Andrada says, with cemetery lots becoming scarce due to the big number of fatalities after the typhoon.

“We got a single cemetery lot and that's where we buried them all. We simply set down their caskets on top of one another," says Andrada.

[COLOR="Yellow"]The lone breadwinner of the family, Andrada recalls enjoying spending time with her grandchildren after work. She shares that her work now helps her cope with the loss of her daughter and her grandchildren, including Leonora’s unborn child.

Nearly two months after the deaths, however, Andrada still fears for their lives in the event of another typhoon as strong as Pepeng.

Their house, a makeshift laundry room owned by her employer, stands at the edge of a slope just above the place where Leonora’s house had stood.

Andrada’s family welcomes the possibility of relocation, but no concrete plans and assistance have so far been extended.

She says this was the first time their place was hit by landslides. Not far from the site, two houses sitting on the edge of a cliff had also collapsed at the height of the typhoon, but nobody died.

The Picar family is among the HUNDREDS OF FATALITIES left by TYPHOON PEPENG, which brought UNPRECEDENTED LANDSLIDES and FLOODING to the Cordillera region.

JV, GMANews.TV


BAGUIO TOURISM STILL STRUGGLING AFTER PEPENG

(By PAULINE NIKKA CORSINO11/22/2009 | 07:36 PM - GMA News.TV)

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines - MORE THAN A MONTH AFTER the onslaught of TYPHOON PEPENG (international codename: PARMA), businesses in Baguio City are barely back on their feet, with tourist turnouts remaining low.

Kim, who sells Baguio food products and souvenir items in one of the busiest bus terminals in the Central Business District, laments their consistent decrease in sales this year.

“We usually generate about P10,000 income around the same time last year. In the months before the typhoon, it went down to around P6,000, then to just P800 in the days following the typhoon," she explains in Filipino.

“Tourists who drop by here no longer buy Baguio souvenirs," Kim adds. The products include knitted bonnets, scarves, and necklaces.

Sales were momentarily brisk during the All Saint’s Day weekend but quickly dwindled the following week, adds Kim.

“Our sales usually shoot up starting the last week of October and will last until around June the next year, but this is not the case anymore," Kim explains.

Ellen, another stall owner, says their average P1, 500 sales everyday went down to P100 during the typhoon.

Recovering
She adds, however, that they are slowly recovering, with bus trips having gone back to normal since the reopening of Baguio’s three main roads.

A bus company with routes from Baguio to Manila and nearby provinces records an average 33 round trips per day at around P10,000 per trip, which brings daily losses to more than P600,000 during the four-day trip suspension.

Businesses at Burnham Park, perhaps Baguio’s most accessible tourist spot, have also been suffering.
Belen Ogena says her boats-for-rent business is not coping very well. “Last year we usually had (the boats) rented for 30 minutes at P60. Today we allow customers to stay there for as long as they want for the same price."

“We expected to recover after the RAINY SEASON, but THEN PEPENG came and we have since been hard up coping with the low tourist turnout," she says in Filipino.

Sonny Legaspi, who has a bicycle-for-rent business, has similar concerns. He observes that excursions are hard to come by nowadays, and fewer foreign tourists have come since typhoon Pepeng compared to the same time last year.

Even Baguio’s famous ukay-ukay is affected, as it is heavily dependent on tourist arrivals. Marina Bumatay, owner of one stall along the Bayanihan area near Burnham Park, has not replenished her stock since June of this year.

Lost revenues
Baguio City lost around P300 million in expected revenues from the pullout of the Advertising Congress, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).

But the mountain resort city is expected to gradually regain its losses as the busy holiday season nears, and with several activities lined up to spruce up its tourism.

The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio has slashed hotel rates by 30-50 percent until the end of this month to attract tourists back to the city.

The DOT is also set to launch the WOW Philippines, Cordillera’s Best 2009 project on November 25. Among the activities lined up are two grand parades on November 28 and 29 featuring Baguio City and the Cordillera Region’s festivals.

The city is also set to host the 60th edition of the Fil-American Golf Tournament starting November 25. The event is expected to shoot up Baguio’s tourism as it will draw some 1,200 golfers from around the world. It holds a Guiness Record for being the biggest amateur golf tournament in the world.

Says a DOT source, “We are eyeing on conferences as the primary tourism activity to be hoisted in Baguio. Again, we remain optimistic that visitors will still be coming this Christmas season," adding that December is Baguio’s most visited month.

GMANews.TV

nancyk58
02-12-2009, 02:32 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 2 DECEMBER 2009

ONDOY AND PEPENG LOSSES NEXT ONLY TO ACEH TSUNAMI

(12/02/2009 | 03:15 PM - GMA News.TV)

The government should FAST-TRACK THE REBUILDING OF RURAL LIVELIHOODS – before the year ends as much as possible – to AVOID PRODUCTION DECLINES, INCOME LOSSES and INCREASED SPENDING during the dry season in the aftermath of tropical cyclones ONDOY and PEPENG, the worst natural disaster in the region since the East Asian tsunami of 2005, a post-disaster assessment report said.

Damages and losses from ONDOY and PEPENG (International names KETSANA and PARMA, respectively) reached $4.4 million – equivalent to 2.7 percent of total economic output. While financing needs are large, “the cost of doing nothing would be larger still," according to the report which was released Wednesday.

The report estimates the total cost of recovery and reconstruction of LUZON, which includes METRO MANILA, at $ 4.42 billion over the short to medium term (2009 to 2012). It said larger investments, particularly in flood control and housing, may need to be considered in the longer term.

The storms hit regions of the country that account for almost two-thirds of the gross domestic product, including the National Capital Region, which accounts for more than a third of total economic output.

The report, prepared by several development organizations from the public and private sectors, cited the need for rapid action in repairing irrigation systems and clearing plantations of gravel, silt and sand while providing farmers with seeds and fertilizer to ensure that there is enough food for everyone in the coming year.

The state should also pay close attention to FLOOD MANAGEMENT and DISASTER RISK REDUCTION, while increasing the participation of local governments in the recovery and reconstruction program and in coming up with measures to mitigate disaster risks.

"]“While ONDOY’s flooding could not have been prevented, its extensive impact was preventable. Similarly, the damage wrought by Pepeng could have been mitigated," the study, prepared by the United Nations and World Bank, among others, pointed out.[/B]

LESSONS FROM SAO PAULO

Preventing such impacts in the future, it added, requires closer attention to areas such as land use planning, housing, water management, environmental protection and disaster risk mitigation. Policymakers should address the congestion of Metro Manila, the proliferation of slums, the heavily polluted environment in urban areas, and the weak performance of agribusiness in rural areas.

The study called for a transparent, accountable and result-based recovery and reconstruction program. It also cited the need to engage local communities in decision-making, implementation and monitoring to lower the risk of fund misuse.

The report noted that the vast majority of damage to the housing stock was concentrated in the informal sector, which serves mainly low-income families, so building back better means providing better alternatives to informal settlers.

The Philippines, it added, can learn much from Singapore and Sao Paulo, which have successfully addressed the issue of slums through more intensive use of urban land. “Given the cost of land in metropolitan Manila and the need to keep people close to their sources of livelihoods, spreading upwards in more compact settlements is a logical solution," it said.

PRODUCTIVE SECTORS WORST HIT

Much of the damage costs, or about $3.22 billion, was sustained by productive sectors such as agriculture, industry, commerce and tourism. Losses and damages suffered by so-called social sectors such as housing, education, cultural heritage and health reached $919 million.

Losses and damages to infrastructure – including electricity, water and sanitation, flood control, drainage and dam management, transport and telecommunications – reached $237.3 million, while local governments lost $7.1 million.

As of November 23, the official DEATH TOLL from the twin natural disasters have reached 956 PERSONS, with 736 INJURED and 84 still MISSING. Most of the deaths caused by ONDOY were due to DROWNING, while deaths from PEPENG were mostly due to LANDSLIDES, especially in the Cordillera Administrative Region.

Data showed that more than 9.3 MILLION PEOPLE – about 20 PERCENT OF an estimated POPULATION of 43.2 million living in affected regions – were SEVERELY AFFECTED.

The post-disaster needs assessment report was prepared by the government, multi-sectoral groups, development partners Asian Development Bank, European Commission, United Nations and the World Bank Group.

Cheryl Arcibal, GMANews.TV

nancyk58
04-12-2009, 01:10 AM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 3 DECEMBER 2009

REMITTANCES TO HIT RECORD HIGH DUE TO TYPHOON AID

(Joseph Holandes Ubalde, GMA News.TV - 12/03/2009 | 09:29 PM)

Remittances are expected to reach a record high this year after overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are seen to send more cash home to assist their families whose houses have been damaged by typhoons.

From last year’s $16.426 billion, remittances are expected to grow by $500 million to $1 billion to an unprecedented $17 billion this year, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) said.

The increase in remittances will be used for “RECOVERY SPENDING" and HOUSING REPAIRS of OFW families and beneficiaries whose homes were either flooded or washed away by waters that submerged the Philippine capital.

Tropical cyclone ONDOY brought record amounts of RAINFALL, engulfing whole villages for weeks, in September.

Weeks later, typhoon PEPENG also unleashed furious WINDS and RAIN, damaging not only houses but farms, crops, poultry, and livestock.

Citing data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), OFWs sent home $12.789 billion through formal banking sectors from January to September this year. This is up by 4.21 percent from the same period in 2008.

Earlier, the TUCP had projected remittances to drop by 10 percent this year due to the economic slump in the US which leads to job cuts.

Remittances coursed through channels in the US from January to September this year have plunged by 9.71 percent or $5.360 billion from $5.937 billion in the same period in 2008.

But TUCP secretary-general Ernesto Herrera said this was easily offset by the remittances from Filipinos in Canada and Japan.

Filipinos from CANADA, where many Filipino migrants are highly-paid professionals, sent $494.22-million while some $212.43 million was sent from JAPAN.

The surge in remittances from Japan is due to the increased hiring of Filipino seafarers.

RJAB Jr., GMANews.TV

---------------------

UNICEF - AT A GLANCE: PHILIPPINES (from Unicef's website)

SCHOOLS ADAPT and CONTINUE DESPITE POST-TYPHOON FLOODING IN THE PHILIPPINES

MANILA, PHILIPPINES, 25 November 2009 – Most schools in metropolitan MANILA have reopened after FOUR TYPHOONS caused MASSIVE FLOODING in SEPTEMBER and OCTOBER, but teachers and students in the flood zone are still in URGENT NEED OF SCHOOL SUPPLIES.

The typhoons that hit the Philippines caused FLOODING in more than 80 PER CENT of the CAPITAL, as well as other areas. Close to 1,000 people were KILLED and 1.7 MILLION were DISPLACED or living in areas that remained FLOODED.

The crisis also took a major toll on education. More than 3,400 SCHOOLS were AFFECTED, and many opened their doors as EVACUATION CENTRES FOR DISPLACED FAMILIES. As a result, teachers had to use a range of strategies to protect children's right to quality education – as enshrined in Article 28 of the Convention in the Rights of the Child, which applies even in emergency or post-emergency situations.

SCHOOL AS SHELTER

Among the worst-affected areas is Rizal province, just outside MANILA. Some communities here are still submerged and accessible only by boat. SEVERAL SCHOOLS remain partially FLOODED, and many others still serve as EVACUATION CENTRES.

A weekday in early November, Patricio Jarin Elementary School Principal Imelda Custodio gave a tour of the damage at her school. Ms. Custodio pointed to a large sports field nearby that now looks more like a lake.

Across the flooded field, displaced people were crowded into several classrooms where they were living temporarily. A few inches of water still covered the floors and an outside walkway.

Inside their makeshift quarters, several families were sleeping on tables and wooden boards, with cloth and tarps tied up to separate each family's living space. One room had 13 families crammed in. Some who can't afford to buy boots were barefoot, and many had pruned feet from standing in the water.

Despite the major disruptions caused by the floods, students here were back in classes in Patricio Jarin's dry classrooms. The school had to merge classes and ask students to attend in shifts because space was too tight to fit all the students and evacuees.

GETTING BACK TO NORMAL

Back in MANILA, Philippines Undersecretary of Education Antonio Inocentes said education took a back seat after the floods, when schools were taking in so many evacuees.

But the Department of Education has been working with non-governmental partners to get schools back up and running as quickly as possible, he said. Together they've helped distribute school-supply packs to children returning to affected schools. The goal is to restore a sense of normalcy for students.

"We found it very therapeutic for the children when they can be again with their classmates, be able to laugh and to talk, and again do normal things," said Mr. Inocentes.

Teachers and administrators also had to adapt their usual rules and teaching methods to fit the challenging circumstances. In affected areas, for example, schools let parents know that they could send children to school in their regular clothes if they didn't have the proper uniforms. And some teachers travelled to students' houses or to evacuation centres when it was too dangerous or costly for the children to come to school.

PSYCHO-SOCIAL HELP FOR STUDENTS

At Pinagbuhatan Elementary School in Pasig City, on MANILA's outskirts, floodwater and mud damaged desks, chairs, teaching materials and student records. The school reopened in late October after a month of clean-up, repairs and re-stocking.

Many of the students' homes and belongings were damaged or destroyed. After weeks of cleaning out the mud, sixth-grader Louie Mangali said his family's house was still a mess. Like many other students, Louie also lost his school supplies. But he said some of his classmates had suffered more. They were still finding it difficult to concentrate on their studies because what they had experienced during or after the storms.

"Some of my classmates weren't able to relate with the class discussion and they weren't able to do their assignments," Louie noted.

Hundreds lost their lives during the crisis, and some students lost friends or loved ones, or witnessed tragedies. Many schools stepped in to give psycho-social support as children coped with loss. Teachers such as Mary Jane Lattao tried to use alternative education methods.

"We counselled them, we shared experiences and we let them play some games to avoid boredom," said Ms. Lattao.

LIFE-SAVING LESSONS

Re-establishing education after an emergency can play an important role in helping children overcome its psycho-social impact. Post-disaster education can also teach children critical skills, according to UNICEF Philippines Education in Emergencies consultant Arnaldo Arcadio.

"Education can be life-saving, because we provide children with information on health, water, sanitation and nutrition," he said. "We incorporate that into classroom discussions so that they will know how to survive in those conditions."

Mr. Arcadio added that children can teach their family members about the dangers of playing in floodwaters, the risks in evacuation centres and how to avoid them, and the importance of washing their hands with soap before and after eating and using the toilet. In many ways, he said, this aspect of education is as important an emergency response as the provision of food, water and sanitation.

ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO DELIVER EDUCATION

In the wake of the recent typhoons, NGOs are taking lessons from these and past storms to better prepare for future natural disasters. UNICEF is working with the Philippines school authorities to develop alternative ways of delivering education – including self-learning exercises that students can do if they can't get to school.

"With these alternative delivery modes, we will be able to minimize the disruption in schooling and, at the same time, ensure that children are safe in their homes – but with their learning activities continued," said UNICEF Philippines Chief of Education Lulay de Vera Mateo.

To make up for time lost during the floods, several schools are extending school hours, shortening holiday breaks or holding make-up classes on Saturday. The country's National Disaster Coordinating Council estimates that it could take until late December for some of the worst-affected schools to reopen.

nancyk58
04-12-2009, 06:34 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 4 DECEMBER 2009

SAMOAN TSUNAMI WAVE WAS 46 FEET HIGH

(12/04/2009 | 02:07 PM - GMA News.TV)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — The TSUNAMI that KILLED MORE THAN 200 PEOPLE in the SAMOAN ISLANDS and TONGA earlier this year towered up to 46 FEET (14 METERS) HIGH — more then twice as tall as most of the buildings it slammed into, scientists said Friday.

New Zealand scientists studying the size, power and reach of the tsunami as part of efforts to guard against future disasters said they found UP TO THREE DESTRUCTIVE WAVES were caused by the MAGNITUDE 8.0 UNDERSEA EARTHQUAKE in SEPTEMBER.

The MASSIVE WAVES that struck SAMOA, AMERICAN SAMOA and TONGA totally destroyed traditional wooden buildings, many of them singly story, along the coast while reinforced concrete buildings sustained only minor damage, said Stefan Reese, a risk engineer with New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.

The waves were up to 46 feet (14 meters) high, Reese told The Associated Press. The scientists measured watermarks on buildings and trees to help confirm the height of the waves.

"In some areas there was virtually nothing left" after the waves reached up to 765 yards (700 meters) inland, Reese said.

Wide reefs saved some villages by helping to reduce the waves' height to about 10 feet (3 meters), Reese said.

The SAMOAN quake created a sea floor fault up to 190 miles (300 kilometers) long and 23 feet (7 meters) deep.

The SEPT. 29 TSUNAMI KILLED 34 people in AMERICAN SAMOA, 183 in SAMOA and NINE in TONGA. - AP

nancyk58
06-12-2009, 02:33 PM
Updates of the situation in the Southeast Asia on 5 and 6 December 2009

No relevant news on GMA News.TV in the week-end 5 and 6/12 2009

Weather Report for the Philippines: (21°C to 31°C). As of 5 a.m. Sunday, no tropical cyclone is existing within the Philippine Area of Responsibility. A strong to gale force winds is expected to affect the seaboards of Luzon and Eastern Visayas.
-----------------------------
Danish Red Cross:

THE POOR ARE GOING TO PAY DEARLY FOR CLIMATE CHANGE

Everyone is talking about climate change right now. Unfortunately, there is very little focus on the millions of people already affected by the warmer climate. 92 percent of them live in poor countries.

Responsible for this page: Ilse lark Kristensen

Climate change is not something that happens in a distant future. They are already today a major cause of natural disasters. Storms, floods and droughts have become stronger, and their number increases.

This means that every year, 243 million people are affected by disasters caused by climate. Everything indicates that the figure will grow to 375 million in 2015.
There is no doubt about the reason for the new disaster picture: The earth has become warmer, and it affects the climate, which in turn affects the disasters.

Climate change affects the world's poor hardest

Those living in poor countries live a dangerous life. The risk of being killed in a natural disaster here is 10 times higher than in Denmark and in other rich countries.

The last 10 years, 72 percent of all natural disasters hit the developing world. It cost both lives and money in countries that already have difficulties in surviving.

Climate change also affects particularly hard in developing countries because large sections of the people here are deeply dependent on nature and its resources. Here the consequences of a bad harvest might be fatal for a family.

Other consequences of climate change:

• Conflicts - Scarcity of resources such as land and water increases the risk of conflict across the world.
• Melting glaciers - Threatening water supplies for millions of people.
• Rising sea levels - The water level in the world's oceans rises and threatens the existence of many countries.
• Diseases - such as malaria and dengue fever are spreading to areas not previously affected.
• Refugees - Millions are forced to flee because of the climate. That figure rises dramatically over the next decades.

Pages
COP 15: We must ensure future generations
Red Cross: We do as we usually do

Photo Series
Climate change shakes Mozambique
Photo exhibition in Copenhagen

Facts
Climate and disasters in numbers

Theme
Climate and Conflict
Other climate sites
Red Cross Climate Center

COP 15’s Official site
UN Climate Convention (eng)

Climate Calendars
People’s Climate Action
Wonderful Copenhagen

Our goals for the Copenhagen summit:
• The rich countries earmark more money to poor countries so that they are equipped to cope with disasters when these strike.
• Adaptation to climate change becomes a permanent part of the work on development and on poverty reduction.
• A marked reduction of global emissions of greenhouse gases.

http://drk.dk/nyheder/temaer/klima-c3-+verdens+fattige+betaler+prisen

nancyk58
07-12-2009, 09:53 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 7 DECEMBER 2009

The Philippines (GMA News.TV):

Weather forecast: (20°C to 31°C). At 5 p.m. Monday, a northeast monsoon affects Luzon and Visayas. There is no existing tropical cyclone within the Philippine area of responsibility.

Other important news from the Philippines:

Full text: Arroyo's declaration of martial law in Maguindanao

'Lawless elements have taken up arms:' Arroyo report to Congress on martial law declaration in Maguindanao

(Updated) Congress sets joint session on martial law Tuesday

SWS: Dissatisfaction with Arroyo increasing

The Ampatuan Massacre: a map and timeline
-------------

UNICEF:

UNICEF is an abbreviation for United Nations International Childrens Emergency Fund which was UNICEF's full name until 1953. Subsequently the name has been changed toUnited Nations Children's Fund as the organization expanded its work to include development aid.

http://www.unicef.dk/script/site/page.asp?Cat_ID=228&artID=1350

A new song "It's My World" sung by the Danish choir "Alien Beat Club" and the Choir of Danish Radio. The song is written and donated to UNICEF by the Danish singer, producer and "X Factor" judge Remee (abroad he is probably most known for having written Jamelia's great hit "Super Star"). The new song is to be sung by children from 42 countries at the Childrens' Climate Forum 2009 in December. The Children's Climate Forum was held in Copenhagen from 28 November to 4 December 2009.

The lyrics of "It's My World"

Everyday when I get home
I can see what I did wrong
And the back of my mind say
That I should know better
And I would give it all up
If I could turn back the clock
Would´ve treated you better
Now I see it clearer

I do believe there's a time to change
And I'm not caught up in yesterday

Cause the world will keep on turning
And a light will keep on burning
For the fact that I'll be learning
Every minute of the journey
But if we dont stop pretending
There will be consequenses
For the rivers that are flowing
When the fire's on, the fire´s on

It's my world
It's my world
It's my world

Somebody made it all up
The beauty of a raindrop
Just like a work of art
Mountains and rivers
I wanna see where it ends up
If I give it all my love
Every thought I give her will come back forever

I know that we've got the right to change
And there's no reason to place the blame

Cause the world will keep on turning
And a light will keep on burning
For the fact that I'll be learning
Every minute of the journey
When the fire´s on, the fire´s on

It's my world, it's my world…

I got a choice to make (for my world)
Before it fades away (my world)
It's now or never
Can´t be like hey whatever
Whatever motivates (my world)
I gotta make a change
We´re in this together

Cause the world will keep on turning
And a light will keep on burning
For the fact that I'll be learning
When the fire´s on, the fire´s on

It's my world
It's my world
It's my world
----------------

Our World, Our Future

CHILDREN’s CLIMATE FORUM DECLARATION 2009

Climate change threatens our lives, our families and our future. We, the youth delegates from 44 countries attending the Children’s Climate Forum 2009, will not sit back and watch. We already face the effects of climate change. Our communities are deprived of clean drinking water, denied access to education and vulnerable to disease every time it floods. Our plates are empty due to drought. Our future is at risk, and we demand that something be done. The youth in the world are ready to take action, and we request the same of governments worldwide. The time for talk is over. Now, we hold you accountable for your commitments.

The challenges may appear insurmountable, yet as stakeholders, our generation is ready to collaborate in this cause.

We commit to personal lifestyle changes that place the common good above our individual desires and
current way of life.

We commit to educate and empower ourselves and our communities to adapt to and mitigate the changing climate.

We commit to engage and actively cooperate with all generations and governments in combating climate change.

As our efforts alone will not be enough, we expect our leaders and fellow citizens to cooperate. The following actions need to be taken:

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ADAPTATION

· Governments of industrialized countries should contribute more, through financial and technological support, to the adaptation of developing countries to climate change.

· We want cities to be well‐planned and sustainable, with clean drinking water, many green spaces and efficient transport networks. Governments should take more proactive efforts to prevent uncontrolled urban growth and strengthen rural communities by creating sustainable employment, quality education and entertainment.

· Regulations, safety standards and standard emergency protocol, consistently centered on and informed by children, need to be established to prepare for climate induced disasters.

· As lack of water is already causing drought and desertification in many areas, governments must work towards water conservation and provide clean water sources for areas in need.

· Education on sea level rise and flooding, along with policies that allow communities to adjust to changes, must be implemented. When communities’ water supplies are threatened by rising sea levels, alternative sources should be provided to aid their adaptation.

· Biodiversity‐related projects that promote the conservation of threatened species must be widely implemented.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MITIGATION

· Research, development and sharing of green and energy‐efficient technologies, especially renewable energy production, must occur between industrialized and developing countries to ensure sustainable development globally.

· Investments should be made in sustainable transport infrastructure, such as train and bus networks, cycling lanes and environmentally friendly fuel.

· An international carbon trading system should be introduced. All transactions within the market should be taxed and the revenue generated should be used for an adaptation fund.

· We propose a new classification where countries are divided into three annexes - the industrialized countries, the developing countries which pollute heavily and the less polluting developing countries - to distribute responsibilities fairly among nations.

· Governments should establish and develop recycling systems on a national level.
We demand that our authorities provide accessible recycling facilities in all communities.

· Climate change education should be a mandatory and substantial area of the school curriculum. Governments should also support organizations which already educate youth on climate issues.

The battle against climate change is upon all of us. We are ready to act and we invite you to join us. Climate change is affecting our lives, our families and our future. We must act immediately and we are ready to fulfill our commitments. We are prepared to give all we have as long as there is the possibility of saving our
planet.

We expect the same courage from you.

-----------------------------

THE WORLD's CHILDREN DEMAND CLIMATE ACTION BY WORLD LEADERS

07-12-2009 - On Friday 4 December 2009 children from around the world gathered in Copenhagen presented their own Climate Forum Declaration to the Danish Minister, Mrs. Connie Hedegaard who is President of COP 15.

The children's commitments

The Declaration commits the children to change their own lifestyles and demands that world governments act now to protect the world from the terrible consequences of climate change.

164 children with a voice

"The battle against climate change is upon all of us. We are ready to act and we invite you to join us. Climate change is affecting our lives, our families and our future. We must act immediately and we are ready to fulfill our commitments. We are prepared to give all we have as long as there is the possibility of saving our planet". So a total of 164 young people from around the world wrote in their Climate Forum Declaration. "We expect the same courage from you," the declaration concludes.

The next generation demands action

During the closing ceremony today at the Copenhagen City Hall Connie Hedegaard received the Children Climate Forum Declaration with a big thank you to the 164 youth delegates, because they put pressure on the politicians.
"Tell them they cannot leave Copenhagen empty-handed in two weeks! Because you - the community / citizens - the next generation - demand that they act now," said Connie Hedegaard, in her speech to the youth climate ambassadors.

Concrete proposals

The Children's Climate Forum Declaration recommends the governments of industrialized countries to contribute more financially to combat climate change; the planning of cities in a way so that they are sustainable; the implementation of laws and disaster preparedness to mitigate the consequences and effects of natural disasters; the conservation of clean water; schools to educate children on sea level rise and flooding, and implementation of biodiversity-related projects to conserve threatened species.

New classification of the world's countries

The youth delegates also came up with recommendations for reducing CO2 emissions. In addition, they propose a new classification of the world's countries - in industrialized countries, developing countries which pollute heavily and less polluting developing countries - to distribute responsibilities fairly among nations.

Week-long battle for justice

Climate justice was altogether a recurring theme at the week-long children's forum, where 164 youth delegates between 14 and 17 years from 44 countries met in Copenhagen City Hall to discuss and learn about climate change and to submit plans for the continued action for a better climate when they return to their home countries.

164 new ambassadors

After the forum the youth delegates were formally appointed youth climate ambassadors. "It has been very cool that children with so many different backgrounds can agree on so many items. I hope we can keep in touch across the countries to exchange ideas and experience. At this forum, there are so many young people who have experienced many terrible things. I will take that with me when I go out as climate ambassador to give lectures, "says 15-year-old Martin Dover who is Danish climate ambassador.

Eight children participating at the Adults' Climate Summit

Eight youth delegates from Bangladesh, Bolivia, Haiti, Kenya, Maldives, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia will stay in Copenhagen to draw attention to children's concerns and recommendations in the first week of the adults' Climate Summit, COP 15.

The ceremony was supported by climate song

During the closing ceremony, the children's climate demands were supported by the Danish singer Remee and the Danish choir "Alien Beat Club" who - together with the 164 climate ambassadors - sang the hit "It's My World". The song was written by Remee specifically for the Children Climate Forum.


Extract of Children’s Climate Forum Declaration 2009

We commit to personal lifestyle changes that place the common good above our individual desires and current way of life.

We commit to educate and empower ourselves and our communities to adapt to and mitigate the changing climate.

We commit to engage and actively cooperate with all generations and governments in combating climate change.

nancyk58
09-12-2009, 01:11 PM
Today I received the e-mail below from Paul Hilder - Avaaz.org:

Call Europe, rescue Copenhagen!‏

From: Paul Hilder - Avaaz.org (avaaz@avaaz.org)
Sent: 9. december 2009 10:18:48
To: Nancy Boysen

Dear friends around Europe,

The Copenhagen climate summit is on the verge of collapse already - developed countries have failed to lead the way with sufficient cuts and real money to finance a deal, and trust was lost when a flawed draft by the Danish hosts leaked today.

European nations have led the way on climate before. But so far in Copenhagen, we have failed to do our job. In these last short days, Europe’s leaders must rise to the moment and become true dealmakers.

Our leaders are meeting in Brussels this Thursday and Friday to decide how far they’ll go for a real deal in Copenhagen. Let’s flood them with thousands of phone calls from their own citizens, pressing them to rescue the summit by offering fairer and more ambitious proposals, instead of standing by and watching our future fall apart.

Click here to take action now:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/europe_be_a_leader

At the link, you’ll find everything you need to send your message – suggestions about what to say, the right phone numbers, and reports of how our calls are going.

After years of careful preparation, we can’t fail in the last days for a simple lack of leadership. Let’s do all we can to save the climate deal -- follow the link above to act now.

With hope and determination,

Paul, Iain, Benjamin, Alice, Milena, Ricken, Paula, Graziela, Taren and the whole Avaaz team

More information:

Newsweek -- "The ‘Danish Text’ Disrupts Copenhagen: What You Need to Know":
http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/thegaggle/archive/2009/12/08/the-danish-text-disrupts-copenhagen-what-you-need-to-know.aspx

Guardian -- "Gordon Brown: EU cuts must go deeper to get Copenhagen climate deal":http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/07/gordon-brown-eu-emissions-cuts

E3G -- "30 Percent and Beyond: Strengthening EU Leadership on Climate Change":
http://www.e3g.org/programmes/europe-articles/eu-should-raise-its-emissions-reduction-target-latest-e3g-briefing/

China View -- "40 percent emissions cut in Europe feasible: study" :http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-12/09/content_12614055.htm

----------------------------------

Want to support Avaaz?
We're entirely funded by donations and receive no money from governments or corporations. Our dedicated online team ensures even the smallest contributions go a long way -- donate here.

ABOUT AVAAZ
Avaaz.org is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means "voice" in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in Ottawa, London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Buenos Aires, and Geneva. Click here to learn more about our largest campaigns. Don't forget to check out our Facebook and Myspace and Bebo pages! You can also follow Avaaz on Twitter!

To contact Avaaz, please do not reply to this email. Instead, write to us via the webform at http://www.avaaz.org/en/contact. You can also call us at +1-888-922-8229 (US) or +55 21 2509 0368 (Brazil).

nancyk58
09-12-2009, 01:30 PM
A document mentioned in today's other post:

Posted Tuesday, December 08, 2009 12:33 PM

The ‘Danish Text’ Disrupts Copenhagen: What You Need to Know

Daniel Stone

You might call it a modest setback to the climate talks. Or you might call it the puncturing of a lung in Copenhagen that has left negotiations wheezing on the floor.

On day two of the two-week conference, attention focused late in the day on what’s been dubbed the Danish Text, a document devised by several parties—including Denmark, the U.K., and the U.S.—that would hand most regulatory control to rich nations and would replace the U.N. as arbiter of global cuts with the World Bank’s more financially minded eye. Small players at the table, specifically the developing nations that have sought to pin large countries to the mat on making cuts, interpret the Danish proposal as a deeply troubling attempt by the biggest emitters to maintain control over their emissions…and the rest of the world's.

The proposal is essentially a reversal of the main principle of the Kyoto Protocol, which provided that large countries make sweeping steps to curb their emissions, but excludes smaller countries that may be limited in doing so. In an about-face, the Danish document proposes that future negotiations would take place on larger countries’ political and economic turf. But to the developing countries, the most infuriating component of the proposal comes down to numbers. Under the plan, by 2050 poor countries would have to limit per capita emissions at 1.44 tons, while rich countries would be given extra leeway at 2.67 tons per person.

Drafters of the text maintain that the proposal wasn't intended to be released until more countries could offer amendments and sign on, and that the leaked draft is far from final. But that reasoning isn't seeming to resonate in Copenhagen at the moment. Poor countries see the draft as a way the wool was almost pulled over their eyes. And even stateside, climate watchers have labeled the secret nature of the proposal "despicable," dishonest, and unfair.

Whether the negotiations can recover is an open question. Considering the urgent demands of curbing emissions is not going away, it’s likely they will. But the biggest difference now is the hefty amount of humility larger countries will need to exhibit in order to bring everyone back to the table. With the risk of the breakdown of the talks being blamed on them, there’s certainly extra incentive for the parties at the center of the document to get things back on track.

UPDATE: Briefing reporters Tuesday evening in Copenhagen, U.S. delegate Jonathan Pershing played down the implications of the document. "There is no single Danish text, there are many Danish texts." He went on, "If there was no Danish text, I would be appalled" since "[the delegates'] job is to bring something to the table."

nancyk58
10-12-2009, 09:55 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 10 DECEMBER 2009

The Philippines:

Some headlines followed by some articles - all from GMA News.TV

'All RP seafarers to take anti-piracy training'

Poor Filipinos on the rise despite growth — ADB

Japan hiring qualified Filipino nurses, caregivers

Obama defends US wars as he accepts peace prize


FILIPINO WHO SAVED LIVES DURING STORM AMONG TIME's TOP 10 HEROES

(SOPHIA REGINA M. DEDACE, GMANews.TV - 10 Dec. 2009 | 04:30 PM )

A FILIPINO who SACRIFICED HIS LIFE life during the onslaught of tropical storm ONDOY (KETSANA) in SEPTEMBER was named among TIME Magazine’s TOP 10 HEROes this year.

The international publication recognized the SELFLESSNESS of 18-year-old Muelmar Magallanes, who braved raging currents, helping bring neighbors and relatives to safer ground when RECORD RAINFALL SUBMERGED THREE-FOURTHS OF THE PHILIPPINE CAPITAL.

“By the time the storm had unleashed its full fury, bringing the worst rains the region had seen in more than 40 years, Magallanes had changed the lives of dozens of family members and neighbors – and lost his own," TIME said on its Web site.

Barangay Bagong Silangan in Quezon City was among the worst-hit communities in the metropolis when Ondoy ravaged vast swaths in Luzon on September 26.

Magallanes, said to be a strong swimmer, rescued about 30 people but was unable to save himself.

While trying to save other neighbors, a wall collapsed on him and a television set fell on his head, killing him instantly.

ONDOY may have KILLED HUNDREDS, DISPLACED THOUSANDS OF FAMILIES, and DESTROYED THOUSANDS OF HOMES.

But Magallanes and several other faceless heroes show that tragedy cannot dampen Filipinos’ resilience and bravery.

Just last month, CNN hailed Filipino Efren Peñaflorida for pioneering the mobile pushcart classrooms to bring education to impoverished children in Cavite, providing an alternative to gang wars prevalent in the communities.

RJAB, Jr./GMANews.TV


HOUSE APPROVES DISASTER RISK REDUCTION BILL (posted 9 Dec. 2009)

The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a measure that seeks to strengthen the country's disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) system.

The consolidated bill entitled “An Act Strengthening The Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction And Management System" was approved by the chamber Tuesday night, a week before Congress goes into recess for the Christmas break.

The Senate passed its version of the DRRM bill last September. Calls for the passage of the measure in the House intensified a few months ago following the onslaught of tropical storm "ONDOY" and TYPHOON "PEPENG," which WREAKED HAVOC IN LARGE AREAS OF LUZON.


MEMORIAL PLAQUE FOR 956 ONDOY-PEPENG DEAD UNVEILED IN AUSTRALIA

(posted 09 Dec. 2009 - GMA NEWS.TV)

The plaque was unveiled at the Pinegrove Memorial Park in Minchinbury, New South Wales, according to a report from the Philippine Consulate General in Sydney.

According to the Philippines' Department of Foreign Affairs, the plaque is now a permanent marker in a section of the cemetery called the “Filipino Memorial of Christ the Risen Lord."


US GIVES $10 MILLION FOR RP STORM VICTIMS (posted 3 Dec. 2009)

The United States has donated an additional $10 million to help about 2 million Filipinos cope with the aftermath of back-to-back TYPHOONS THAT DEVASTATED THE NORTHERN PHILIPPINES.

NEARLY 1,000 PEOPLE DIED when THREE TYPHOONS from late September to late October unleashed the HEAVIEST FLOODS IN DECADES in and around MANILA AND IN THE NORTHERN MOUNTAINS, where LANDSLIDES buried entire families.

US Ambassador Kristie Kenney said Thursday the latest assistance brought total American aid for the typhoon victims to $30 million. The UN is separately seeking $144 million to cover the work of relief aid agencies until March 2010.
Kenney said the money will be used for education, water and health needs. - AP


STORM'S ECONOMIC IMPACT STRONGER THAN ESTIMATED (Posted 3 December, 2009)

The economic toll of recent storms will be substantially more than earlier estimated but secured pledges are more than enough to fund reconstruction and recovery efforts, the government said on Wednesday.

Some $5 billion has been committed by the state and its development partners, Finance Secretary Margarito B. Teves announced on Wednesday following what the government called a "Public-Private Sector Dialogue on Post-Disaster Assistance."

The claim followed the World Bank’s reporting late on Tuesday that the toll from TYPHOONS ONDOY and PEPENG, WHICH DEVASTATED PARTS OF METRO MANILA and NORTHERN LUZON, would be $4.38 billion (P206 billion), equivalent to 2.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

The amount is a marked increase from the National Disaster Coordinating Council’s damage estimate of just over P38 billion.

The STORMS, which hit late September/early October and KILLED NEARLY A THOUSAND PEOPLE, would also CUT GROWTH by nearly half a percentage point and add 480,000 people to the ranks of the poor, the report said.

The total cost of recovery efforts over the next three years would be $4.42 billion (P207.8 billion), it added.

In announcing the pledges, Mr. Teves said "There is an indication of support from our development partners to the tune of $3 billion. Together with available funding from the public sector of about $2 billion plus private sector efforts, we have more than enough funds to meet the requirement for the country’s recovery and reconstruction."

"[The funding can come] by way of grants, concessional loans, based on terms that are mutually agreed upon," he said.

"This is a clear indication of support ... We will have to thresh out the projects to be funded".

He declined to elaborate on the contributions of each development partner but said the largest amount was pledged by the Asian Development Bank. Details on specific projects were also not announced.

Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Augusto B. Santos said the pledges would be formalized through separate agreements.

"The disbursement of these funds will happen within the next three years. It will be in tranches. About one-third of these will be released in 2010," he said.
Mr. Teves said the bulk of the public sector funding would come from government financial institutions like the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines, and state-run firms Home Mutual Development Fund and National Development Co.

"The impact will be on the consolidated public sector so there will be less pressure on the national government ... For now we are sticking to our deficit and borrowing programs," he said.

Mr. Teves, who heads the Special National Public Reconstruction Commission, said the private sector had yet to commit any amount but said he was confident that funds would be made available once the projects are being implemented.

According to the World Bank’s post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA), "A total of $942.9 million is required to meet recovery needs and a total of $3.48 billion is required for the reconstruction efforts over the short term (2009-2010) to medium term (2011-2012)."

"The needs for financing are large but the cost of doing nothing would be larger still. This PDNA estimates the total cost of recovery and reconstruction at $4.42 billion (P207.88 billion)."

Reconstruction refers to short-term activities such as road repairs while recovery involves long-term initiatives such as housing and flood control.

More than half of the costs, around $2.44 billion, will have to be shouldered by the government while the private sector will have to contribute the remainder.

The report said [B]storm damage and losses totalled $4.38 billion (P206 billion), equivalent to 2.7 percent of GDP and pulling down growth by 0.4 percent this year.

"Tropical storm Ondoy and typhoon Pepeng caused substantial damage and losses equivalent to 2.7 percent of GDP. The storms hit regions of the country that account for over 69 percent of GDP," it read.
"The GDP growth will decline by 0.4 percentage point from pre-disaster baselines in 2009 followed by an increase of 0.4 percentage point in 2010 ... Reconstruction and recovery activities are fiscal stimuli that will add to the growth rate," Jehan Arulpragasam, World Bank human development coordinator, said in a briefing last Tuesday.

The PDNA defined damage as the direct impact on assets and stocks including final goods and raw materials. Losses, meanwhile, refer to the impact on economic flows such as production declines and reduced incomes.

The assessment said more than 90 percent of damage and loss fell on the private sector.

"It should be noted that in contrast to other disasters in which destruction of infrastructure is predominant, nearly 95 percent of total damage and losses were sustained by the productive and social sectors," the report states.

"The impact was felt mostly by micro to medium sized enterprises, which normally have limited or no access to credit."

Specifically, 43 percent of the damage and loss was felt by commerce while 19 percent and 17 percent were borne by the agriculture and housing sectors, respectively. Also affected were the industrial (9 percent), transport (4 percent), health (3 percent) and other (5 percent) sectors.

Poverty incidence could increase by as much as three percentage points in Luzon areas affected by the storms and by 0.5 percentage point nationwide.

"The number of poor people in the Philippines is expected to increase by 480,000 in 2009. The storms severely disrupted livelihoods in the affected areas with about 170 million workdays — equivalent to about 664,000 one-year jobs — lost..."

Total income lost was pegged at P50.3 billion, including informal workers with family-based livelihoods.

The PDNA said rehabilitation efforts should be implemented in the following: rural production, flood management, housing, disaster risk reduction, and local governance.

From a report by Alexis Douglas B. Romero


FOREIGN DONORS PLEDGE FUNDS FOR REHAB EFFORTS (posted 2/12-09)

The Philippines is hoping to raise huge funds from the donor community and private sectors until 2012 to FINANCE RECONSTRUCTION and RECOVERY EFFORTS following the disasters of TROPICAL STORM ONDOY and TYPHOON PEPENG.

Manila is seeking P207 billion, about 2.7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, to fund its rehabilitation and recovery projects following the damages and losses caused by the twin calamities.

Leading the government team were President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Finance Secretary Margarito Teves while Manuel V. Pangilinan, chairman of telecommunications giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. and holding firm Metro Pacific Investments Corp., headed the private sector group.

Teves told reporters that the donor community committed to grant the Philippine $3 billion or P141 billion worth of loans, mostly with easy terms than those given to commercial borrowings.

"We are pleased with the broad indication of support by our development partners that reached $3 billion," Teves said.
Bulk of the amount would come from Manila-based Asian Development Bank, while other sources include World Bank, United Nations and the Japanese government.

For its counterpart funding, the government would provide about $2 billion or P94 billion, mostly coming from government financial institutions such as Land Bank of the Philippines, Development Bank of the Philippines and government-owned and controlled firms including the Home Mutual Development Fund or Pag-IBIG Fund and the National Development Co.

The private sector, meanwhile, has yet to provide a detail about how much it will chip in for the rehabilitation efforts.

"Together with available funding from the private sector of about $2 billion plus private sector efforts through the Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation of the private sector, we are confident that we can have enough funds to meet the requirements for the country's recovery and reconstruction," Teves said.
The Special National Public Reconstruction Commission was earlier created by the President to raise funds for recovery projects.

ONDOY HIT METRO MANILA with an unusually MASSIVE amount of RAINFALL and caused severe FLOODINGS, while PEPENG battered most of NORTHERN LUZON, main source of the island’s vegetable and rice needs.
GMANews.TV

nancyk58
11-12-2009, 08:43 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 11 DECEMBER 2009

(http://www.unicef.dk/script/site/page.asp?Cat_ID=228&artID=1355)

Youth climate ambassador spoke

10-12-2009 - Hundreds of participants at the climate summit COP15 listened attentively as the newly appointed Ambassador of Climate, 15-year-old Mohammed Axamer Maumoon of Maldives took to the podium at the Bella Center. The debate was organized by the Prime Minister's Department, and among the many prominent participants was the Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen.

Future disappears

"I hear and understand the anxiety and pain expressed by the world's children. My eyes are not wet when I see a sad movie or when I lose a football game and certainly not when I give my toys away. But they are wet, because I know how it feels to see your own future and be forced to see it disappear. " In this way Axamer opened his speech and thus he signaled clearly that he had something to say.

Unfair climate change

The youth climate ambassador talked about the unfair way in which climate change affects the world: "Those who have more than enough to continue blindly in their struggle for more and thus continue their harmful behavior, while those who have nothing, are suffering and they experience a misery that they can not see an end to. "

One of eight youth ambassadors

Axamer is one of eight climate ambassadors who, last week, was chosen among 164 children at Children's Climate Forum to represent the world's children at COP15. As the only speaker besides Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Axamer delivered his speech from the podium, and not from soft chairs in the panel: "This is where I have practiced and rehearsed ," was the honest explanation.

The future belongs to children

"When the future now belongs to the children, then you should all think about this: How old are your children in 2050? Are they lucky enough to survive on a dying Earth? Our work on this started late, but it is not too late. Believe me, now is the perfect time to start working. "

Representative of all the world's children

In his concluding speech, Axamer reminded the politicians and experts of the fact that he was not alone at the podium: "I am Mohammed Axamer Maumoon from the Maldives, I represent and give voice to all children of the world - including your own!," he concluded. Axamer's moving speech was given a standing ovation by the audience in the hall.

nancyk58
12-12-2009, 09:56 AM
TODAY on SATURDAY 12 DECEMBER 2009 I WILL PARTICIPATE IN THE DEMONSTRATION IN COPENHAGEN ON THE OCCASION OF THE UN CLIMATE SUMMIT - COP15 - IN COPENHAGEN FROM 6 TO 18 DECEMBER 2009.

THE AIM OF THE DEMONSTRATION IS TO LAY PRESSURE ON THE POLITICIANS AND THE WORLD LEADERS TO SIGN A GOOD CLIMATE DEAL IN COPENHAGEN CONTAINING SUBSTANTIAL CO2 EMISSION REDUCTIONS AND A COMMITMENT TO PAY ENORMOUS SUMS OF MONEY INTO A CLIMATE FUND TO ENABLE THE POOR STATES THAT ARE MOST AFFECTED BY NATURAL DISASTERS TO ADAPT TO THE CLIMATE CHANGE.

nancyk58
12-12-2009, 10:00 PM
I had a really nice day at today's demonstration in Copenhagen on the occasion of the UN Climate Summit / COP15. The weather was sunny, but cold - around 3 degrees Celsius.

100,000 people participated in the overall peaceful demonstration. Where I was, everything was quite peaceful. But I understand that 700 activists have been arrested and that a policeman was hit in his head by a paving stone. Some activists threw stones at the police, in which connection 20 activists were arrested. A 43-year-old Swede was slightly wounded as he ignited a chrysantemum bomb - he was arrested afterwards. 4 cars were set on fire.
I met some nice people and had a wonderful day, but I am a little bit tired, but happy. In my opinion this demonstration was a huge success.

nancyk58
14-12-2009, 10:43 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 14 DECEMBER 2009

The Philippines

MAYON MAY ERUPT SOON; ALERT LEVEL 3 RAISED

( AIE BALAGTAS SEE, GMANews.TV - 12/14/2009 | 09:35 PM )

After five successive minor ash explosions and 43 volcanic earthquakes recorded for the past 24 hours, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology = Phivolcs on Monday raised the alert level at Mayon Volcano from two to three.

“This morning, Philvolcs had recorded minor explosions from the volcano, while tonight, our staff noticed fresh volcanic materials coming out of its crater," said Phivolcs director Renato Solidum in an interview with radio dzBB.

Because of this, we have raised the alert status in Mayon Volcano from alert level 2 to alert level 3," he added.

Alex Baloloy, senior science research analyst at the Phivolcs Mayon Observatory in Daraga, Albay, said the volcanic activity recorded in the volcano's parameters, particularly the rolling of incandescent materials or lava trickles, could eventually lead to hazardous magmatic eruption.

Solidum said state seismologists would closely monitor developments at the volcano.

For the meantime, residents are prohibited from performing any activity around the volcano’s six-kilometer permanent danger zone and one-kilometer southeast sector, Solidum said.

RESCUE GROUPS READY

Solidum said they have already coordinated with the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) in preparing for a possible evacuation of residents living at the foot of the volcano. Albay Governor Joey Salceda has also ordered local government units in the province to activate the evacuation plans to maintain the zero casualty goal.

Salceda also advised local disaster coordinating councils to directly advise the population in the danger zone to have their evacuation kits ready and wait for an advisory to be issued any time from Monday night to Tuesday.

Salceda also ordered the Joint Task Force Mayon to pre-position its vehicles for a possible evacuation of 30,000 residents.

Phivolcs had earlier said that there had been an increase in the current activity of Mayon Volcano since June 2009.

HISTORY OF ERUPTIONS

Phivolcs’ Web site on Mayon said the volcano has had at least 40 eruptions since February 1616, the most destructive of which occurred in Feb. 1, 1814 when pyroclastic flows, volcanic lightning, and lahar affected Camalig, Cagsawa, Budiao, Guinobatan and half of Albay. - At least 1,200 were listed as casualties.

The second most destructive eruption was from June 4 to July 23, 1897, as pyroclastic flow, lava flow, lahar and volcanic lightning caused 350 casualties.

On July 20-24, 1766, pyroclastic and lava flows destroyed Malinao and damaged Cagsawa, Guinobatan, Budiao, Polangui and Ligao. There were 39 casualties.

On July 7, 1853, 34 casualties were listed as ashfall and pyroclastic flow and lahar affected Camalig, Guinobatan, Ligao, Oas, Polangui, Malilipot, Bacacay, and Cagsawa.

From Feb. 2 to April 4, 1993, pyroclastic and lava flow killed 77 and injured five.

Mayon erupted again from July to October 2006. In August 2006, government ordered the evacuation of people living near the volcano.

On Oct. 3, 2006, Phivolcs downgraded the threat level to Alert Level 2. On Oct.25, it downgraded the threat level to Alert Level 1. But on Nov.30 that year, Typhoon Durian caused mudslides of volcanic ash and boulders from the slopes of Mayon Volcano, burying at least 1,000.
with Michael Jaucian/KBK, GMANews.TV

------------------------------------------------------------

THE CLIMATE SUMMIT IN COPENHAGEN / COP15 FROM 6 DEC. TO 18 DEC.

DEVELOPING COUNTRIES BOYCOTT UN CLIMATE TALKS

( 12/14/2009 | 11:07 PM GMA News.TV )

COPENHAGEN – CHINA, INDIA and OTHER DEVELOPING NATIONS BOYCOTTED U.N. CLIMATE TALKS MONDAY, bringing negotiations to a halt with their demand that rich countries discuss much deeper cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions.

REPRESENTATIVES FROM 135 DEVELOPING COUNTRIES said they refused to participate in any formal working groups at the 192-nation summit until the issue was resolved. The developing countries want to extend the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which imposed penalties on rich nations if they did not comply with its strict emissions limits.The AFRICAN-led move was a setback for the Copenhagen talks, which were already faltering over long-running disputes between rich and poor nations over emissions cuts and financing for developing countries to deal with climate change.

However, the move was largely seen as a ploy to shift the agenda to the responsibilities of the industrial countries and make emissions reductions the first item for discussion when world leaders begin arriving Tuesday.

"I don't think the talks are falling apart, but we're losing time," said Kim Carstensen, of the World Wildlife Fund. The developing countries "are making a point."

The dispute came as the conference entered its second week, and only days before more than 100 world leaders, including President Barack Obama, were scheduled to arrive in Copenhagen.

"Nothing is happening at this moment," Zia Hoque Mukta, a delegate from Bangladesh, told The Associated Press. He said developing countries have demanded that conference president Connie Hedegaard of Denmark bring the industrial nations' emissions targets to the top of the agenda before talks can resume.

Poor countries, supported by China, say Hedegaard had raised suspicion that the conference was likely to kill the Kyoto Protocol. The United States withdrew from Kyoto over concerns that it would harm the U.S. economy and that China, India and other major greenhouse gas emitters were not required to take action.

"We are seeing the death of the Kyoto Protocol," said Djemouai Kamel of Algeria, the head of the 50-nation Africa group.

It was the second time the Africans have disrupted the climate talks. At the last round of negotiations in November, the African bloc forced a one-day suspension until wealthy countries agreed to spell out what steps they will take to reduce emissions.

An African delegate said developing countries decided to block the negotiations at a meeting hours before the conference was to resume. He was speaking on condition of anonymity because the meeting was held behind closed doors. He said applause broke out every time China, India or another country supported the proposal to stall the talks.

U.N. climate chief Yvo De Boer said Hedegaard was holding informal consultations with delegates "to get things going."

In Washington, the White House on Monday announced a new program drawing funds from international partners to spend $350 million over five years to give developing nations clean energy technology to curb greenhouse gas emissions and reduce global warming.

The program will distribute solar power alternatives for homes, including sun-powered lanterns, supply cleaner equipment and appliances and work to develop renewable energy systems in the world's poorer nations.

The funding plan grew out of the Major Economies Forum (MEF) established among the world's top economies earlier this year.

The U.S. share of the program will amount to $85 million, with the rest coming from Australia, Britain, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland, the White House said in a statement.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Energy Secretary Steven Chu is to coordinate with partners in the group to ensure immediate action on the program.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's office said he would go to Copenhagen on Tuesday — two days earlier than planned — to try to inject momentum into the talks.

Former Vice President Al Gore told the conference that new data suggests a 75 percent chance the entire Arctic polar ice cap may disappear in the summertime as soon as five to seven years from now. Gore, who won a Nobel Peace prize for his work on climate change, joined the foreign ministers of Norway and Denmark in presenting two new reports on melting Arctic ice. - AP
_________________

On the thread "The Philippines need your help" Macintosh from Ukraine posted that there had been a small mass meeting in Kiev on Sunday in support of the UN Climate Summit / COP15 in Copenhagen.

nancyk58
15-12-2009, 08:46 PM
Updates of the situation in Southeast Asia on 15 December 2009

12,000 RESIDENTS MOVED FROM MAYON DANGER ZONE

(12/15/2009 | 04:30 PM - GMA News.TV)

Nearly 12,000 people or 3,000 families living at the foot of the restive Mayon Volcano in Albay province have already been evacuated after state volcanologists raised the volcano's alert level from two to three on Monday evening, officials said Tuesday.

As of 10 a.m. Tuesday, a total of 2,611 families or 11,981 people from the towns of Malilipot, Daraga, Camalig, Guinubatan, Ligao and the city of Tabaco have been transferred to safer grounds.

Rafael Alejandro, director of the Office of the Civil Defense-Bicol Region, said the evacuation of residents around Mayon's six-kilometer permanent danger zone and one-kilometer southeast sector started 8 a.m. Tuesday.

"The evacuation is ongoing... [this was prompted by] the raising of level 3 in Mayon, it has increased activity. Under Level 3, the eruption is eminent," he said.

According to Alejandro, the government is aiming to evacuate over 9,000 families more or about 47,000 people in the next three days.

In Malacañang, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ordered the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) through acting Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales to monitor the situation in Albay.

Social Welfare Secretary Esperanza Cabral has been likewise tasked to prepare for the distribution of relief assistance to residents who will need the government’s help.

Nonetheless, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said the Albay Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) is so far in control of the situation.

"The Albay PDCC has been one of the most active in disaster risk reduction and management... Let’s all pray," Remonde said.

Aie Balagtas See/RSJ/KBK, GMANews.TV


STAY AWAY FROM MAYON, US ADVISES CITIZENS

(12/15/2009 | 10:36 PM - GMA NEWS.TV)

The United States government on Tuesday advised its citizens to stay away from Mayon Volcano in Albay province after state volcanologists placed it under Alert Level 3.

In a warden message, the US Embassy said the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has already warned of increasing volcanic activity.

"This alert condition signifies magma is near the top of the crater and incandescent materials are now detaching. Mayon volcano is now at a 'high level of unrest' and may have more dangerous explosions," it said.

It also noted that Phivolcs had recommended that the provincial government evacuate areas under threat.

Local governments have ordered evacuations in an 8-kilometer zone, it added. At least 12,000 residents were affected.

The US government advised its nationals to monitor the Phivolcs and United States Geological Service websites at phivolcs.dost.gov.ph and volcanoes.usgs.gov.

KBK, GMANews.TV

--------------------------------------

DEVELOPING COUNTRIES END BOYCOTT AT CLIMATE TALKS

(12/15/2009 | 07:21 AM - GMA News.TV)

COPENHAGEN – Poor countries ended a boycott of U.N. climate talks Monday after getting assurances that rich nations were not conspiring to soften their commitments to cutting greenhouse gases, European officials said.

European Union environment spokesman Andreas Carlgren said informal talks resolved the impasse, which was started by African countries and backed by major developing countries, including China and India.
Rich and poor countries "found a reasonable solution," he said.

Developing countries agreed to return to all working groups that they abandoned earlier in the day at the 192-nation conference, said Anders Frandsen, a spokesman for conference president Connie Hedegaard.

The boycott had disrupted efforts to forge a pact on global warming and forced the cancellation of formal working groups, delaying the frantic work of negotiators trying to resolve technical issues before the arrival of more than 110 world leaders, including President Barack Obama, later this week.

The move was largely seen as a ploy to shift the agenda to the responsibilities of the industrial countries and make emissions reductions the first item for discussion Tuesday.
"We are really prepared to discuss all issues in the negotiations. It means also absolutely all issues under the Kyoto Protocol," Carlgren said.

The developing countries want to extend the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which imposed penalties on rich nations if they did not comply with its strict emissions limits but made no such binding demands on developing nations.

Poor countries, supported by China, said Hedegaard had raised suspicion that the conference was likely to kill the Kyoto Protocol. The United States withdrew from Kyoto over concerns that it would harm the US economy and that China, India and other major greenhouse gas emitters were not required to take action. China is now the world's largest greenhouse gas polluter.

It was the second time the Africans have disrupted the climate talks. At the last round of negotiations in November, the African bloc forced a one-day suspension until wealthy countries agreed to spell out what steps they will take to reduce emissions.

"They are trying to put the pressure on" before Obama and other world leaders arrive, said Gustavo Silva-Chavez, a climate change specialist with the Environmental Defense Fund. "They want to make sure that developed countries are not left off the hook."

An African delegate said developing countries decided to block the negotiations at a meeting hours before the conference was to resume. He said applause broke out every time China, India or another country supported the proposal to stall the talks.

Jake Schmidt of the Natural Resources Defense Fund said "this is all part of the negotiating dynamic, especially as you get closer to the end game."

U.N. climate chief Yvo de Boer said Hedegaard was holding informal consultations with delegates "to get things going."
Canada's Environment Minister Jim Prentice said the dispute set back negotiations.

"We have lost some time. There is no doubt about that," Prentice said. "It is not particularly helpful, but all in all it is our responsibility to get on with it and continue to negotiate."

In Washington, the White House announced a new program drawing funds from international partners to spend $350 million over five years to give developing nations clean energy technology to curb greenhouse gas emissions and reduce global warming.

The program will distribute solar power alternatives for homes, including sun-powered lanterns, supply cleaner equipment and appliances and work to develop renewable energy systems in the world's poorer nations.

The US share of the program will amount to $85 million, with the rest coming from Australia, Britain, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in Copenhagen.

Former US Vice President Al Gore told the conference the Arctic polar ice cap may disappear in the summer just a few years from now. Some computer models suggest "that there is a 75 percent chance that the entire north polar ice cap during some of the summer months will be completely ice-free within the next five to seven years," Gore said.

Gore, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change, joined the foreign ministers of Norway and Denmark in presenting two new reports on melting Arctic ice.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's office said he would go to Copenhagen on Tuesday — two days earlier than planned — to try to inject momentum into the talks. His spokesman denied that Brown — facing a national election by June — was seeking any personal credit if a deal is struck.

Earlier Monday, British Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said countries needed to offer more than fast-start financing for developing nations, noting that the British have called for a yearly fund of $100 billion by 2020.

The financing is intended to help poorer nations build coastal protection from rising seas, modify or shift crops threatened by drought, build water supplies and irrigation systems, preserve forests, improve health care to deal with diseases spread by warming, and move from fossil fuel to low-carbon energy systems.

At the conference center, throngs of newly arrived delegates, journalists and climate activists jammed the security and accreditation lines, forcing police to shut down the nearby subway stop.

In downtown Copenhagen, police said they detained about 20 people among 3,000 climate activists protesting outside Parliament.

More than 1,200 others were detained in weekend protests, although almost all were released after questioning. About a dozen were arraigned on preliminary charges of assaulting police officers or carrying sharp objects.
There were also sporadic reports of vandalism across the city overnight Monday.

Police spokesman Henrik Moeller Jakobsen said 12 cars had been set on fire, including three vehicles belonging to Danish power company Dong Energy. Vandals also smashed windows and threw red paint at the headquarters of the Danish Immigration Service. It was not immediately clear whether those attacks were related to the conference. - AP


US-CHINA SHOWDOWN LOOMS OVER CLIMATE TALKS

(12/15/2009 | 09:51 PM - GMA News.TV)

COPENHAGEN – A showdown between the world's two largest polluters loomed over the U.N. climate talks Tuesday as CHINA accused the UNITED STATES and other rich nations of backsliding on their commitments to fight global warming.

Trying to ease the tension, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said rich and poor countries must "stop pointing fingers" and should increase their pledges to CUT GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS to salvage the faltering talks on a climate pact.

The 27-nation European Union, meanwhile, called on both the U.S. and China to increase their commitments on emissions cuts.

Ban's warning in an interview with The Associated Press came as world leaders started arriving in Copenhagen, kicking the two-week conference into high gear in its quest to deliver a deal to curb emissions of the heat-trapping greenhouse gases that cause global warming.

Key issues remain, however, and the conference so far has been marked by sharp DISAGREEMENTS between CHINA and the UNITED STATES and DEEP DIVISIONS between rich and poor nations.[/B]

China and other developing countries are resisting U.S.-led attempts to make their cuts in emissions growth binding and open to international scrutiny rather than voluntary.

China, the world's largest polluter, is grouped with developing nations at the talks but the U.S. doesn't consider China a nation in need of climate change aid.

In Beijing, China accused developed countries Tuesday of trying to escape their obligations to help poor nations fight climate change.

"We still maintain that developed countries have the obligation to provide financial support," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said, adding that was "the key condition for the success of the Copenhagen conference."

President Barack Obama and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao are among more than 110 world leaders expected in Copenhagen this week.

The U.S. has offered 3-4 percent cut in emissions by 2020 from 1990 levels. China has pledged to cut "carbon intensity" — a measure of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of production — by 40-45 percent by 2020, compared with 2005 levels. But neither offer impressed the EU.

"We expect them both to raise ambition level," said EU environment spokesman Andreas Carlgren. "Otherwise we won't be able to reach the 2 degree target."

Scientists have warned that commitments to cut or slow emissions so far fall short of what is needed to keep global temperature increases below 2 degrees C (3.6 F) above preindustrial levels and head off the worst of global warming.

Ban said he remains cautiously optimistic about a successful outcome at Copenhagen, but warned that negotiators must work out their differences and not leave major problems for world leaders to resolve.

"This is a time where they should exercise the leadership," Ban said. "And this is a time to stop pointing fingers, and this is a time to start looking in the mirror and offering what they can do more, both the developed and the developing countries."

He said all nations "must do more" to keep carbon emissions below dangerous levels and rich countries should step up commitments to provide a steady flow of money for poor countries to combat climate-linked economic disruptions such as rising seas, drought and floods.

Speaking to The AP at a hotel in Copenhagen, Ban said if negotiators cannot resolve those problems before the world leaders arrive "the outcome will be either a weak one, or there will be no agreement."

"This will be a serious mistake on the part of the negotiators and the leaders if they go back empty-handed," he said.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe was among the first heads of state to touch down in the Danish capital, avoiding a travel ban imposed by Western nations because he was attending to a U.N. conference. Mugabe was to address the conference on Wednesday.

"The meeting may be taking place on Danish soil but we're playing by U.N. rules and these rules mean that all the world leaders can meet," Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen told reporters.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was also expected later Tuesday — a day earlier than planned to help push the talks forward.

The U.N. conference's working groups were finishing up two years of work Tuesday and drawing up their final recommendations on such issues as deforestation, technology transfers and the registration of plans by developing countries to control their emissions.

Drafts on those issues showed some narrowing of gaps but left many disputes to be decided by environment ministers, which ultimately may go up to the heads of state.

Conference President Connie Hedegaard said environment ministers already in Copenhagen had worked late into the night Monday to resolve outstanding issues.

"Ministers have to be very clear and focused over the next 48 hours if we are to make it," she said.

Talks hit a snag Monday when developing countries walked away temporarily from the negotiations, fearing industrial countries were backpedaling in their promises to cut greenhouse gases.

The issues concern the details of a final treaty to be negotiated over the next six to 12 months and may not even be included in the political deal reached in Copenhagen.

"The options take us closer to the final agreement, not just the political declaration," said Gustavo Silva-Chavez of the Environmental Defense Fund.

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, who was having lunch Tuesday with the U.N. chief, told the conference on Monday that new data suggests a 75 percent chance the entire Arctic polar ice cap may disappear in the summer as soon as five to seven years from now.

[B]Scientists say global warming will create rising sea levels, increasing drought, more extreme weather and the extinction of some species. - AP

nancyk58
15-12-2009, 08:47 PM
WITH ‘DRAGON WOMAN’ OUT, RP CLIMATE TEAM LOSES TEETH

(By PIA FAUSTINO, GMANews.TV - 12/16/2009 | 01:05 AM )

COPENHAGEN, Denmark – On the eve of President Gloria Arroyo’s arrival for the most important meeting on climate change in over a decade, the Philippine delegation is in apparent disarray. Some of the country’s foremost climate change experts suddenly found themselves excluded, including diplomat and negotiator Bernaditas de Castro Muller, nicknamed “dragon woman" by her adversaries for her toughness.

Meanwhile, it is still unclear who is part of the official Philippine delegation, with some experts already in Copenhagen when they learned that they were excluded. Without accreditation, some of them could not enter the Bella Center, the conference venue, for several days. Some Filipinos are literally out in the cold, with freezing temperatures outside the center where the unaccredited line up and huddle. Heavy snow is expected in Copenhagen this week.

While the final list of delegates, including those accompanying Arroyo as she touches down here on Wednesday, is still a mystery, it is already widely known who has been omitted.

Aside from Muller, other key persons removed from the Philippine delegation included Joyceline Goco of the Inter-agency Committee on Climate Change at the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, as well as Dr. Rodel Lasco, an internationally-renowned forestry expert and member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Representatives from a number of civil society groups were also removed.

EXCLUSION OF A HARD LINER
The most stunning omission was Muller, who has more than 20 years of negotiating experience and has become famous in climate change circles for her hard-line stance towards rich countries, hence her nickname, mentioned with grudging respect by Western peers.

Muller, a retired Philippine diplomat now based in Switzerland, has been one of the most vocal negotiators in calling for developed countries to fulfill their obligations under the Kyoto Protocol (1997) to fully fund emission reduction and climate adaptation efforts in poor countries.

Muller’s role in negotiating for the interests of the developing world “cannot be underestimated," said Lim Li Lin, legal adviser to the Malaysia-based NGO Third World Network. “You really have few negotiators with the institutional memory and depth of understanding about the process, convention, and issues being discussed here. Clearly, [Mrs. Muller] was seen as a threat to the developed countries who have a lot atstake in these negotiations." Muller has since been "adopted" as an adviser by Sudan, enabling Muller to continue negotiating on behalf of the G77 bloc of 130 poor countries but without waving the Philippine flag.

Without an official explanation, conspiracy theories abound about Muller’s exclusion from her country's delegation, including US pressure to have the “dragon woman" removed.

“A lot of things have changed in the Philippine position since Hillary (Clinton) visited the country (in November)," said Ma. Teresa Nera-Lauron of Ibon Foundation, one of several Filipino NGOs currently in Copenhagen to observe the talks. “We believe that [the President’s] visit here with other world leaders will only affirm the Philippines’ support of the US position in the climate talks."

Lauron said that that the President’s arrival on Wednesday will be met with protests by Filipino civil society groups currently here in Copenhagen.

Muller herself has not commented on her exclusion but a close associate of Muller, Elenita Dano of the Third World Network, told GMANews.TV: “We received information from a number of sources that it was (President Arroyo) herself who decided that Ditas should not be in the Philippine delegation in Copenhagen."

Presidential Adviser on Climate Change Heherson Alvarez rejects the notion, saying: “The President doesn’t know Mrs. Muller and the cutting process undertaken by the executive office was arbitrary. Presidents are not aware of the nitty-gritties," said Alvarez. Alvarez said that the staff of the office of the Executive Secretary slashed the recommended list of delegates in order to keep the delegation “lean."

“In previous climate talks I have been the one preparing the list of negotiators but because this time the President is the head of delegation, because of protocol I had to give way to her."

Alvarez has served as the Philippines’ chief negotiator to the yearly U.N. climate talks since his appointment in 2008.

PHILIPPINE POSITION ON CARBON EMISSIONS
Philippine civil society groups have expressed concern that these recent developments, particularly the non-inclusion of Muller in the delegation, may signal a shift in the government’s previous position that developed countries need to make “deep and early cuts" in carbon emissions.

Last November, Mrs. Arroyo said during a cabinet meeting in Bohol that the Cabinet must form a position that “does not insist on deep and early cuts but must be binding." Calling it useless to push for “ambitious reductions" in carbon emissions when rich countries such as the US and China are not willing to commit, the President said that “cuts and amounts should not be sticking points" but that sacrifices must be made to get binding commitments.

With its small carbon footprint and meager political clout, the Philippines is not considered an influential country in climate change negotiations. However, the Philippine delegation has traditionally played a leadership role within the G77 bloc of 130 poor countries by taking on progressive positions championed by knowledgable Filipino negotiators like Muller and Tony la Viña of the Ateneo School of Government (who remains on the Philippine delegation).

However, recent actions of the Philippine government may now bring into question the Philippines’ relationship to the rest of G77. “We really hope this does not signify a change in position for the Philippines government because it would be a real shame if the Philippines went from being a leader in the G77 to becoming a country that is creating problems within G77 and undermining the positions of developing countries," said Lin of the Third World Network.

The G77 bloc is already plagued by rumors of rifts between larger developing nations, the most vulnerable and least developed nations, and oil-producing countries.

Alvarez however has assured that the Philippine government has not changed its stance on deep and early cuts: “Our position on deep and early cuts still stands and any suggestions to the contrary, that the Philippines is reneging or budging on this, are not true."

DEAL OR NO DEAL?
Regardless of troubles within the Philippine delegation, the slow progress in the climate talks makes it seem unlikely that developing countries will get the kind of deal they hope for in Copenhagen. Until now, rich and poor countries are still wrestling over major issues: by how much and how fast developed nations must cut emissions, what emerging economies like China, India, and Brazil must do to slow the growth of their own emissions, and how much money rich countries should channel to the poorest countries to cover the costs of shifting to low-carbon economies and coping with climate impacts.

Developing countries are indignant over what they perceive as developed countries’ reluctance to set emission targets high enough to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. On the other hand, developed countries have insisted that emerging economies must also promise to set carbon reduction targets.

On Monday, talks were suspended when developing countries under the G77 bloc walked out of negotiations in protest of the refusal of developed countries to discuss new emission reduction targets under the next phase of the Kyoto Protocol. Talks only resumed when informal discussions assured the boycotting countries that talks on emission reductions would go on.

HGS/ GMANews.TV

nancyk58
16-12-2009, 10:39 PM
I have received this important mail after having taken action (as described below) - please do accordingly.

" Thanks for telling your friends!‏

From: Avaaz.org (avaaz@avaaz.org)
Sent on 16 December 2009 15:12:05

Thanks for taking action - now can you invite your friends, families and colleagues to join us? Each one that joins doubles your impact on these crucial negotiations.

Over 10 million of us have already joined the call for a real climate deal - but this is crunch time! Let to add millions more this week.

Please forward this link to everyone you can:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_copenhagen/97.php?cl_tta_sign=87f57d097e49b04dadbe93db0e6989e 3

Thanks again for all you do!

--------

Here again the original email you can forward to your friends:

Dear Friends,

With three days to go, the crucial Copenhagen summit is failing.

Tomorrow, the world's leaders arrive for an unprecedented 60 hours of direct negotiations. Experts agree that without a tidal wave of public pressure for a deal, the summit will not stop catastrophic global warming of 2 degrees.

Click below to sign the petition for a real deal in Copenhagen -- the campaign already has a staggering 10 million supporters - let's make it the largest petition in history in the next 72 hours! Every single name is actually being read out at the summit -- sign on at the link below and forward this email to everyone!

http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_copenhagen/97.php?cl_tta_sign=87f57d097e49b04dadbe93db0e6989e 3

An Avaaz team is meeting daily with negotiators inside the summit who will organize a spectacular petition delivery to world leaders as they arrive, building a giant wall of boxes of names and reading out the names of every person who signs. With the largest petition in history, leaders will have no doubt that the whole world is watching.

Millions watched the Avaaz vigil inside the summit on TV yesterday, where Archbishop Desmond Tutu told hundreds of delegates and assembled children:

“We marched in Berlin, and the wall fell.
"We marched for South Africa, and apartheid fell.
"We marched at Copenhagen -- and we WILL get a Real Deal.”

Copenhagen is seeking the biggest mandate in history to stop the greatest threat humanity has ever faced. History will be made in the next few days. How will our children remember this moment? Let's tell them we did all we could.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_copenhagen/97.php?cl_tta_sign=87f57d097e49b04dadbe93db0e6989e 3

With hope,

Ricken, Alice, Ben, Paul, Luis, Iain, Veronique, Graziela, Pascal, Paula, Benjamin, Raj, Raluca, Taren, David, Josh and the whole Avaaz team.

-------------------

ABOUT AVAAZ
Avaaz.org is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means "voice" in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in Ottawa, London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Buenos Aires, and Geneva.

I do hope that you are ready to take action as described here and will do so!

Thanks in advance!

NANCY

nancyk58
18-12-2009, 02:22 AM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 17 DECEMBER 2009 and NEWS FROM THE UN CLIMATE SUMMIT / COP15

News from the UN CLIMATE SUMMIT on Thursday, 17 December 2009:

Many world leaders came to Copenhagen to negotiate at the UN Climate Summit COP15 (officially called "the UN Climate Change Convention" - also mentioned as such in the Danish Queen's welcome speech). The Queen said that she hoped that the summit would end up in a positive and convincing deal. She wished her guests good luck in achieving a good deal. Among the guests I saw (on TV) Hillary Clinton, the American Secretary of State, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the Filipino President Arroyo and England's Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The latter has also been a good support for the Danish prime minister who has only had this job for about ½ year succeeding the current Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Some of the Queen's guests including the Danish chairwoman of two task groups, Connie Hedegaard cancelled their participation in the Queen's state dinner at Christiansborg Castle being busy with meetings and negotiations. Two Green Peace activists succeeded in reaching the Red Carpet - a man and a guest dressed up so that they looked like the other guests, and they arrived in a leased/hired car (a limo, I think). When stopped by the police, they showed a banner with the text: "Politicians talk - leaders ACT".

TV2 News referring to a confidential UN paper: A treaty along the expected lines would bring about an increase of 3 degrees (instead of only 2 degrees) and half of all species in the world is endangered and ½ billion people will experience that their homes will be flooded, and many of them will become climate refugees!


ARROYO: PHILIPPINES MOST IN DANGER FROM CLIMATE CHANGE

(By YASMIN ARQUIZA and PIA FAUSTINO, GMANews.TV -12/18/2009 | 02:21 AM )

COPENHAGEN – Addressing the climate summit here Thursday, President Arroyo stressed the vulnerability of the Philippines to extreme weather events, but curiously stopped short of joining the clamor from other developing countries for increased international funding that will allow poor nations to cope with the negative impact of climate change.[/B]

Arroyo cited a United Nations study that showed the Philippines as one of the top 12 countries in the world facing the greatest risk from hurricanes and other natural disasters.

[B]“In fact we top the list of nations most in danger of facing more frequent and more intense storms when the impact of climate change intensifies," she said.

Mrs. Arroyo noted that the recent destruction from tropical cyclones Ondoy and Pepeng caused an estimated $4.4 billion in damage to the country’s most populous regions of metropolitan Manila and urban centers in the northern Philippines.

A copy of her draft speech distributed by a palace official earlier called for “scaled-up, new, and additional sources of support for adaptation" and supported the demand from developing countries “for the allocation of at least 1 per cent of Annex 1 GDP to finance adaptation for developing countries." However, these were dropped in her final speech.

Annex 1 refers to industrialized countries that have signed up to legal commitments to reduce their carbon emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, in view of their historical role in polluting the atmosphere since the start of the industrial era two centuries ago.

RICH NATIONS NEED TO REDUCE EMISSIONS
She called on rich countries to curb greenhouse gas emissions and assist poor countries in coping with climate change, but did not mention any specific figures.

“For an equitable outcome, developed countries need to lead in reducing emissions. A robust financial mechanism must also be established to meet the needs of the costs of adaptation for developing countries and for effective development and transfer of technology," Arroyo said.

An unprecedented 119 heads of state and governments arrived in Denmark this week to increase pressure on negotiators to reach agreement on new measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions after 2012, when the first commitment period for binding targets under the Kyoto Protocol expires.

Mrs. Arroyo, who has been criticized by conservation activists for pushing the growth of the mining industry at the expense of the natural environment, urged other countries to look at the worldwide economic crisis as an opportunity to consider eco-friendly solutions.

“It is time to harmonize economic development with environmental protection in a new global order where they are not mutually exclusive, but where they are ideally synonymous," she added.

“It is time all countries of the world owned up to our collective responsibilities," she stressed.

Despite the Philippines’ low pollution levels, Mrs. Arroyo said the government has set a goal for the further reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions.

“Our emission is only 1.6 tons per capita and we are further committed to deviate by 20 per cent from our business as usual emissions growth path," Mrs. Arroyo said.

The Philippines contributes a minuscule 0.3 percent of the world’s carbon emissions despite the fact that it is the 12th most populous nation on earth, according to the World Resources Institute (WRI). This means that the average Filipino generates less than a ton of carbon emissions per year, or less than what an average citizen from a developed country produces in a month. (Link: http://www.gmanews.tv/story/176639/countdown-to-copenhagen-climate-talks-face-deadlock

ADAPTATION FUND
Additional money for the Adaptation Fund, a financial mechanism for the benefit of developing countries that are suffering from extreme weather events as a consequence of climate change, is one of the sticking points in the current climate talks.

The Adaptation Fund is taken from a two per cent levy on Clean Development Mechanism projects, a strategy under the Kyoto Protocol that allows industrialized countries to meet their carbon targets by financing environment-friendly initiatives in developing countries.

As of September, revenues from the levy have reached more than $20 million, according to a financial report from the Adaptation Fund board.

Developing nations have said the current levels of funding are hardly enough to relocate affected villages, build more resilient infrastructure, and undertake other measures that will help them cope with changing weather patterns as a result of atmospheric pollution from energy-intensive activities in rich countries.

African countries have proposed “new, substantial and sustained public funding from developed countries, with an annual scale not less than 2.5 % of the GNP of developed countries" in the climate summit.

Around $250 billion per year is needed to finance global action in adapting to climate change and reducing carbon emissions, according to official estimates from the United Nations secretariat in charge of the conference.

Mrs. ARROYO EMPHASIZED THE NEED TO REACH AN AGREEMENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE.

“We come to Copenhagen in partnership with other nations to find a way to meet the harsh impacts of climate change and avert a global climate crisis," she said. “We cannot afford to leave Copenhagen without a deal, and a deal based on common but differentiated responsibilities," she added.

– GMANews.TV


CLINTON: US WOULD HELP RAISE BILLIONS ON CLIMATE

(12/17/2009 | 09:20 PM - GMA NEWS.TV)

COPENHAGEN – As hopes faded for a strong climate deal, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sought to put new life into flagging U.N. talks Thursday by announcing the U.S. would join others in raising $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poorer nations cope with global warming.

She made the offer contingent on the conference's reaching a broader agreement, including on the issue of "transparency," demanding a Chinese commitment to allow some kind of oversight to verify its actions to control emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

The Chinese thus far have resisted what they see as a potential intrusion on their sovereignty. But without that, Clinton told reporters, "there will not be the kind of concerted global action that we so desperately need."

Clinton's arrival and announcement in snowy Copenhagen ratcheted up the U.S.-Chinese diplomatic dueling that has been dominated the two weeks of climate talks. The negotiations end Friday with a summit gathering of President Barack Obama, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and more than 110 other national leaders.

For China's part, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman in Beijing told reporters Thursday that developed countries should show "more sincerity" in the talks here.

Environment ministers, having taken over from lower-level negotiators, were getting down to final hours of talks Thursday in hopes of producing partial agreements to put before Obama, Wen and the others leaders.

Such accords might include long-term goals for financing climate aid, raised by Clinton, and monitoring of emissions controls.

The Danish hosts had envisioned a comprehensive Copenhagen deal listing emissions cuts by richer nations, other restraints on the production of greenhouse gases by major developing countries, and a plan to help finance poorer countries adapt to global warming. It was to have served as a framework for a treaty to be completed next year.

"As it looks now, we will not get the deal that we had hoped for," said a Danish official, who is not authorized to speak publicly about the talks and asked not to be named.

But British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was among those stressing the time left, not the time lost.

"We can, by working together over the next 48 hours, reach agreement that will help the planet move forward for generations to come," he told reporters.

Two weeks of detailed talks on a range of issues — from emissions commitments, to preventing deforestation, to transferring clean-energy technology — reached an impasse on Wednesday when developing nations objected to the process that produced a core draft document.

In a reprise of a perennial complaint at the annual conferences, the poorer nations complained they were being excluded from the drafting of the text, that "northern" — read wealthy nations' — views were being imposed on the "south," or developing nations.

The Clinton offer on long-term climate financing for developing countries reflected an amount — $100 billion — that Britain's Brown has previously suggested, to help poorer countries build sea walls against rising oceans, cope with unusual drought and deal with other impacts of climate change, while also financing renewable-energy and similar projects.

"It's good there's now been a statement of support for a clear number on long-term finance," U.N. climate chief Yvo de Boer said of the U.S. offer. "This discussion will have to take place with other parties, whether they feel that sum is adequate."

Expert studies, by the World Bank and others, have estimated the long-term climate costs for poorer nations, from 2020 or so, would likely total hundreds of billions of dollars a year. China and other developing countries say the target should be in the range of $350 billion.

More immediately, the conference has been discussing a short-term climate fund to help developing countries — a $10-billion-a-year, three-year program. European Union leaders last week committed to supplying $3.6 billion a year through 2012. On Wednesday, Japan, seeking to "contribute to the success" of Copenhagen, announced it would kick in $5 billion a year for three years.

U.S. funding is hovering at only around $1 billion this year, and Clinton, when asked did not specify how much Washington would contribute to the "fast start" package.

"We'll do our proportion of `fast start'," the secretary of state said.

De Boer commented afterward, "I'm keenly looking forward to hearing what the U.S. contribution to that fund will be."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, meanwhile, said the U.S. must improve its offer of emission cuts and stressed the urgency of reaching a concrete climate agreement in Copenhagen.

"I have to be honest, an offer by the United States to cut only 4 percent from 1990 levels is not ambitious enough," Merkel told lawmakers in Berlin before heading off to Copenhagen. "I believe this Copenhagen conference is the primary touchstone for whether we will succeed in setting a new path of global development, of sustainability."

The EU has pledged a 20 percent emissions cut that could increase to a 30 percent cut if other developed nations also make far-reaching pledges. - AP

Part I of III

nancyk58
18-12-2009, 02:37 AM
http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/denmark_52177.html

Copenhagen event brings young people and global leaders together to discuss climate change

By Kate Donovan and Guillaume Simonian

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, 16 December 2009 – As world leaders struggled to 'seal the deal' on climate change in the plenary halls of the Bella Center, six young people from across the world met with the Danish Government and humanitarian leaders to make their concerns be known.

The event was held as part of Humanitarian Day, which United Nations agencies, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and the Children in a Changing Climate Coalition organized to raise awareness around the devastating impact of climate change on people who are vulnerable to disasters.

The children and young people asked the assembly whether their children will be able to live the traditional way of life that some of them have known. Will schools be built to withstand increasingly unpredictable seasons, slashing rains and high winds? And they asked what they can do to get governments to listen to them as they try to adapt to a world increasingly vulnerable to climate change.
Oxfam recently estimated that the number of people affected by climate-related disasters will climb to 375 million annually by 2015.

NO EASY ANSWERS
Ivalu, 14, from Greenland, spoke of the melting snow in her country, the disappearance of the traditional way of life for many hunters and fishermen, who often migrate to the cities. She asked what world leaders are doing and what she can do to affect change herself.

"So far there are no easy answers to this problem," said Head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Sir John Holmes when asked about preserving peoples’ way of life. "What we can do is help people adapt to climate change."

Holmes and other speakers stressed local action as a key solution, including reforestation, agricultural development and reducing the impact of
disasters through preparedness, such as protecting water sources.

HIGH PROFILE PARTICIPANTS
The dialogue between the young people, from China, Indonesia, Kenya, Netherlands and Senegal, took place in the Politiken Centre. Panelists included Ulla Tørnæs, Denmark’s Minister for Development Cooperation; Bekele Geleta, Secretary General, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; Jet Li, Founder of the One Foundation and WHO Goodwill Ambassador; Mary Robinson, President of the Realizing Rights Initiative and former President of Ireland; Josette Sheeran, Executive Director, World Food Programme; and Sir John Holmes. The event was moderated by Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Secretary General of the International Save the Children Alliance.

WFP Executive Director Sheeran noted that young people are mystified by what adults are doing and emphasized that their plight is an immediate one. "We have to jointly bring together emergency action and solutions," she said. "We are hearing a simple plea."

One girl complained that schools are being flooded, students and materials soaked because of poor infrastructure and increasing rains, and she blamed her government for ignoring the problem. "They prefer to raise symbolic buildings rather than schools that would withstand disasters," she said. "We need to educate children…we don’t need to promote symbols."

INVOKE THE CRC
Mary Robinson encouraged young people to invoke the Committee on the Rights of the Child which monitors progress towards the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a way to leverage their power with officials.
Several speakers noted the power of young people as agents of change, especially their ability to join forces through the Internet and mobile phones to communicate powerful messages.

"Children always asked me what to do, but they already know," said Jet Li. "Information is powerful and lots of young kids are active and already have a powerful voice."
--------------------------

DANISH OFFICIAL: HOPES FOR CLIMATE DEAL SLIM

(12/17/2009 | 07:09 PM - GMA NEWS.TV)

COPENHAGEN – World leaders starting flooding into Copenhagen on Thursday, even as a Danish official acknowledged that hope was running out for a comprehensive climate deal because the negotiations between rich and poor countries were deadlocked.

The official said the Danish hosts of the U.N. conference had not given up though it appeared unlikely that their ambitious plan for the conference would be fulfilled.

"As it looks now, we will not get the deal that we had hoped for," said the official, who is not authorized to speak publicly about the talks and asked not to be named.

Denmark started the two-week U.N. conference — the largest and most important meeting on climate change in history — hoping to crafting a comprehensive framework to curb the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming and provide funds for poor countries to deal with climate change.

They wanted to get agreement on all the main elements so that a treaty could be signed next year.

But so far the talks have been marked by sharp disagreements between China and the United States — the world's top carbon polluters — and a yawning chasm between rich and poor nations over what should be done.

Still unresolved are the questions of emissions targets for industrial countries, billions of dollars a year in funding for poor countries to contend with global warming, and verifying the actions of emerging powers like China and India to ensure that promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are kept.

European officials have called for a breakthrough in the final stretch of the conference, which is set to end Friday.

"We are in a crisis of the negotiation. We have to overcome the blockage in the discussion and negotiations," German Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen said. "We still have time: 36 or 48 hours. We need the political will to overcome this."

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he believed the conference would still reach an agreement.

"We can, by working together over the next 48 hours, reach agreement that will help the planet move forward for generations to come," he said.

Leaders arriving Thursday included Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Germany's Angela Merkel, France's Nicolas Sarkozy, among many others. - AP

Part II of III

nancyk58
18-12-2009, 02:42 AM
DEADLOCK LOOMING IN CLIMATE CHANGE NEGOTIATIONS

(12/17/2009 | 01:44 PM - GMA News.TV)
COPENHAGEN - Negotiations to combat global warming entered a fraught 11th day Thursday with diplomatic deadlock looming and barely a day left before President Barack Obama and more than 100 other leaders hope to sign a historic agreement to control greenhouse gas emissions.

Poorer nations stalled Wednesday's negotiations in resistance to what they saw as efforts by the rich to impose decisions falling short of strong commitments to reduce greenhouse gases and to help those countries hurt by climate change.

Conference observers said, however, that negotiators still had time to reach agreements.

Outside the meeting site in Copenhagen's suburbs, police fired pepper spray and beat protesters with batons as hundreds of demonstrators sought to disrupt the 193-nation conference, the latest action in days of demonstrations to demand "climate justice" — firm steps to combat global warming. Police said 260 protesters were detained.

Earlier, behind closed doors, negotiators dealing with core issues debated until just before dawn without setting new goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions or for financing poorer countries' efforts to cope with coming climate change, key elements of any deal.

"I regret to report we have been unable to reach agreement," John Ashe of Antigua, chairman of one negotiating group, told the conference.

In those talks, the American delegation apparently objected to a proposed text it felt might bind the United States prematurely to reducing greenhouse gas emissions before Congress acts on the required legislation.

US envoys insisted, for example, on replacing the word "shall" with the conditional "should."

Later, faced with complaints from developing nations about such changes, the Danish leaders of the talks crafted what they hoped would be a compromise text.

Even before that was circulated, however, the unhappy nations — the Group of 77 and China — met separately to decide on a position.

"They are unhappy about these texts being handed to them from above," an African delegate said outside the meeting, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

The latest dispute highlighted the undercurrent of distrust developing nations have for the richer countries in the long-running climate talks.

But veteran observers said it was too early to give up on the talks, which are supposed to end Friday with Obama and the other leaders approving a final agreement.

"A lot of things are in play," said Fred Krupp of the U.S. Environmental Defense Fund. "This is the normal rhythm of international negotiations."

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez echoed the protesters' sentiments when he told the assembly: "If the climate was a bank, a capitalist bank, they would have saved it."

There were some steps forward, too.

The United States, Australia, France, Japan, Norway and Britain pledged $3.5 billion in the next three years to a program aimed at protecting rain forests. The US portion was $1 billion.

US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the money would be available for developing countries that come up with ambitious plans to slow and eventually reverse deforestation — an important part of the talks because it's thought to account for about 20 percent of global greenhouse emissions.

The talks so far have been marked by sharp disagreements between China and the United States, and between rich and poor nations. Still unresolved are the questions of emissions targets for industrial countries, billions of dollars a year in funding for poor countries to contend with global warming, and verifying the actions of emerging powers like China and India to ensure that promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are kept.

Addressing the full conference, Swedish Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren, speaking for the European Union, urged the US and China to raise their emissions-reduction targets.
"The world needs more and we are confident that you have the ability to deliver more," he said of the two countries.

After nine days of largely unproductive talks, the lower-level delegates were handing off the disputes to environment ministers in the two-week conference's critical second phase.

Connie Hedegaard, a former Danish climate minister, resigned from the conference presidency to allow Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen to preside as a higher-ranking official at the formal Wednesday-Friday segment involving heads of state and government. She was to continue overseeing closed-door negotiations.

Organizers still hope to break deadlocks that threaten to leave the meeting with no major accomplishments to be presented to Obama, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and the other leaders arriving for Friday's finale.

The lack of progress disheartened many, including small island states threatened by rising seas.
"We are extremely disappointed," said Ian Fry of the tiny Pacific nation of Tuvalu. "I have the feeling of dread we are on the Titanic and sinking fast. It's time to launch the lifeboats."

Others were far from abandoning ship.
"Obviously there are things we are concerned about, but that is what we have to discuss," Sergio Barbosa Serra, Brazil's climate ambassador, told The Associated Press. "I would like to think we can get a deal, a good and fair deal."

Governments had weeks ago given up hope of concluding a finished treaty at Copenhagen and aimed instead at establishing a framework for negotiating more formal agreements next year.

Much of the uncertainty in the Copenhagen talks stems from how slowly the first US legislation to cap carbon dioxide emissions is moving through Congress.

Passage of a US climate change bill is expected no earlier than next spring — and many other nations are unwilling to make their final commitments until the US does.

A sponsor of that climate legislation, US Sen. John Kerry, a Democrat from Massachusetts, was not discouraged about the fitful negotiations.

"My sense is we can get this done," he told the AP as he visited the conference.

Hundreds of protesters marched on the suburban Bella Center, where lines of riot police waited in protective cordons. Some demonstrators said they wanted to take over the global conference and turn it into a "people's assembly."

As they approached police lines, they were hit with pepper spray. TV pictures showed a man being pushed from a police van's roof and struck with a baton by an officer.

Tens of thousands rallied in the Danish capital last weekend, demonstrating growing public awareness of the worldwide danger of ever-rising temperatures.

Scientists say global warming will lead to the extinction of plant and animal species, the flooding of coastal areas from rising seas, more extreme weather, more drought and more widespread diseases.

The draft texts being debated behind closed doors hinge on four key issues, with negotiating views generally divided between rich nations and developing ones:

— Emissions. Industrialized nations are under pressure to cut back even more on emissions of carbon dioxide and other global-warming gases, while major developing countries such as China and India are being pressed to rein in emissions growth. Environmentalists and poorer nations say richer countries should reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent or more by 2020, compared with 1990 levels, to avoid serious climate damage. The EU has pledged 20 percent, and possibly 30 percent. The US has offered only a 3 percent to 4 percent cut.

— Financing. Richer nations have discussed a "prompt-start" package of $10 billion a year for three years to help developing nations adjust to the impact of global warming and switch to clean energy. Developing nations want to see commitments by wealthy nations for years more of long-term climate aid financing. Expert studies say hundreds of billions of dollars will be needed each year, and the developing nations are trying to establish stable revenue sources, such as a global aviation tax.

— Monitoring. The US and developed nations want some kind of international verification of emissions actions by developing nations. China, India and others are resisting what they consider potential intrusions on their sovereignty.

— Legal Form. For Europe, Japan and other developed nations, new, deeper emissions cuts will take the form of an extension of quotas under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The US, which rejected Kyoto and wants to remain outside it, is likely to be included in a separate package that also deals with major developing countries. The level of legal obligation on each "track" may vary, particularly since the big developing countries — China and India — do not want to be bound by any international treaty to carry out their pledges of emission cuts. They prefer voluntary goals. - AP

In Copenhagen, tensions overflow into the streets

PIA FAUSTINO, GMANews.TV12/17/2009 | 09:27 AM

COPENHAGEN, Denmark - As ministers and heads of state from all over the world pour into Copenhagen for the final stretch of the climate talks, tensions heated up between political activists, the United Nations staff, and the Danish police.

The demonstrations were orchestrated around the Danish capital, and even penetrated the Bella Center.

Meanwhile, various international environmental NGOs such as the Friends of the Earth have been unexpectedly denied access to the Bella Center.

Meanwhile, rumors began to swirl about the reasons for Connie Hedegaard's resignation as president of the conference. Hedegaard, former Danish climate minister, resigned from the conference presidency to allow her boss, Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen to preside.

At around 12 noon Wednesday (Denmark), some 150 activists walked out of the Bella Center to protest what they see as world leaders' unwillingness to seal a deal that will protect the world's most vulnerable people.

When the activists attempted to join another group of protesters outside the Bella Center, Danish police threatened to arrest them and violence nearly erupted. The Danish government recently passed a law allowing police to conduct "preemptive" arrests for acts of civil disobedience. - SD, GMANews.TV

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http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.94aae335470e233f6cf911df43181aa0/?vgnextoid=2f447ca307c85210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCR D

Five Years After Indian Ocean Tsunami, Millions of Survivors Assisted and Moving On With Their Lives

American Red Cross tsunami recovery program to finish in 2010
National Headquarters
2025 E Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20006
www.redcross.org

Contact: Public Affairs Desk
FOR MEDIA ONLY
media@usa.redcross.org
Phone: (202) 303-5551

WASHINGTON, Tuesday, December 15, 2009 — Nearly five years after the Indian Ocean tsunami killed more than 230,000 people and destroyed entire communities, hundreds of thousands of houses have been rebuilt, life has returned to normal and communities are more prepared for future disasters.

The more than 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami, which hit 12 countries from Southeast Asia to East Africa in December 2004, caused more than $8 billion in damages and affected nearly 5 million people.

Even as it responded to the emergency, the American Red Cross was already making plans to meet long-term needs, such as rebuilding houses, providing water and sanitation systems, and reigniting the local economy by getting people back to work.

“When I saw the devastation and the emotional trauma people were dealing with, I knew it would take a long time to get people back on their feet and for communities to recover,” says Gerald Anderson, senior director of the Tsunami Recovery Program for the American Red Cross.

After consulting with survivors and local leaders about what was needed to help communities rebuild and recover, the American Red Cross decided to focus on six key program areas – water and sanitation, psychosocial support, health, shelter, livelihoods and disaster preparedness.

Over the past five years, the American Red Cross and its partners were able to assist 4 million people through more than 80 relief and recovery projects.

These efforts included:

Building or repairing more than 16,200 temporary and permanent houses

Providing nearly 200,000 people with improved access to clean water

Giving loans, livelihood resources or job training to more than 91,000 people

Protecting 111 million people through disease prevention activities, such as vaccinating children against measles

Helping more than 780,000 people overcome the emotional trauma caused by the tsunami

“Not only have communities been rebuilt, they have been built with a sustainable future in mind,” Anderson said. “From the onset we designed our programs to make communities stronger, safer and better prepared by considering the environmental impact of our work and giving people the skills and training to know how to respond to future emergencies.”

Involving people at the community-level has been at the heart of American Red Cross recovery efforts in tsunami-affected countries. Men, women and children in more than 580 communities and schools have been trained to know what to do if another disaster occurs. Local volunteer disaster teams have mapped the hazards their communities face, have been trained in emergency first aid and have conducted mock disaster response drills.

The American Red Cross received $581 million to help the affected communities rebuild and recover. As of November 30, $517 million of these funds have been spent, with the remainder already programmed to finish existing recovery projects by the end of 2010.

Even as the American Red Cross finishes its tsunami recovery work, the work of the local Red Cross continues. American Red Cross partner national societies, such as the Indonesian Red Cross, will continue to help communities prevent, prepare for and respond to future emergencies.

Experts are available for interview in Washington, DC, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Maldives. Video, photos and additional information are available upon request.
Contact Eric Porterfield for more information: porterfielde@usa.redcross.org or 202-701-3309.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

Part III of III

nancyk58
18-12-2009, 01:45 PM
I really hope for some kind of agreement at the UN Climate Change Convention in Copenhagen - but the chances do not seem good - that's really sad because the major players know each other's views and have talked for years and years. If they cannot come to an agreement know, they never can/will.

While they talk and hesitate some islands states disappear for good (permanently covered by water). But they are still negotiations going on (just now between the Chinese and American President), so let's hope for a miracle ...

nancyk58
18-12-2009, 10:14 PM
After a long day at the UN Climate Summit where a total collapse was expected / threatening, a non-binding deal called the "Copenhagen outcome" has been agreed upon tonight. This deal might be more a declaration of intent than an agreement.

USA's president Obama and the Chinese president had 3 hard and long meetings - the problem was the set-up of a control mechanism that the Chinese would not accept, but the USA insisted upon. There was American concern about the American competitiveness if the USA had to reduce its CO2 reductions, whereas China did not need to reduce its CO2 reductions. The USA finally had to give in, and then an American-Chinese deal was made. Later Obama informed the major players of the deal with China.

Upon pressure from the Swedish EU presidency there was a meeting between 26 countries during which "the non-binding Copenhagen Outcome" was made.

Some leaked contents: Every second year each country must publish a report of its CO2 emissions. In January a group of countries must publish their first report of their goals for CO2 emission reduction.

In 6 month there will be another climate meeting to be held in Germany.

When the meeting between the 26 countries making "the Copenhagen outcome" was over, Obama addressed the press. And then he drove to the airport.

On the telly I saw Air Force One take off - and I ran to my window and saw a big airplane moving upwards towards Sweden - it must have been Air Force One and I followed it making a turn and then flying westwards above my building. That gave me goosebumps.

nancyk58
19-12-2009, 03:56 PM
LATEST NEWS FROM THE UN CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE / COP15 IN COPENHAGEN FROM 6 TO 18 DECEMBER 2009

The final declaration is a compromise drafted by 25 major countries including China, The USA, the major EU countries German, France and England as well as India, Brazil and South Africa.

A majority of the 193 countries participating in the summit have now taken note of this document. There was a lot of debate and discussion of the final document, and according to the media Cuba, Sudan, Bolivia, Nicaragua and the oil producing country Venezuela blocked the process towards the acceptance of the final document for several hours, and I do not think that these few countries signed it.

In particular the Maldives supported the Copenhagen declaration, later adopted as "the Copenhagen Accord" and laid pressure on the Plenary Assembly to accept the final document.

It is a legally non-binding deal called "the Copenhagen Accord", and it sets no goal for the reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases whether in 2020 nor in 2050. A new climate meeting is to be held in 6 month's time in Bonn in Germany. And in one years time COP16 will be held in Mexico.

I was a bit surprised that the country Maldives which is threatened - it might disappear for good in a few years (overflooded / under water) was in favour of the final document, but I understand that the Maldives saw it as a first step towards a legally binding agreement. And that is also what was said on the final press conference at the UN climate summit by Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, who also functioned as the deputy / vize chairman of the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen aka. COP15.


Yvo de Boer (born June 12 1954) is the current Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change


Yvo de Boer called the Copenhagen Accord "an important first step" and "a political agreement" coming into effect at once. The next step is to make the result a legally binding agreement for the countries signing it. Hopefully this will happen in 2010. COP16 will be held in Mexico in 2010, but already in May or June 2010 there will be an extra meeting - a COP15b.

NANCY (based on Danish and German text-TV and the last UN press conference at the climate summit)

nancyk58
20-12-2009, 01:15 AM
A strong earthquake measured at a magnitude of 6.4 by the US Geological Survey struck Taiwan rattling buildings in Taipei, the capital. No initial reports of serious casualties. The earthquake was centred off the east coast of Taiwan about 25 km (12 miles) southeast of Hualien, at a depth of 45 km. This area is from time to time hit by minor tremors, but an earthquake in 1999 killed almost 2,500 people.

nancyk58
20-12-2009, 11:00 PM
NEWSLETTER from Avaaz.org about the result of the UN Climate Summit - posted 20.12.09

COPENHAGEN: "THE ELEPHANT IS MOVING"‏

From: Ricken Patel - Avaaz.org (avaaz@avaaz.org)
Sent on 20. december 2009 23:01:13 to Nancy Boysen

Dear friends,

It's been a tough ending to an amazing week. In all-night negotiations, leaders have reached a weak agreement in Copenhagen that fails to set the emissions targets needed to prevent catastrophic global warming. The agreement was stronger on funding, but it was not binding, and set no urgent deadline to sign a real climate treaty. Big polluters like China and the US wanted a weak deal, and potential champions like Europe, Brazil and South Africa didn't fight hard enough to stop them.

But while leaders failed to make history, people around the world did. In thousands of vigils, rallies and protests, hundreds of thousands of phone calls, and millions of petition signatures, an unprecedented movement rose to this moment. After hearing the result of the talks, one member from Africa wrote "It takes a lot to get an elephant moving, but when you do it is hard to stop...the elephant is moving..."

Despite the outcome, Copenhagen has built the movement that can win the fight to save our planet.

Join a global, instant translation multilingual live chat where we can all exchange words of wisdom for the road ahead:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/after_copenhagen

In just the last week, we've organized thousands of vigils and events in 140 countries, an enormous multi-million person petition, and dozens of national phone calling campaigns that made thousands of phone calls. We've generated thousands of news articles, organized peaceful petition-reading sit-ins at key government buildings, and ran several high level stunts and events at the summit itself.

Last Wednesday UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown requested an emergency conference call with Avaaz members, telling 3000 of us: "You have driven forward the idealism of the world...do not underestimate the impact on the leaders here". Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu personally appealed to us to take up the torch of causes past and never give up.

This weekend we saw that the fight to save our planet cannot be won at a single summit. But we also learned what we're capable of, when we all come together. If we stay together, nothing can stop us.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/after_copenhagen

With hope and gratitude,

Ricken, Ben, Paul, Alice, Luis, Milena, Iain, Pascal, Graziela, Paula, Benjamin, Veronique, Taren, Sam, Raj, Raluca, Yura, Saravanan, Vladimir, Josh, David and the entire Avaaz team.

PS - There were some opening champagne in Copenhagen today. The polluting industry lobbyists and corporations -- those who have captured our democracies and divided our leaders -- celebrated their victory. They operated quietly in the shadows, but their voices were loud in some politicians' ears. As they drank their champagne their one concern may have been us - the potential of our new people-powered movement. In fact, they're already launching an attempt to silence us, and next week, we'll take our fight to the heart of this powerful polluter lobby - watch out for the email...
---------------------------------------

Want to support Avaaz? We're entirely funded by donations and receive no money from governments or corporations. Our dedicated online team ensures even the smallest contributions go a long way -- donate here.

ABOUT AVAAZ Avaaz.org is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means "voice" in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in Ottawa, London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Buenos Aires, and Geneva.

nancyk58
21-12-2009, 10:06 PM
UPDATES FROM 19 TO 21 DECEMBER 2009

MAYON ACTIVITY ESCALATES; LAVA FOUNTAINS RISE ABOVE CRATER

(12/21/2009 | 10:07 AM - GMA News.TV)

(Updated 5:30 p.m.) Mayon Volcano in Albay province has exhibited increased activity in the past 24 hours, with red hot lava continuously flowing down along three gullies and lava fountains rising above its crater, state volcanologists said on Monday.

In its 7 a.m. bulletin, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) also said booming and rumbling sounds were being heard since Sunday night, in what appears to be an imminent eruption.

"Red hot lava also continuously flowed down along the Bonga-Buyuan, Miisi and Lidong gullies. Lava fountains rising approximately 200 meters above the crater were observed. The lava front has now reached about five kilometers downslope from the summit along the Bonga-Buyuan gullies," it added.

Bonga, Buyuan, Miisi and Lidong are villages on the southeastern side of the volcano.

In the last 24 hours, about 1,942 volcanic earthquakes were detected while the sulfur dioxide emission rate remained high at 6,089 tons per day. Audible booming and rumbling sounds were likewise reported in the eastern flank of the volcano on Sunday afternoon.

Phivolcs said ALERT LEVEL 4 remains hoisted over Mayon Volcano, meaning a hazardous eruption is possible within days. Level 5 is when a major eruption has begun.

The cone-shaped volcano began emitting red-hot lava and puffing columns of ash last week. It belched a plume of grayish ash half a mile (nearly a kilometer) into the sky Sunday, and lava has flowed about 4.5 kilometers down the mountainside, said Albay Gov. Joey Salceda.

A major eruption can trigger pyroclastic flows — superheated gas and volcanic debris that can race down the slopes at very high speed, vaporizing everything in their path. There can be more extensive ejections of ash, which can drift toward nearby townships.

In Mayon's major eruptions in recent years, such pyroclastic flows have reached up to six kilometers down from the crater on the volcano's southern flank — a farming region where most residents have been evacuated as of Monday.

Mayon last erupted in 2006, when about 30,000 people were moved. Another eruption in 1993 killed 79 people.
The first recorded eruption was in 1616 but the most destructive came in 1814, killing more than 1,200 people and burying a town in volcanic mud. The ruins of the church in Cagsawa have become an iconic tourist spot.

NO NEED TO SUSPEND FLIGHTS YET
Despite the danger from Mayon’s impending eruption, Phivolcs director Renato Solidum Jr. said there was no need to suspend flights at Legazpi Airport in Albay, at least for now.

"No, we’d leave that to the Civil Aviation Office," he said on radio dzBB, when asked if Phivolcs would recommend the suspension of flights. He said the activity at Mayon is not significant enough to affect aircraft passing through Albay, at least for now.

CAT-AND-MOUSE GAME
As of Monday morning, Salceda said a total of 9,217 families or 44,394 people from the municipalities of Camalig, Daraga, Malilipot, Sto. Domingo, Ligao, Guinobatan, and the cities of Legazpi and Tabaco have been evacuated since last week.

Army troops and police have also intensified patrols to enforce a round-the-clock ban on villagers moving within an eight-kilometer danger zone around the 8,070-foot (2,460-meter) mountain, Salceda said.

Army checkpoints have been set up and patrols have been intensified to ensure residents will not sneak back to check on their homes and farms, as some have done in recent days, he added.

Salceda said residents are used to playing a "cat and mouse" game with Mayon, a popular tourist attraction because of its near-perfect cone shape.

Residents who briefly returned to their homes within the danger zone Sunday morning to check on their belongings reported hearing eerie rumbling sounds. Some were seen by journalists tending to their farms within the prohibited zone near Guinobatan town.

Among the residents forcibly evacuated by Army soldiers from Mayon’s danger zone were two elderly residents. Radio dzBB’s Allan Gatus reported the two, initially identified as Ananias Llobic, 82; and Jimmy Lloreta, 65, were unable to flee their homes due to their medical conditions.

The report said Llobic was deaf and had difficulty walking, while Lloreta was a paralytic with high blood condition. The two were brought to an evacuation center aboard an ambulance.

P1-M DONATION
Moved by the plight of the evacuees, acting Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales would donate P1 million from his own pockets to be spent for Christmas gifts for the locals, according to a report by GMA News’ Mariz Umali on QTV's Balitanghali.

This, even as Gonzales lauded the provincial government for its preparatory measures as Mayon threatens to erupt anytime soon.

"The danger that the volcano is posing is real, but it seems like everything is under control because of the very good organization that the coordinating council of Albay has been doing for years. This should be a model for us in other parts of the country," he said.

HOLIDAY BLUES
To help the evacuees cope with having to spend the holidays away from home, Salceda said authorities would prepare Christmas parties for their temporary residents. Singing contests and movie screenings are among the line-up of entertainment for the evacuees.

Salceda was quoted as saying that the money to be donated by the defense chief would be used to buy gifts for some 25,000 children taking refuge in various evacuation centers in the affected municipalities and cities near Mayon.

In a joint conference on Monday with the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council and the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council, Salceda also called on medical practitioners to help attend to the evacuees.

The report said President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo called during the conference to check on the condition and needs of the evacuees. She said the national government would ensure that all the evacuees’ needs are met.


The Department of Health has likewise set aside P3 million pesos to be spent for supplies needed to prevent an outbreak of contagious diseases among the evacuees.

-with a report from Sophia Dedace, Carmela Lapeña and AP/RSJ/NPA, GMANews.TV

ALBAY EVACUEES ASSURED OF SAFE DRINKING WATER

P1.8M WORTH OF MEDICINES PURCHASED FOR MAYON EVACUEES

MAYON ALERT LEVEL RAISED TO 4; ERUPTION SEEN WITHIN DAYS

(12/20/2009 | 03:33 PM - GMA News.TV)

State volcanologists on Sunday afternoon raised the alert status of Mayon Volcano in Albay province, Bicol to 4 after noting rumbling sounds in Sto. Domingo town, saying a major eruption is possible within days.

"This is to notify the public that the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) is now raising the alert status of Mayon Volcano from alert level 3 to alert level 4. This means that a hazardous explosive eruption is possible within days," the agency said on its Web site at 2:30 p.m.

To ensure public safety, Phivolcs said it was recommending an extended danger zone from the summit of 8 kilometers at the southern sector and 7 kilometers at the northern sector.

"Areas just outside of this extended danger zone should prepare for evacuation in the event explosive eruptions intensify," it added.

Radio dzBB's Allan Gatus earlier reported that Phivolcs Bicol-based monitoring head Julio Sabit had cited rumbling sounds heard in Santa Misericordia village in Santo Domingo town.

Sabit also said Phivolcs had monitored at least 463 quakes from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. He said the danger zone, which stands at a maximum of 8 km, might be expanded to 10 km.

Alert Level 4 means a "hazardous eruption" is imminent / possible within day. Phivolcs characterizes this as INTENSE UNREST.“At Alert Level 4, we are talking of a hazardous eruption in a matter of days," said Phivolcs resident volcanologist Ed Laguerta at a press conference in Albay.
Phivolcs said characteristics of Alert Level 4 include persistent tremors and many low frequency earthquakes, and a sustained increase or abrupt decrease in sulfur dioxide emission levels. Other signs include intense crater glow, and incandescent lava fragments in the summit area.

Phivolcs' last bulletin on Mayon indicated 222 volcanic quakes and tremors recorded by the seismic network in the last 24 hours as of 7 a.m. on Sunday.

The advancing lava flow has now reached about 4.5 kilometers down the slope from the crater along Bonga-Buyuan Gully, it added.

Also, sulfur dioxide emissions increased to 7,024 from 2,034 tons per day.

As of Saturday, about 8,442 families or 40,093 persons have been evacuated since Monday last week from Camalig, Malilipot, Sto. Domingo, Ligao and Guinobatan towns and from the cities of Legazpi and Tabaco.

PAST ERUPTIONS
Phivolcs’ website on MAYON ERUPTIONS said the volcano has had at least 40 eruptions since February 1616. The most destructive eruption occurred on Feb. 1, 1814, when pyroclastic flows, volcanic lightning and lahar affected Camalig, Cagsawa, Budiao, Guinobatan and half of Albay. At least 1,200 persons died.
The second most destructive eruption was from June 4 to July 23, 1897 as pyroclastic and lava flows, lahar and volcanic lightning killed 350 persons.
On July 20-24, 1766, pyroclastic and lava flows destroyed Malinao and damaged Cagsawa, Guinobatan, Budiao, Polangui and Ligao. There were 39 casualties.
On July 7, 1853, 34 died as ash, pyroclastic flow and lahar affected Camalig, Guinobatan, Ligao, Oas, Polangui, Malilipot, Bacacay and Cagsawa.
Meanwhile, from Feb. 2 to April 4, 1993, pyroclastic and lava flows killed 77 and injured five.
Mayon erupted again from July to October 2006. In August 2006, the government ordered the evacuation of people living near the volcano. On Oct. 3, 2006, Phivolcs downgraded the threat level to alert level 2. Twenty-two days later, it downgraded the status to alert level 1. But on Nov. 30 of that year, typhoon Durian caused mudslides of volcanic ash and boulders from the slopes of Mayon Volcano, burying at least a thousand.

LBG/NPA, GMANews.TV

ALBAY BRACES FOR NEW YEAR ERUPTION OF MOUNT MAYON

(12/20/2009 | 12:50 PM - GMA News.TV)

It would be the mother of all fireworks. An eruption of Mayon Volcano looms for the New Year, as state volcanologists cited hot molten rocks nearing the crater and continuous lava flows.

Anticipating an influx of tourists, the government has set up a viewing center in Legaspi City, even as thousands of residents expect to remain in evacuations centers throughout the holidays.

“The time frame we see indicates the volcano may erupt on New Year’s Day or immediately after that. The eruption may come in two weeks," said July Sabit, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Bicol monitoring chief, in an interview on dzBB radio.

He said the sulfur dioxide emissions had gone up to 7,000 tons daily from about 2,000 tons as of last Saturday.
Lava flows coming from the crater had reached 4.5 kilometers down the volcano’s slope, he added.“This means fresh magma is climbing up the crater. We cannot describe for sure what the activity is all about, but we are certain that it is intensifying," Sabit said. But the volcanic activity, he added, was still inadequate for Phivolcs to raise the present alert level from 3 to 4.
It raised the alert level to 3 last December 16 after noting a sustained increase in volcanic activity in the past weeks

INFECTIOUS DISEASES THREATEN MAYON EVACUEES

(SOPHIA M. DEDACE, GMANews.TV - 12/20/2009 | 12:14 PM)

The Albay provincial government is bracing for a possible rush of health problems brought by overcrowding in evacuation centers, where more than 40,000 residents have taken refuge as the threat of Mayon Volcano's eruption looms.

In a statement sent through e-mail on Sunday morning, Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said cases of cough and colds with fever have been observed among evacuees. Four cases of sore eyes were also recorded in Tabaco City.

As of Saturday, about 8,442 families or 40,093 persons have been evacuated since Monday last week from Camalig, Malilipot, Sto. Domingo, Ligao and Guinobatan towns and from the cities of Legazpi and Tabaco.

“The cool weather is increasing the risks for colds and other related diseases. Albay authorities keep in mind that the zero-casualty goal can be compromised by health risks in evacuation centers," Salceda said.

About 50,000 face masks and P1.8 million worth of medicines and medical supplies from the Health department would be distributed on Sunday, the governor said, adding that the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) would also donate medicines.

WATER AND SANITATION
Salceda said the local government was doing its best to ensure that evacuees have access to clean water and proper sanitation, but some evacuations centers have limited water supply.

Only three evacuation centers in Camalig, Daraga and Guinobatan towns have sufficient water supply and facilities such as faucets, water tanks and comfort rooms for men, women and people with disabilities.

Aside from medicine donation, the Unicef has also donated 1,000 units of family water kits and 1,000 community water kits. A water purifying machine that can clean 30,000 liters of water per hour was also set up, but Salceda did not say which town or city was using it.

The provincial government had requested the Social Welfare department for 5,000 water jugs.

MENTAL STRESS
With less than a week before Christmas, Salceda said some evacuees have begun showing signs of “boredom and discomfort."

A team of volunteers from the Health and Social Welfare departments, he said, is crafting a psychosocial care program to help evacuees cope with the situation in evacuation centers.

He said Guinobatan Mayor Juan Garcia II had even suggested showing of movies every night at evacuation centers to help displaced residents fight the stress of having to spend the holidays away from home.

Salceda also said the government might tap volunteers from the Social Welfare department and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority for livelihood and personality development training at evacuation centers.

— LBG/NPA, GMANews.TV

CHECKPOINTS SET UP IN DANGER ZONES AROUND MAYON

GOVT: BRACE FOR MAYON's HAZARDOUS EXPLOSION

AS MAYON EXPLOSION LOOMS, BICOLANOS TRY TO SALVAGE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT

(12/19/2009 | 04:00 PM - GMA News.TV)

As Mount Mayon plays Grinch, at least 8,000 families in 23 evacuation centers in Albay, Bicol, are settling in for Christmas away from home. Government relief goods, in fact, are being packaged as noche buena packs, so certain are officials that the danger will not pass any time soon.

Albay Governor Jose Salceda has ordered local authorities to start packing up to 10,000 Christmas meals for the displaced families. This is aside from the daily ration of five kilos of rice to each family.

Early Saturday morning, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) secretary Esperanza Cabral also made the rounds of evacuation centers in Legazpi City and Guinobatan, Camalig, and Daraga towns. “They accept that they are in clear danger," she said, but added that they still looked “happy".

According to Cabral, around P442,446 worth of relief support/augmentation assistance for the displaced families were released through the provincial DSWD office of Albay. The DSWD will also preposition some P98 million worth of relief items to augment its standby calamity fund of PP22 million.

Relief items included 2,400 one-liter bottles of mineral water (worth P52,800); 88 boxes of biscuits (P47,520); 413 boxes of noodles (P158,592); 1,000 family food packs (P153,534) and 3,000 face masks (P30,000).

Cabral said she has also released P500,000 to DSWD-FO V in addition to its P300,000 standby funds and P1.65 million worth of pre-positioned food supplies (P450,251) and non-food items (P1.2 million) for release to the affected population.

The Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) has also joined the relief effort, providing potable drinking water for the evacuees, seminars on proper hygiene, and an upcoming medical mission before Christmas.

On a more sober note, Cabral noted that the evacuees still lack some basic needs. She said that the public schools used to house the evacuees are not congested, with each classroom accommodating an average of five to six families or 20-25 people, but are lacking adequate bathroom facilities.
"We do not know if they will still feel happy in evacuation centers after maybe three months," Cabral said.

Mount Mayon has been spewing ash plumes 2 km high and lava flows 4 km downslope from the crater since RENEWED VOLCANIC ACTIVITY early Monday.
- Nikka Corsino/TJD, GMANews.TV

nancyk58
21-12-2009, 10:28 PM
POST II on 21 December 2009 (Post I was about the MAYON Volcano)

CHINA: CLIMATE TALKS YIELDED ‘POSITIVE’ RESULTS

(12/20/2009 | 09:33 PM - GMA News.TV)

BEIJING – China, the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, lauded Sunday the OUTCOME of a HISTORIC U.N. CLIMATE CONFERENCE that ended with a NONBINDING AGREEMENT that urges major polluters to make deeper emissions cuts — but does not require it.

The international climate talks that brought more than 110 leaders together in Copenhagen produced "significant and positive" results, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said.

Disputes between rich and poor countries and between the world's biggest carbon polluters — China and the United States — dominated the two-week conference. Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets to demand action to cool an overheating planet.

The meeting ended Saturday after a 31-hour negotiating marathon, with delegates accepting a U.S.-brokered compromise. The so-called Copenhagen Accord gives billions of dollars in climate aid to poor nations but does not require the world's major polluters to make deeper cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions.

GERMAN CHANCELLOR Angela MERKEL defended the much-criticized outcome as a FIRST STEP that paves the way for action. Merkel was quoted Sunday as telling the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that "Copenhagen is a first step toward a new world climate order — no more, but also no less."

Merkel said that "anyone who just badmouths Copenhagen now is engaging in the business of those who are applying the brakes rather than moving forward."

Yang said the positive outcomes of the conference were that it upheld the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" recognized by the Kyoto Protocol, and made a step forward in promoting binding emissions cuts for developed countries and voluntary mitigating actions by developing countries.

"Developing and developed countries are very different in their historical emissions responsibilities and current emissions levels, and in their basic national characteristics and development stages," Yang said in a statement. "Therefore, they should shoulder different responsibilities and obligations in fighting climate change."

He said the conference also created a CONSENSUS on key issues such as long-term global emissions reduction targets, funding and technology support to developing countries, and transparency. He did not go into details.

"The Copenhagen conference is not a destination but a NEW BEGINNING," Yang said.

China has said it will rein in its greenhouse gas output, pledging to reduce its carbon intensity — its use of fossil fuels per unit of economic output — by 40 to 45 percent.

The Copenhagen Accord emerged principally from President Barack Obama's meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and the leaders of India, Brazil and South Africa. But the agreement was protested by several nations that demanded deeper emissions cuts by the industrialized world.

Its key elements, with no legal obligation, were that richer nations will finance a $10 billion-a-year, three-year program to fund poorer nations' projects to deal with drought and other impacts of climate change, and to develop clean energy.

A goal was also set to mobilize $100 billion a year by 2020 for the same adaptation and mitigation purposes.

In a U.S. concession to China and other developing nations, text was dropped from the declaration that would have set a goal of reducing global emissions by 50 percent by 2050. Developing nations thought that would hamper efforts to raise their people from poverty. - AP

Climate talks end with eye on next year

Gas could be the cavalry in global warming fight

PHILIPPINES SUPPORTS ‘WEAK’ COPENHAGEN PACT

(PIA FAUSTINO, GMANews.TV - 12/19/2009 | 09:31 PM)

COPENHAGEN - The Philippines has thrown its SUPPORT behind the Copenhagen accord, a NON-BINDING climate agreement criticized for its weak provisions and the non-transparent, non-inclusive process by which it was formulated.

Brokered by the United States – the world’s largest polluter until overtaken by China two years ago – the informal accord called for countries to work at keeping the global temperature rise to below two degrees.

The accord was also criticized for “lacking ambition in reducing carbon emissions."

If world temperatures grow warmer by more than two degrees, polar ice caps would melt, bringing a global sea level rise of more than six meters. As a result, rising sea levels may submerge parts of Bangladesh, the Netherlands, and other countries.

The informal and non-binding Copenhagen Accord, which did not go through the normal negotiating procedures of the United Nations-sponsored conference, was also brokered by Ethiopia, Brazil, India, China, South Africa, and the Philippines.

The same document also called for financing of $30 billion to be provided by rich countries for the most vulnerable nations between 2010 and 2012, with $100 billion dollars “from a wide variety of sources" to be secured after 2020. [See: Philippines most in danger from climate change ]

During the emotionally-charged plenary session on Friday night after US President Barack Obama announced the Copenhagen Accord, the Philippines' Heherson Alvarez announced the adoption of the accord as Vice Chairman of the Climate Change Commission and acting head of the Philippine delegation to the climate talks.

“We support the adoption of the Copenhagen Accord," Alvarez said. “We welcome the efforts made by the group of leaders who negotiated it in the spirit of exploring collective actions. However, we need to constantly and consistently stress the critical importance of TRANSPARENCY, BROADER CONSULTATION, and CONSENSUS in these international negotiations."

However, poor nations, including Sudan, Tuvalu, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Venezuela and Cuba, did not share Alvarez's sentiments.

Ambassador Lumumba di Aping from Sudan called the document ‘murderous’ since a two degree rise in temperature spells climate disaster for the African continent.

He said that the document is “the single most disturbing document" in the history of the climate talks and asked it be stricken from United Nations’ records.

Veteran negotiator Bernaditas Castro-Muller, the fierce Filipino spokeswoman for the largest bloc of 132 developing nations in the climate talks, also called the climate deal damaging to the interests of developing countries. [See: Climate change deal damaging to poor nations, Filipina expert says]

Muller was removed from the Philippine delegation to the climate talks by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on the eve of the opening of the Copenhagen summit. [See: Sudan adopts key negotiator excluded by RP in climate talks]

The move raised suspicions among civil society groups that Mrs. Arroyo was softening her position on climate change to please the United States.

Muller was later "adopted" by Sudan to enable her to continue negotiating for developing nations.

In the meantime, after endorsing the accord, Alvarez also said that work must be done to improve the document. He encouraged scaling up the carbon reduction targets to keep global temperatures below 1.5 degrees rather than two degrees. Alvarez also stressed the importance of reaching a legally-binding agreement within six months or the latest by the next UN climate summit to be held in Mexico City next year.

“Let us have a common resolve not to repeat what happened in our processes where for years, we exchanged positions and waited until the last two weeks, indeed the last few days, to begin serious negotiations," he said.

RJAB, Jr./GMANews.TV

nancyk58
22-12-2009, 06:04 PM
UPDATES ON THE 22 DECEMBER 2009

CHINA BLASTS CLAIM IT 'HIJACKED' CLIMATE TALKS

(12/22/2009 | 10:49 AM - GMA News.TV)

BEIJING — China dismissed Tuesday a British editorial accusing it of "hijacking" the UN-sponsored climate talks in Copenhagen as baseless and politically motivated.

British climate change minister Edward Miliband's editorial singled out Beijing as the culprit behind the talks' near collapse.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said the piece seemed designed to sow discord among developing nations.

She said the comments by an individual British politician — not mentioning Miliband by name — were an attempt to "shirk the obligations of developed countries to their developing counterparts and foment discord among developing countries, but the attempt was doomed to fail."

Miliband wrote in The Guardian newspaper Sunday that most countries — developed and developing — supported binding cuts in emissions, but that "some leading developing countries currently refuse to countenance this."

"We did not get an agreement on 50 percent reductions in global emissions by 2050 or on 80 percent reductions by developed countries. Both were vetoed by China, despite the support of a coalition of developed and the vast majority of developing countries," he wrote. "We cannot again allow negotiations on real points of substance to be hijacked in this way," he wrote.

Jiang said those responsible for the editorial should "correct their mistakes, fulfill their obligations to developing countries in an earnest way, and stay away from activities that hinder the international community's cooperation in coping with climate change."

The Copenhagen Accord emerged principally from President Barack Obama's meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and the leaders of India, Brazil and South Africa. But the agreement was protested by several nations that demanded deeper emissions cuts by the industrialized world.

On Monday, Wen praised the outcome of the talks and China's role in achieving it. He told the official Xinhua News Agency that China "played an important and constructive role in pushing the Copenhagen climate talks to earn the current results, and demonstrated its utmost sincerity and made its best effort."

- AP


EUROPE FEELS LEFT OUT IN COLD ON CLIMATE DEAL

(12/22/2009 | 07:30 AM - GMA News.TV)

LONDON – It's a climate deal that has Europe feeling left out in the cold.
The continent that used to take the lead in advocating climate action is now taking the lead in climate complaining. And it's not just upset with the results, but the process itself.

Europe's goals were generally not met, and Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen, host of the U.N.-sponsored climate talks in Copenhagen, was shoved aside as president of the conference in favor of Philip Weech of the Bahamas.

When a deal was reached, those in the room were heads of state from Africa, North and South America and Asia — not Europe.

The unhappiness extends to Europe's business community, which worries that a failure to agree to international emissions cuts could put them at a competitive disadvantage.

Since Europe had already agreed to binding emission cuts, "they needed the United States and developing countries to agree to binding reductions, which they didn't because the United States couldn't without the United States Congress acting," said Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund in the US. The developing countries didn't agree because the US didn't, he added.

The Copenhagen Accord emerged principally from President Barack Obama's meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and the leaders of India, Brazil and South Africa. But the agreement was protested by several nations that demanded deeper emissions cuts by the industrialized world.

The US-brokered compromise calls for reducing emissions to keep temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels.

The agreement's key elements, with no legal obligation, were that richer nations will finance a $10 billion-a-year, three-year program to fund poorer nations' projects to deal with drought and other impacts of climate change, and to develop clean energy. A goal was also set to mobilize $100 billion a year by 2020 for the same adaptation and mitigation purposes.

The nations attending the U.N. conference agreed by consensus on a compromise to "take note" of the accord, instead of formally approving it.

Robert Orr, the U.N. policy coordination chief, said a document will shortly be opened for signatures from all countries, and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged all to sign and work toward a legally binding treaty in 2010.

Politicians are blaming CHINA and other DEVELOPING COUNTRIES for cutting the heart of out of the climate deal, with Britain accusing Beijing of vetoing a deal for mandatory emission cuts and an EU official complaining that some Latin American countries had held the entire conference hostage.

"Never again should we face the deadlock that threatened to pull down those talks," British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Monday. "Never again should we let a global deal to move towards a greener future be held to ransom by only a handful of countries."

British climate change minister Ed Miliband wrote in The Guardian newspaper that most countries — developed and developing — supported BINDING cuts in emissions, but that "some leading developing countries currently refuse to countenance this." He singled out Beijing as the culprit behind the talks' near-collapse.

"We did not get an agreement on 50 percent reductions in global emissions by 2050 or on 80 percent reductions by developed countries. Both were vetoed by China, despite the support of a coalition of developed and the vast majority of developing countries," Miliband wrote.

CHINA SAW IT DIFFERENTLY
"China has played an important and constructive role in pushing the Copenhagen climate talks to earn the current results, and demonstrated its utmost sincerity and made its best effort," Wen told the official Xinhua news agency.

"These are hard-won results made through joint efforts of all parties, which are widely recognized and should be cherished," he said.

EU officials returned from Copenhagen disappointed by the MEAGER OUTCOME of the conference and angry that countries such as NICARAGUA, BOLIVIA, SUDAN and VENEZUELA kept the rest from signing a more ambitious global pact.

The EU claimed a climate leadership role for Europe by promising in March 2007 to cut its emissions by 20 percent by 2020, compared with 1990, and by 30 percent if others, notably the United States, followed suit. While that has not happened, the EU sticks by its emissions cuts of 20 percent and 30 percent.

But Europe's role is not what it could have been or used to be, said Jorgen Delman, a China studies professor at Copenhagen University.

"They didn't play the role they could have played," Delman said. "But I think it was clear that the US and China would be dominant. The European Union as a bloc was not in a position to be a dominant player."

Europe's problem was that it offered too much, too soon in negotiations, and was essentially taken for granted, experts said. In addition, when it comes to emissions of greenhouse gases, all of Europe combined isn't as a big a player as the US or China. The biggest emitter in Europe is Germany, and it is behind India, Russia and Japan.

"Europe could shut down and it really wouldn't matter" in terms of the types of significant emission cuts, said John Christensen, head of the U.N. Environment Program's center for energy, climate and sustainable development, based in Denmark.

Another problem was that Denmark's leaders made "various mistakes" early in the bureaucratic process that slowed things down and annoyed some African nations, Christensen said. That led to Rasmussen stepping down.

Not all in Europe were critical. German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended the summit's outcome as a first step that paves the way for action. She added that "anyone who just badmouths Copenhagen now is engaging in the business of those who are applying the brakes rather than moving forward."

European companies said they were "disappointed by the limited outcome" of the climate talks that did nothing to demand that other regions match rules that punish polluters in Europe — which they fear will force heavy energy users such as steel and chemicals to quit the 27-nation bloc.

"The Copenhagen Accord has not brightened the prospect for a global level-playing field in the future," said a press release from BusinessEurope, which represents some 20 million companies.

"On the contrary, European companies have to pay for their emissions under the EU Emission Trading Scheme and are as exposed to carbon leakage as they were before Copenhagen," it said.

The companies also say they "strongly regret" that the US, China and others "only repeated their limited mitigation commitments."

They called for them to swiftly move toward a legally binding agreement "because companies need predictability to develop the new green solutions on which a future low-carbon economy will depend."

Europe's steel industry federation Eurofer said that in the name of remaining competitive, the EU should avoid increasing its target to reduce emissions to 30 percent by 2020 until industries in other parts of the world make similar cuts. - AP

nancyk58
24-12-2009, 02:20 PM
Updates on the 22 and 24 December 2009

MAGNITUDE-5.1 QUAKE ROCKS PARTS OF N LUZON

(12/22/2009 | 07:51 AM - GMA NEWS.TV)

Residents in some parts of Northern Luzon were jolted before dawn Tuesday after a magnitude-5.1 quake hit the region.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) recorded the quake at 3:59 a.m., according to a report by radio dzBB's Carlo Mateo.

Phivolcs traced the epicenter of the quake at 10 km from Tabuk town in Kalinga province. It added that the quake was tectonic in origin.

Citing initial reports reaching him, Phivolcs director Renato Solidum Jr. said the quake was felt at Intensity III in Baguio City and Intensity II in Tuguegarao City in Cagayan, and in Laoag and Pasuquin towns in Ilocos Norte.

Solidum said they are now verifying reports of possible damage to property in affected areas.

Meanwhile, a report by the United States Geological Service said the quake was at magnitude 5.4, with the epicenter at 45 km west-northwest of Ilagan, Isabela.

It said the epicenter was also 135 km northeast of Baguio City; 140 km southeast of Laoag City; or 300 km north of Manila.

LBG, GMANews.TV

I found no relevant articles to post on 23 December at 23:45 on GMA NEWS.TV, but there was a picture of "the MAYON volcano having a minor eruption".


MAGNITUDE-3.4 QUAKE JOLTS S. LUZON RESIDENTS

(12/24/2009 | 08:22 AM - GMA News.TV)

A PREDAWN MAGNITUDE-3.4 QUAKE jolted residents of some parts in SOUTHERN LUZON on CHRISTMAS EVE, but state seismologists said NO DAMAGE TO PROPERTY is expected.

The quake with tectonic origin was recorded at 4:41 a.m., according to Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) seismologist Erlington Oliveri.

“It is a shallow quake but it is enough to wake up light sleepers," he said in an interview on dzBB radio.

Citing initial information, he said the quake was felt at Intensity IV in Los Baños in Laguna and Lipa City in Batangas province.

The quake was also felt at Intensity II in Lucban in Quezon province.

Phivolcs initially traced the epicenter of the quake to 18 km northwest of San Pablo City in Laguna province. “There was no initial report of damage to property," Oliveri said.

LBG, GMANews.TV

------------------------
TROOPS TRY TO KEEP VOLCANO EVACUEES SAFE

(12/24/2009 | 09:57 AM - GMA News.TV)

LEGAZPI, Philippines – Police and soldiers donned Santa hats and red clown noses and belted out songs in crammed evacuation centers in hopes of keeping 47,000 displaced residents from sneaking back to their homes on the slopes of a lava-spilling volcano.

Despite the risk of an imminent explosive eruption of the 8,070-foot (2,460-meter) Mayon, which has been oozing lava and blasting ash for a week, some residents weary of temporary shelters are conspiring to go back to their abandoned villages for traditional Christmas Eve family gatherings. Others want to retrieve their livestock or harvest crops.

"We are not used to spending Christmas in the evacuation center," said Ramon Ayala, 48, whose home lies within a five-mile (eight-kilometer) zone around Mayon that authorities emptied last week when the volcano started rumbling.

"We and many others plan to spend Christmas Eve in our homes," Ayala said. Authorities are determined to make sure it does not happen.

"I have set a very high bar, which is zero casualty," said Gov. Joey Salceda of Albay province in the central Philippines. "If there's a lull and you step back into the danger zone, you'll immediately be escorted out."

Mayon volcano has erupted nearly 40 times over 400 years, sending people packing for months at a time. But never has it happened during the most important event in the Philippine calendar — Christmas time, which is associated with family, food, friends and songs.

To keep the blues away, dozens of police officers dressed in Santa hats and clown costumes, crooned songs and led dancing to a popular pop tune in one school. In another area, soldiers handed toys to children.

The government tapped police, army, navy and air force personnel to organize bingo and other games, show movies on big projectors, hold concerts and Bible readings — "anything that will entertain the evacuees," said Jukes Nunez, a provincial disaster management official.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo visited the area Wednesday.

Although Mayon has been in a mild eruption phase since last week, chief state volcanologist Renato Solidum said it may be getting ready for something more powerful. But he said the explosion would not be as big as that of Mount Pinatubo in the northern Philippines in 1991, considered one of the biggest eruptions of the last century. About 800 people were killed.

Mayon shot up columns of ash at least 66 times in the last 24 hours, one reaching almost a mile (1 kilometer) into the cloudy sky, accompanied by 1,051 volcanic earthquakes — slightly less than the previous day, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.

State volcanologist Ed Laguerta said lava ejected since last week amounted to nearly 706 million cubic feet (20 million cubic meters) — less than half of what Mayon spilled during the last eruption of 2006. Lava flows reached about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the crater.

"The earthquakes and tremors, the gas output and those rumbling and booming sounds and series of mild ash explosions ... are the parameters which point to a higher percentage of a hazardous eruption happening," Laguerta said.

Solidum said Mayon's alert level, currently at one step below a hazardous eruption, will be raised if taller ash columns appear together with the rolling of rocks and ash.

The 47,000 evacuees account for nearly all residents living along Mayon's steep slopes, but soldiers were still checking villages to make sure no holdouts were hiding in their homes, said Nunez. Residents who attempt to sneak back will be stopped at checkpoints, he said.

AP


TROOPS RUSH TO MOVE HOLDOUTS FROM MAYON

(12/24/2009 | 06:53 PM - GMA News.TV)

LEGAZPI, Philippines — Philippine troops went house to house Thursday threatening to use force to move hundreds of residents from the steaming slopes of a lava-spilling volcano. Some farmers begged to stay to guard their livestock while their families spent Christmas Eve in a shelter.

Volunteers distributed games and ice cream to children in some 45 evacuation centers and were preparing meals to try to restore some holiday cheer.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ordered officials to search for all those still refusing to leave their farms within a 5-mile (8-kilometer) danger zone around Mayon volcano in the central Philippines.

Security forces were under orders to use force if necessary to ensure no one is hurt by flowing lava or red-hot rocks, said Jukes Nunez, a provincial disaster management official.

Volcanologists warned the weeklong moderate eruption of the 8,070-foot (2,460-meter) Mayon could escalate within days as the volcano belched out 20 gray ash columns Thursday, some of them a mile (1.5 kilometers) high.

In Mabinit, a village within Mayon's danger zone, some of the farmers pleaded with soldiers accompanied by human rights workers to allow one man in each household to guard belongings while their families are in evacuation shelters farther away.

"We can't just leave our livestock and belongings because they may be stolen, so we asked the military to allow the men to stay behind," said Nelson Esquivel, 53. "I will just run down when the volcano erupts."

Military spokesman Capt. Razaleigh Bansawan said the men were given time to tend to their farms and gather belongings, but all of them were later moved out and Mabinit was sealed off.

He said the evacuation of about 1,000 people in seven other villages within the zone was ongoing. People were complying, he added.

Government workers have fanned out across some 45 schools and gymnasiums with games, movies and music concerts, hoping to keep 47,000 evacuees entertained over Christmas holidays, a time when many in this majority Roman Catholic country are missing traditional family gatherings in their homes.

Children in one evacuation center gleefully lined up for ice cream Thursday, and other activities were taking place to keep them busy.

Dinner packs of noodles, apples, oranges and corned beef will be distributed at the shelters later Thursday for Christmas Eve dinner, said Nunez. - AP

nancyk58
25-12-2009, 07:57 AM
UPDATES ON 25 DECEMBER 2009

EVACUEES, family keep presidential bets busy on Christmas

AIE BALAGTAS SEE, GMANews.TV - 12/25/2009 | 12:19 AM

Albay evacuees and family time. These kept the presidential hopefuls in the 2010 elections occupied on Christmas Eve.

Former President Joseph Estrada and Senators Richard Gordon and Manuel Villar Jr. distributed relief goods to thousands of evacuees in Albay province before officially taking a break from politics for the Yuletide season.
I hope viewers would feel the Christmas spirit not by receiving but by giving," Gordon said in a report aired over GMA News' "24 Oras."

At least 45,000 evacuees in Albay province will celebrate their Christmas and possibly their New Year in evacuation centers as the restive Mayon Volcano threatens to erupt in the coming days.

Aside from the evacuees in Albay, Estrada also noted the importance of remembering those who were affected by the destructive cyclones that hit the Philippines this year.

“As we celebrate this joyous year, we must not forget the victims of the events that hurt our country this part year," he said in a statement.

Hundreds of people DIED while thousands were rendered HOMELESS after two CYCLONES left Metro MANILA, NORTHERN LUZON, and portions of Central Luzon FLOODED in epic proportions last September and October.

Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Simeon Aquino III, meanwhile, expressed hopes that the government could come up with solutions to end the problems that continue to batter the country.

“I hope we can start again for the sake of our countrymen," said Aquino, who will celebrate his first Christmas without his mother, the late President Corazon "Cory" Aquino.

The television report said Aquino and his sisters would celebrate their first noche buena in the house of his youngest sister and popular TV host Kris Aquino.

The other presidential aspirants - Sen. Jamby Madrigal, former Defense chief Gilberto Teodoro Jr., and JC delos Reyes, and Jesus is Lord Movement leader Eddie Villanueva - simply offered prayers for the country to overcome its hardships.

“Let us pray to God so that our country will achieve PEACE and UNITY," said Teodoro, the administration bet in next year's elections.
“What I want for Christmas is for this country to regain its footing," Villanueva said.

Madrigal, meanwhile, went to her family in Batangas to spend Christmas with her family.

KBK, GMANews.TV


NDCC: WATER, SANITATION SHORT IN EVACUATION CAMPS

(12/25/2009 | 10:49 AM - GMA NEWS.TV)

Less than half of centers for residents evacuated from danger zones around restive Mayon Volcano have enough water supply, while up to 62 people have to share one toilet in some evacuation camps.

This was the assessment of the Water And Sanitation for Health (WASH) of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) on the current situation of the evacuated residents in Bicol.

"(Only) 40% of evacuation camps have adequate water supply, most source is water faucet," the NDCC said in its 10 p.m. Thursday report, posted on its website Friday.

It added toilets are inadequate in evacuation camps, "with a present ratio of 1:27 to 1:62 per latrine." Evacuees are now using mostly school toilets and lavatories.

Also, it said only 52% of the camps have adequate garbage disposal through collection with waste segregation.

The NDCC recommended the use of portable toilets and construction of new toilets, as well as regular garbage collection.

As of December 24, NDCC said 9,754 families or 46,655 people are staying in 26 evacuation centers.

Government imposed a mandatory evacuation at the danger zone, even as President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ordered an investigation on whether such a move may violate human rights.

The NDCC said 66 health clinics have so far been set up in the evacuation camps, manned by city health workers during the day and barangay health workers at night.
Health education is also ongoing in some evacuation centers.
Also, the NDCC said immunization will be instituted in the health clinics once the evacuees are settled.
Meanwhile, dzBB radio's Allan Gatus reported Mayon remained restive as of Friday.

The report cited Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) records indicating Mayon had 969 volcanic quakes, 54 of them high-frequency. It said magma continued to rise to the crater, as shown by at least 125 rumbling sounds and 2,738 tons of sulfur dioxide. Lava fountaining was observed until dawn Friday, the report added.

JHU, GMANews.TV

nancyk58
25-12-2009, 06:14 PM
Post II on 25 December 2009

GIFTS BRING CHRISTMAS CHEER TO MAYON EVACUEES

(12/25/2009 | 04:46 PM - GMA News.TV)

LEGAZPI, Philippines — Some 47,000 Filipinos who fled their homes in anticipation of the eruption of the Mayon volcano shared rations of noodles, fried fish and fruit to celebrate Christmas in evacuation centers. Children opened donated presents and clowns entertained the crowds, as the government tried to keep the evacuees from slipping back to their homes.

The 8,070-foot (2,460-meter) volcano known for its perfect cone has erupted nearly 40 times over 400 years, sending people packing for months at a time. But never has it happened during the all-important Christmas celebration, when Filipinos gather with family and friends for traditional meals and songs.

"I have mixed feelings of sadness and happiness," 38-year-old vegetable vendor Estela Netuno, who spent the holiday in an evacuation center with her siblings and 9-year-old son, said Friday. "We should be home celebrating with the family, but we are here."

She said the gifts of candies and toys her son got from donors, the Christmas Eve dinner pack of noodles and fruits from the local government, and the fried fish and vegetables shared with fellow evacuees during the traditional midnight meal made them happy.

But Netuno said she missed cooking at home, and the rice cakes she usually prepares for Christmas Eve. With crammed conditions and no kitchen, she said it was difficult to do that this year.

"If we were home and we could continue to earn a living, we could cook any food we want for Christmas," she said.

On Thursday night, Masses were celebrated in evacuation centers. Evacuees received gifts or were entertained by soldiers in Santa hats who belted out songs. But the mood was subdued, with many evacuees opting to sleep before midnight.

"We have to give them Christmas Eve midnight meal so at least while in the evacuation center they can also feel the Christmas celebration," Legazpi Mayor Noel Rosal said.

Joey Salceda, the governor of eastern Albay province, where Mayon is located, said he distributed 100 peso ($2) bills to children to be spent any way they wanted.

The celebration continued Friday, with a clown's magic tricks and parlor games bringing laughter to young evacuees at an elementary school.

Evacuation centers have been the scenes of daily entertainment for the past week as officials try to keep frustrated evacuees from sneaking back to their homes.

The military was still trying to get some 600 holdout residents to leave their homes Friday in villages within the five-mile (eight-kilometer) danger zone, said Capt. Razaleigh Bansawan, a military spokesman.

Chief government volcanologist Renato Solidum warned that a hazardous eruption was possible within days as Mayon's activities continue to escalate.

"It is now in a critical level or intense level of activity, so we should be careful," he said.

Ash explosions have intensified, with ash columns now reaching more than a mile (two kilometers) tall and molten rock spewing half a mile (one kilometer) from the summit, compared to several hundred yards (meters) two weeks ago, Solidum said

AP

nancyk58
26-12-2009, 08:34 PM
UPDATES ON 26 DECEMBER 2009

PRAYERS AND SILENCE MARK 2004 TSUNAMI ANNIVERSARY

(12/26/2009 | 03:41 PM - GMA News.TV)

PHUKET, Thailand — Five years after a massive tsunami triggered deadly tidal waves across Asia, low-key ceremonies Saturday marked the solemn anniversary with prayers and moments of silence for the 230,000 people killed.

THE DEVASTATING DEC. 26, 2004, tsunami struck a dozen countries around the Indian Ocean rim. It eradicated entire coastal communities, decimated families and crashed over tourist-filled beaches the morning after Christmas. Survivors waded through a horror show of corpse-filled waters.

Survivors were among the hundreds of people who returned to the white-sand beaches in southern Thailand on Saturday to recall one of the worst natural disasters of modern times.

A moment of silence was observed on Phuket's Patong Beach, a popular strip of hotels and restaurants, to mark the moment the tsunami struck.

Dozens of Buddhist monks in bright orange robes chanted prayers. Onlookers wept and embraced.

Giorgio Capriccioli, an Italian who lives on Phuket, carried a bouquet of white flowers into the ocean.

He waded knee-deep in water that five years ago was clogged with corpses and cast the flowers adrift to honor the memory of two friends. His wife owns several beach-front shops but decided not to go to work the morning the tsunami struck.

"My wife would be dead if it weren't for the fact that she were pregnant and didn't go to work that day," he said at a ceremony that also attracted sun-drenched tourists in skimpy swimsuits, as well as Thai residents.

The ceremonies on Phuket were to culminate in the evening with candle-lighting ceremonies and the release of hundreds of light-filled lanterns into the sky.
Memorial services were also planned elsewhere in Asia.

In the Indonesian province of ACEH on SUMATRA island, which was hardest-hit by the disaster, some mosques held prayer services Friday.

The tsunami was sparked by an 9.2-magnitude underwater earthquake off Sumatra — the mightiest earthquake in 40 years.

More than 8,000 THAIS and FOREIGN VACATIONERS PERISHED IN THAILAND. Coastal communities in SRI LANKA and INDIA lost some 48,000 people between them. INDONESIA's loss of about 167,000 accounted for well more than half of the total death toll.

AP


PHIVOLCS: No tsunami threat in RP after Taiwan quake

(12/20/2009 | 08:26 AM - GMA News.TV)

State seismologists on Sunday allayed fears of a tsunami resulting from a magnitude-6.4 quake that hit Taiwan Saturday night.

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) director Renato Solidum Jr. said they already relayed a no-tsunami alert to the Office of Civil Defense.

“The Taiwan quake does not pose danger to our country. There is no tsunami alert," Solidum said in an interview on dzBB radio on Sunday.

The United States Geological Service / USGS said the quake measured at magnitude 6.4 and occurred at about 9:02 p.m. Saturday.

Its epicenter was 25 km south-southeast of Hua-lien, Taiwan; 95 km south of Su-ao, Taiwan; 110 km east-southeast of T'ai-chung, Taiwan, or 145 km south of Taipei.

On the other hand, Phivolcs’ Bicol-based monitoring chief July Sabit said the quake was too far to create an affect on restive Mayon Volcano in Albay province.
“The quake was far from the Philippines but had it occurred near Mayon, it could accelerate its activity and may lead to a major eruption," Sabit said in an interview on dzBB.

Sabit also downplayed the chances of Bulusan Volcano in Sorsogon province being affected by Mayon's activity.

LBG, GMANews.TV


DANISH TEXT-TV on 26/12: A 6.0-MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE 5 years on the day after the devastating tsunami in 2004 that killed more than 250,000 people. The epicenter of today's earthquake was in 56 km depth, 270 km north - northwest of Saumlaku the Indonesian Tanitribar Islands (based on info from the US Geological Service / USGS). At first the USGS had measured the earthquake at 6,2 on the open richter scale, but later changed it to 6.0.

5 YEARS REMEMBRANCE DAY in the countries affected immediately by the devastating tsunami in 2004 that killed more than 250,000 people in Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India and other countries also in Africa. There were victims from all over the world. In the tourist favourite Phuket in Thailand many people from Europe, Australia and the US died. In Thailand 10,000 lights were lit on the beach and hundreds of light-filled lanterns were released into the sky.
There was an interview with Dr. Smith Tamasoru (pronounced so, but did not write quickly enough to spell his name) who for years and years warned the authorities in Thailand of a coming tsunami. He wanted the authorities to establish a warning system. But no luck - he left his job. When the tsunami hit, he was contacted by the prime minister - if he wanted to cooperate in establishing a warning system. He said yes, and now there is a good warning system. Dr. Tamasoru is criticising the warning system for not being efficient at the moment, because there are some buoys connected to it, and their batteries are run out and need to be replaced, and he has pointed that out over and over again, but the batteries have not yet been replaced. The fact that he criticised the warning system has led the authorities to sue him, and the authorities say that of course the batteries will be replaced (but when? Hopefully in time for the next tsunami).

News from Danish Television, TV2 on 26/12.09.

nancyk58
27-12-2009, 08:56 AM
UPDATES ON 27 DECEMBER 2009

MORE FAMILIES LIVING NEAR MAYON EVACUATED ON CHRISTMAS DAY

(12/26/2009 | 02:29 AM - GMA News.TV)

No family living within Mayon volcano's six-to-eight-kilometer permanent danger zone in Albay province was allowed to spend Christmas in their homes after the military enforced on Friday a no let-up forced evacuation policy in the area.

Task Force Mayon spokesperson Razaleigh Bansawan said soldiers were dispatched to the cities of Legazpi and Ligao, as well as to the towns of Guinobatan and Camalig to forcibly evacuate residents who had insisted on staying in risk areas.

He said 1,344 people were evacuated on Friday, in addition to the more than 47,000 other residents who had been brought to safer places since Mayon showed signs of renewed activity.

The military will continue to enforce a “no human activity" policy within the danger zone until all residents are brought to the province's 26 evacuation centers, according to Bansawan.

Alert level 4 remains hoisted over Mayon. State volcanologists warned of a potentially hazardous volcanic eruption after Christmas.

Andreo C. Calonzo, GMANews.TV


CULTURE OF DEPENDENCY WORST ENEMY OF MAYON EVACUEES - ALBAY GOV.

(12/26/2009 | 09:30 AM - GMA News.TV)

Almost two weeks after evacuation, families fleeing the impending explosion of Mayon Volcano in Albay may face their biggest enemy yet: MENDICANCY.

Provincial governor Jose Salceda said Saturday that measures need to be taken to keep on their feet and to maintain their dignity amidst the prolonged crisis. It is important that evacuees don't become overly dependent on the government for all their needs.

"This is our 13th day of keeping the evacuees in evacuation centers. A culture of mendicancy may have sunk in to some of them, so our first step should be to make clear to them it is not government but the COMMUNITY that provides. We have set up programs to make them earn their keep," Salceda said in an interview on dzRH radio.

GETTING PAID TO WORK HELPS PRESERVE DIGNITY

He said one of the programs is to have the evacuee families work to fix the schools they are staying in. Salceda also said the provincial government allows the mothers to cook food inside the evacuation centers, at least to preserve their dignity.

“Once the families leave the schools the schools are in good condition. They are paid for it. They work for it, they maintain their dignity," he said of the school repair work program.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council’s 7 p.m. Friday report indicated 10,032 families or 47,560 people are now housed in 29 evacuation centers in Camalig, Daraga, Malilipot Sto. Domingo and Guinobatan towns; and Legazpi, Tabaco and Ligao Cities.

NDCC said most of the new evacuees were from Legazpi, Tabaco and Ligao Cities; and Malilipot and Sto. Domingo towns.

GOV IS STILL OPEN TO INTERNATIONAL AID

On the other hand, Salceda said that the government remains open to local and international groups to bring in aid for the evacuees. He also said they continue to work to improve water and sanitation in the evacuation camps.

The provincial government started evacuating families from the danger zone around Mayon, which extends up to 8 km, since state volcanologists raised the alert level there to “3" on Dec. 14.


MAYON STILL HIGHLY ACTIVE

As of Saturday, Phivolcs said Mayon continued to exhibit a high level of activity during the past 24-hour observation period. In its 7 a.m. report, Phivolcs said it observed 33 ash explosions with dirty white to brownish ash columns that reached up to 1 km above the summit.

Phivolcs also observed 26 rumbling and two hissing sounds from the volcano, heard at the Lignon Hill Observatory in Legazpi City.

Seismic activity remained elevated as the seismic network recorded a total of 406 volcanic earthquakes.

It added 142 rock fall events related to detachment of lava fragments at the volcano’s upper slopes were also detected.

Flowing lava and rolling incandescent lava fragments were continuously observed at Bonga, Padang and Miisi gullies while sulfur dioxide emission was measured at 8,993 tonnes per day Friday.

JHU/TJD, GMANews.TV


AFTER SHORT LULL, MAYON GROWS RESTIVE AGAIN

(12/27/2009 | 10:00 AM - GMA News.TV)

After a respite of sorts Saturday, Mayon Volcano in Albay province grew restive again Sunday, with state volcanologists recording at least six explosions before dawn.

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) head Renato Solidum Jr. reminded residents near Mayon’s danger zone against being lulled into a false sense of security.

“Residents should not be lulled into a false sense of security. They may think there are less ash explosions or rumblings, but sometimes they do not see them because of the cloud cover. The volcano is still restive and its Sulfur Dioxide emissions remain high," Solidum said in an interview on dzBB radio. He said that in the last 24 hours, they recorded another rise in volcanic activity, including six explosions between 4 and 6 a.m. Sunday. Solidum also said the volcano ejected lava as high as one kilometer into the air.
On Saturday, Phivolcs recorded 871 quakes and 98 rock fall events, three of which generated pyroclastic flows.
Phivolcs raised the alert level at Mayon to “4" last December 20, meaning a hazardous explosion is due in days. It had raised the alert level to “3" last Dec. 14.

WATER RATION
The Bureau of Fire Protection in Bicol rationed water to evacuation centers and conducted flush-and-clean operations in comfort rooms at Bariw Elementary School in Camalig.
A fire station engine from Legazpi City delivered 3,670 liters of water to San Roque, Gogon, Albay Central and Bagumbayan elementary schools.
Camalig fire station delivered water to Bariw, Taladong and Baligang evacuation centers, while Tabaco City fire station visited various evacuation centers.
The fire station in Daraga distributed relief goods and assisted in a feeding program for children.
For its part, the Sto. Domingo Fire Station rationed water to the Bicol National High School.
Meanwhile, the AFP medical team conducted a medical mission at Tabaco National High School and Tabaco N/W Central School.

GMANews.TV



MAGNITUDE-5.4 QUAKE JOLTS DAVAO

(12/26/2009 | 04:23 PM - GMA News.TV)

A 5.4-magnitude earthquake hit parts of southern Philippines a day after Christmas, state seismologists said.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said Saturday that the earthquake happened at 1:09 p.m. Its epicenter was traced at 54 kilometers northeast of Mati City in Davao Oriental and had a shallow depth of 49 kilometers from the ground.The earthquake was felt at Intensity II in Davao City.
In an earthquake bulletin provided to GMANews.TV, Phivolcs officials in Manila said it was not expecting the earthquake, which was tectonic in origin, to cause damage in the affected areas.
More than an hour later, another earthquake rocked nearby General Santos City, local Phivolcs officials were, meanwhile, quoted as saying in a radio report.
Details of the second quake was not immediately available even as the Phivolcs headquarters in Manila said it has yet to get reports about it. Phivolcs also has yet to determine if the second jolt was an aftershock of the first quake.

Mark Merueñas/ JHU, GMANews.TV

nancyk58
28-12-2009, 11:57 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 28 DECEMBER 2009

COPENHAGEN ACCORD FAVORS US IN CLIMATE NEGOTIATIONS

(YASMIN D. ARQUIZA, GMANews.TV - 12/25/2009 | 04:03 PM )

They all agreed that the planet is in peril, and along with it the fate of humanity, but in the end, the world’s leaders could not commit themselves to concrete action on how to prevent potential global catastrophe resulting from climate change.
Last week, 119 heads of state and government including controversial rulers such as Zimbabwe strongman Robert Mugabe and President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela gave speeches at the much-hyped climate summit in Copenhagen, along with the likes of German Prime Minister Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

After all the talk, however, what was supposed to be a landmark meeting ended with a whimper, or more precisely, a three-page document that many observers have described as a weak political agreement. Worse, the conference refused to adopt the Copenhagen Accord, which many members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) criticized for disregarding transparent and democratic procedures.

Developing countries were particularly incensed that the pact was announced during a late-night news conference, and had come out of daylong meetings by a small number of rich countries and the big four emerging economies – China, India, Brazil, and South Africa.

As a result, the two-week conference ended with a decision to simply “take note" of the political agreement, which did not go through the consensus-style UN process and had pushed aside prepared texts from years of climate negotiations. Despite the controversy, however, UN climate chief Yvo de Boer praised the pact as “an impressive accord" and the final press release from the secretariat did not mention the decision taken on the deal.

Still, in his final press conference, de Boer highlighted the weaknesses of the accord. Visibly tired from the late-night wrangling and lengthy closed-door meetings, he emphasized that the agreement was “not an accord that is legally binding, not an accord that at this moment pins down industrialized countries to individual targets, not an accord that at this stage specifies what major developing countries will do, not an accord that at this stage makes it clear how the 30 billion that it talks about is to be divided up amongst individual contributors."

He characterized the agreement as “a letter of intent" that needs to be spelled out in legal terms, “and that means we have a lot of work to do on the road to Mexico." The annual climate change talks will be held next year in Mexico City.

Prior to the meeting in Copenhagen, Mr. de Boer had outlined four key points that needed to come out of the conference: clear targets on emission reductions from industrialized countries, goals from major developing countries such as China and India on how much they would limit the growth of their emissions, financing for mitigation and adaptation in developing countries, and the mechanism for managing the funds.

“If Copenhagen can deliver on those four points I’d be happy," de Boer had said. Using those pre-conference goals as benchmark, it is not surprising that many sectors have branded the meeting as a failure.

"I DON’T KNOW THE PROTOCOLS"
At least one world leader emerged victorious from the last day of the conference though. Just before leaving Copenhagen, US President Barack Obama held a news conference with selected media where he announced the climate deal. Journalists who watched the briefing from the monitors at the press center scrambled to get copies of the agreement, which the information desk did not have as it was not an official document at the time.

Obama was particularly pleased that he managed to get major developing countries such as China and India to agree to limit the growth of their emissions, a contentious issue that has long been advocated by the US and other industrialized countries.

“The challenge here was that for a lot of countries, particularly those emerging countries that are still in different stages of development, this is going to be the first time in which even voluntarily they offered up mitigation targets," he said. “It was important to essentially get that shift in orientation moving, that’s what I think will end up being most significant about this accord."

The agreement could very well lead to the death of the Kyoto Protocol, the only binding climate treaty that requires industrialized countries to reduce their carbon emissions. The US has refused to sign the treaty, arguing that it would be detrimental to their economy and pointing out that China has overtaken it as the world’s top polluter.

Developing countries often point to the provision in the UNFCCC, the parent treaty of the Kyoto Protocol, that rich countries have a greater responsibility for much of the greenhouse gases accumulated in the atmosphere since the dawn of the Industrial Age. The US signed the UNFCCC, but with the Copenhagen Accord, the issue of historic responsibility has shifted to present-day levels of economic growth and carbon emissions.

In his plenary speech in Copenhagen, Mr. Obama effectively reframed the climate debate by pushing for “the principle of common but differentiated responses and respective capabilities" in addressing the problem, instead of affirming the “common but differentiated responsibilities" among countries as stated in the UNFCCC text.

While Mr. Obama’s performance in Copenhagen could win him brownie points at home and improve the chances for US Senate approval of climate legislation, he may have lost fans at the international level, especially after he showed ignorance of UN procedures.

When asked who would sign the agreement after he had left, Mr. Obama said: “You know, it raises an interesting question as to whether technically there’s actually a signature -- since, as I said, it’s not a legally binding agreement, I don’t know what the protocols are. But I do think that this is a commitment that we, as the United States, are making and that we think is very important."

In the end, it was left to Danish Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen to obtain approval from the UN conference for the agreement. Equally clueless about negotiating procedures, however, Mr. Rasmussen faced severe criticism for favoring the 20 or so countries that negotiated the Copenhagen Accord and failing to give courtesy to other delegations.

COPENHAGEN DISCORD
The dismal conclusion dampened the festive preparations for the climate summit in Copenhagen, which saw the largest gathering of world leaders in UN history.

“What mainly happened is the complete breakdown of trust among Parties. To build it up again, under the shadow of an Accord that would be pursued at all costs, is immensely challenging," said Bernarditas Muller, one of the Philippines’ principal negotiators in the climate talks until she was excluded from the country’s delegation this year.

In a reflection paper entitled “Copenhagen Discord, " Muller assailed what she called divide and rule" tactics in the run-up to the climate summit, principally from the US and European Union delegations, which resulted in some developing countries ultimately backing the controversial accord.
“What really occurred in Copenhagen was the culmination of all the frustrations of many developing countries in the total lack of transparency and inclusiveness in the process," said Muller, who serves as the coordinator of the G-77 bloc of developing countries. She was attached to Sudan, which currently heads the G-77, during the summit.

Climate change adviser Antonio Hill of the aid agency OXFAM summed up the sentiments of many civil society groups in the conference: “The Copenhagen Accord is hugely disappointing but it also reveals how the traditional approach to international negotiations, based on brinkmanship and national self-interest, is both unfit for pursuing our common destiny and downright dangerous.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who met with many of the key decision makers in Copenhagen and is also a Nobel Peace Prize laureate like Obama, also expressed regret at the outcome of the climate talks.

“The failure of the political process in Copenhagen to achieve a fair, adequate and binding deal on climate change is profoundly distressing," said the South African prelate. “A higher purpose was at stake but our political leaders have proven themselves unable to rise to the challenge."

GMANews.TV


RP's REMARKS ENDORSING COPENHAGEN ACCORD

(12/24/2009 | 12:14 AM - GMA NEWS.TV)
The prepared remarks of Secretary Heherson T. Alvarez, the Presidential Adviser for Climate Change, for the plenary when the Philippines endorsed the Copenhagen Accord.

Thank you, Mr. President.
We support the adoption of the Copenhagen Accord.
We welcome the efforts made by the group of leaders who negotiated it in the spirit of exploring collective actions. However, we need to constantly and consistently stress the critical importance of transparency, broader consultation, and consensus in these international negotiations.

The Philippines notes with interest the substance of the document. We will continue to study it with great care particularly with respect to its implications for our country. Based on our initial review, and in the interest of time, we would like to point out a few key areas that need to be addressed or strengthened:

• The scale of reductions and level of ambition fall short of our call for deep and early cuts which must be taken and led by Annex I countries. Our country recently endured the wrath of an extremely destructive typhoon that unleashed a month’s amount of rain in a matter of hours. Any inadequacy or delay in action will only increase the frequency and ferocity of severe weather events that can cause untold suffering to millions of our brothers and sisters.
• We must arrive at a legally binding agreement with a clear timetable with respect to the outcome of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action. Aspirations and plans are not enough and the time for action is overdue. Meaningful reduction targets and goals on financing, adaptation, and other essential elements of these negotiations can only be accomplished through legally binding commitments.

• While we welcome the provisions on REDD-plus, we would like to remind this body that this component proceeded very well. Our delegation played a key role in facilitating progress on this issue. There must, however, and unfortunately the document does not emphasize this, balance between safeguards and action, strict rules on MRV and accounting, and that indigenous peoples be particularly acknowledged.

We look forward to the continuation and completion soon of our collective and collaborative work in the Ad Hoc Working Groups on the Kyoto Protocol and on Long-Term Cooperative Actions. The positive thing we see in this disappointment in Copenhagen is that it has highlighted the core issues around mitigation and finance. In moving forward on the KP and LCA work, let us have a common resolve not to repeat what happened in our processes where for years, we exchanged positions and waited until the last two weeks, indeed the last few days, to begin serious negotiations.

Mr. President, it is imperative that we Parties work together towards a legally binding instrument within a period of 6 months or at the latest by COP 16. This is the only way we can communicate the deep urgency of this process to succeed and keep temperatures below 1.5 degrees.
Thank you and good morning.


CLIMATE DEAL 'DAMAGING' TO POOR NATIONS, FILIPINA EXPERT SAYS

(By YASMIN ARQUIZA, GMANews.TV - 12/19/2009 | 08:57 AM)

COPENHAGEN (Updated 3 a.m. Saturday, Denmark time) – A last-minute agreement brokered by US President Barack Obama during the closing hours of the climate summit here Friday does not provide enough financing for poor countries that stand to suffer the most from the negative impact of climate change, a Filipina expert negotiator said.

“It’s damaging to the interests of developing nations," said Bernarditas Castro-Muller, a retired Filipina diplomat who serves as the coordinator for G-77 and China, the largest negotiating bloc of developing nations in the talks.
She said the agreement did not put in place the proper financing and technology transfer arrangements that would allow poor countries to adapt to climate change.

The informal Copenhagen Accord, which did not go through the normal negotiating procedures of the United Nations-sponsored conference, states: “The collective commitment by developed countries is to provide new and additional resources amounting to 30 billion dollars for the period 2010 – 2012 with balance allocation between adaptation and mitigation, including forestry and new and additional investments through international institutions."

Priority for the funds would be “the most vulnerable developing countries, such as the least developed countries, small island developing states and countries in Africa."

Specific pledges to the fund so far are $10.6 billion from the European community, $11 billion from Japan, and $3.6 billion from the United States, according to the document.

The agreement also set a goal of $100 billion in funding “from a wide variety of sources" by 2020 to provide the needs of developing countries, but Muller said most of these would come from loans and does not address the need to “pay the climate debt" of rich nations that have polluted the atmosphere for many generations.

While recognizing the scientific view that increases in global temperature should not go beyond 2 degrees Celsius to avert dangerous climate change, the agreement did not specify any targets for emission reductions from any country. Instead, it simply states, “We should cooperate in achieving the peaking of global and national emissions as soon as possible."

Muller assailed the manner by which world leaders produced the agreement, saying “it’s the result of a non-transparent process."

Negotiators from 192 countries have been working for two years to produce an agreement beyond 2012, when the first period of binding targets on emissions reductions under the Kyoto Protocol expires. However, there were still many sticking points by the time world leaders flew into Copenhagen for the high-level segment of the talks this week.

One of the few carbon-cutting measures in the agreement is the support for “positive incentives" on actions for a mechanism known as reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) in developing countries.

The agreement included a table of voluntary mitigation pledges from 11 countries that do not have binding targets under the Kyoto protocol including the Philippines, which committed to reduce emissions by 5 per cent but did not indicate any time frame.

NOT LEGALLY BINDING
In a news conference at around 11 p.m. Friday where he announced the agreement, Mr. Obama said he worked all day with the leaders of Ethiopia (representing Africa), China, Brazil, India, and South Africa to come up with the deal.

He had an additional meeting in the evening with the four big developing countries, "and that's where we agreed to list our national actions and commitments, to provide information on the implementation of these actions through national communications, with international consultations and analysis under clearly defined guidelines," Mr. Obama said.

"The way this agreement is structured, each nation will be putting concrete commitments into an appendix to the document, and so will lay out very specifically what each country’s intentions are," he added.

Mr. Obama said the national commitments would be subjected to "international consultation and analysis" to track the progress of each country.

"It will not be legally binding, but what it will do is allow for each country to show to the world what they're doing, and there will be a sense on the part of each country that we're in this together, and we'll know who is meeting and who's not meeting the mutual obligations that have been set forth," he said.

It is unclear how the UN conference would decide on the agreement, which essentially sidelined the negotiating documents containing binding targets for industrialized countries after 2010, when the first round of commitments for the Kyoto protocol expires.

Mr. Obama left right after the conference, saying US negotiators would finish other tasks needed at the conference.

"The challenge here was that for a lot of countries, particularly those emerging countries that are still in different stages of development, this is going to be the first time in which even voluntarily they offered up mitigation targets," he told the news conference with US media. "And I think that it was important to essentially get that shift in orientation moving, that's what I think will end up being most significant about this accord."

"It is still going to require more work and more confidence-building and greater trust between emerging countries, the least developed countries, and the developed countries before I think you are going to see another legally binding treaty signed," he added.

"I actually think that it's necessary for us ultimately to get to such a treaty, and I am supportive of such efforts. But this is a classic example of a situation where if we just waited for that, then we would not make any progress," Mr. Obama said.

The agreement immediately drew criticism from environment advocates, even as marchers noisily marched to Bella Center in the midnight snow to protest the turn of events.

]"We have seen a year of crises, but today it is clear that the biggest one facing humanity is a leadership crisis," said Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo.[/[/COLOR]B]

[B]"During the year a number of developing countries showed a willingness to accept their share of the burden to avert climate chaos. But in the end, the blame for failure mostly lies with the rich industrialized world, countries which have the largest historic responsibility for causing the problem. In particular, the US failed to take any real leadership and dragged the talks down," he added.

Jeremy Hobbs, executive director of the aid charity OXFAM International, said: "This agreement barely papers over the huge differences between countries which have plagued these talks for two years."

He added: "The deal is a triumph of spin over substance. It recognizes the need to keep warming below 2 per cent but does not commit to do so. It kicks back the big decisions on emissions cuts and fudges the issue of climate cash."

with a report from Pia Faustino, GMANews.TV

Tonsu
29-12-2009, 12:00 AM
Incredible work, as always, Nancy :)

nancyk58
29-12-2009, 10:22 PM
UPDATES ON 29 DECEMBER 2009

HEALTH OFFICIALS PROBE DEATH OF 4 MAYON EVACUEES

(12/29/2009 | 01:39 PM - GMA News.TV)

Health authorities in Albay are investigating the death of at least four people evacuated from the danger zone around restive Mayon Volcano, even as they insisted that the deaths were not due to the poor conditions in evacuation centers.

DzBB’s Allan Gatus quoted Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council executive director Cedric Daep as saying that the four had been sick before they were evacuated.

The radio report said one of the fatalities was three-year-old Joselito Guillen, who died after suffering Loose Bowel Movement. Another was a 68-year-old woman with a heart condition.

A separate report on dzXL radio Tuesday noon said Albay Governor Jose Salceda cited reports reaching him that four evacuees had died since they started evacuating people from the danger zone earlier this month.

Salceda did not name the fatalities but said at least one died of a heart attack.

On the other hand, Salceda belied rumors that the deaths stemmed from dirty water or insufficient food in evacuation centers. He said the Provincial Health Office is investigating the case.

Provincial authorities started evacuating residents from Mayon’s danger zone after state volcanologists raised the alert level there to “3." The alert level was raised to “4" last Dec. 20.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council said that as of 5 p.m. Monday, 10,032 families or 47,563 people are staying in 29 evacuation centers.

- LBG, GMANews.TV


LOCAL EXEC URGING TOURISTS TO PLAY IN SHADOW OF MAYON

(By SOPHIA DEDACE, GMANews.TV- 12/29/2009 | 01:14 PM)

LEGAZPI CITY, Albay - Within sight of a rumbling Mount Mayon, thousands of evacuees are enduring a blue holiday season. But tourists are having a blast.

As the 2,460-meter volcano continued to show signs of an imminent major eruption, at least a dozen Korean nationals were joy-riding Tuesday morning on board all-terrain vehicles along the slopes of Ligñon Hill, on the outskirts of Mayon's eight-kilometer danger zone.

The tourists are engaged in a foolhardy activity that can get them arrested, according to the provincial government, but at least one local executive has given adventure-seeking tourists his blessing.

Legazpi City Councilor Cerilo Chan was on radio this morning downplaying the perils of being near the the volcano and even offered to accompany Albay Governor Joey Salceda to stroll inside the danger zone.

Chan’s invitation did not sit well with the governor, who has repeatedly warned tourists against venturing into Mayon’s danger zones. “(That) is stupidity. I take it as an offense. I will demand an apology from him," Salceda said, adding that Chan was mocking the provincial government's efforts.

In an interview, Chan said he is only encouraging tourists to trek on lava-hardened roads 10 to 15 kilometers away from Mayon’s summit and not inside the eight-kilometer danger zone.

“I will not risk the life of any person, especially tourists. As an official, I have the responsibility to protect them," Chan said, stressing that would never violate the province’s zero-human-activity policy within Mayon’s danger zones. Tourists have been arriving in this city in recent days anticipating the mother of all fireworks in time for the new year, or at least to witness the fiery spectacle of magma visible every night. Hotels in this city are fully booked.

Mount Mayon, glorified on postcards as the "world's most perfect cone," is Bicol's biggest tourism draw, but it is also among the planet's most active volcanoes, periodically erupting and devastating surrounding communities. A lava flow that has oozed its way down the southeastern side has already burned trees and vegetation in its path and caused the lower slopes to appear eerily from a distance as if shrouded in rising steam.

A reporter who declined to be named said Chan even encouraged him to try zip-lines, an extreme recreational activity, to view the lava flow while hurtling across the panorama attached to a steel cable. The zip-line, however, is near Mayon’s lava front and is deemed to be very dangerous.

Earlier reports said tourists managed to slip past checkpoints around the danger zone by passing through side roads with the help of local "tourist guides."

Provincial authorities are verifying information that some local officials may even be helping the “underground" tourism industry.

The military has set up additional checkpoints and roadblocks to prevent tourists from sneaking into dangerous areas.

As of Tuesday noon, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said Mayon remained restive. Some 47,560 evacuees in the province are temporarily residing in public school buildings.

- HGS/TJD, GMANews.TV


AUTHORITIES WANT 'HARDHEADED' MAYON TOURISTS ARRESTED

(12/28/2009 | 07:57 AM - GMA NEWS.TV)

Irked over the seeming impunity in defying checkpoints and a curfew, the Albay provincial government authorities have ordered a crackdown on tourists venturing into the danger zone of restive Mayon Volcano.

Radio dzBB's Allan Gatus reported Monday that the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council ordered the local military to arrest those caught inside the 6-8 km danger zone.

Military spokesman Capt. Razaleigh Bansawan said one Infantry platoon, or at least 25 personnel, will man added checkpoints around the danger zone.

Roadblocks have been placed on some side roads to deter tourists from sneaking in, he added.

Earlier reports indicated that tourists managed to slip past checkpoints around the danger zone by passing through side roads with the help of local "tourist guides."

Provincial authorities are verifying information that some local officials may even be helping the “underground" tourism industry.

The dzBB report cited information that some tourists could even rent all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) for up to P1,000 an hour to get near the lava front of the volcano.

It said this was despite a 24-hour curfew and a "no human activity" policy at the volcano's danger zone.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said Mayon remained restive, with more than 40 volcanic quakes and several minor volcanic explosions Sunday night.

The lava flow reached up to 5.7 km from the crater and is nearing local coconut plantations, the report said.

HEALTH COMMAND POST
According to the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), the Joint Health Command Post (JHCP) has stationed a DOH Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit at the Provincial Health Office.

In its 11 p.m. Sunday report, NDCC said the post will oversee and conduct disease surveillance, rapid assessment surveys, report generation and response in evacuation camps.

JHCP has coordinated with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on the establishment of a tent hospital equipped with a mini-laboratory.

Bicol Medical Center will man the mini-laboratory to be set up at San Andres and Sto. Domingo.

Also, the JHCP coordinated with the Water and Sanitation for Health
(WASH) team on the distribution of water kits, chlorine, toilet bowls and additional face masks.

It coordinated as well with medical mission teams on their schedules and places of deployment and augmentation of drugs and medicines.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health augmented drugs, anti-venom, face masks and medicines supplies to affected areas and replenished pre-positioned medicines.

The Center for Health Development (CHD) for Bicol placed all emergency teams on standby for immediate mobilization.

At least 282 patients have been attended to for cough and colds, fever and asthma, local health authorities said, adding that health education is ongoing in some evacuation centers.

As of 11 p.m. Sunday, some 10,032 families or 47,563 people were staying at 29 evacuation centers.

- LBG, GMANews.TV

nancyk58
30-12-2009, 05:13 PM
Updates on 30 December 2009

MAYON SILENT AGAIN, BUT PHIVOLCS REMAINS CAUTIOUS

(12/30/2009 | 12:41 PM - GMA News.TV)

Restive Mayon Volcano calmed down a bit as it registered only one ash explosion Tuesday, but state volcanologists are not taking their chances.

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) director Renato Solidum Jr. said other signs still point to magma making its way up the volcano’s summit. Despite the decrease in volcanic activity, Mayon remains at alert level 4.

“If we are talking about explosions, we recorded only one on Tuesday but mainly it was because of cloud cover. Still, there is still lava flow coming from the volcano," Solidum said in an interview on dzBB radio.

Phivolcs’ 7 a.m. report said one ash explosion occurred Tuesday, and produced a dirty white ash column that rose to about 100 meters above the summit and drifted northwest.

But lava continued to flow down along the Bonga-Buyuan, Miisi and Lidong gullies. The lava front has reached about 5.9 km from the summit along the Bonga-Buyuan gully.

The seismic network recorded 16 volcanic earthquakes and 150 rock fall events related to the detachment of lava fragments at the volcano’s upper slopes.

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) emission rate yielded an average value of 4,397 tonnes per day (t/d).

“The volcano edifice remains inflated as indicated by the electronic tilt meter installed at the northeast sector of the volcano," it said.

Phivolcs raised the alert level for Mayon to 4 last Dec. 20, after raising it to 3 on Dec. 14.

Figures from the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) indicate more than 47,000 people living near the danger zone are now housed in 29 evacuation centers.

Solidum said that even if they lower the alert level for Mayon, it will be gradual and based on careful evaluation of the potential for explosion.

“Even if lava is flowing from the volcano, we are closely studying the potential for explosion. For now, magma is rising up the summit. We don’t want a surprise explosion after a lull," he said.

The timetable for allowing residents to return to their homes will depend on arrangements with the local government, Solidum said.

If there are no more signs that the volcano is exploding, Solidum said Phivolcs will lower the alert level gradually.

- with Nikka Corsino/LBG, GMANews.TV


ALBAY OFFICIALS: EVACUEES’ DEATHS UNRELATED TO EVACUATION EFFORTS

(12/30/2009 | 12:27 PM - GMA News.tv)

Four people have been confirmed dead in evacuation centers in Albay province early this week, but local authorities have been insisting that these were not related to current evacuation efforts amid threats of restive Mayon Volcano.

In a radio interview Wednesday, Albay Governor Jose Salceda said the four deaths were not related to lava impact or ash fall, nor to hunger and unsanitary conditions.

“At least four people died but the deaths were not due to the impact of lava or to ash fall. There was also no death due to hunger or unsanitary conditions in evacuation centers," Salceda said over dzXL radio.
Salceda admits, however, that evacuation centers are congested.

“We admit there is congestion in the evacuation centers but the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Department of Health have been conducting continuous medical missions," he added.

Citing the death certificates of the fatalities, Salceda said one was an old woman who died due to a prolonged illness.

A second fatality was a village official who died of a heart attack [/B] “because of anxiety with stubborn evacuees."

He said the third, a young boy, died of parasitism or worms inside his body. The fourth, a woman, died of congestive heart failure, he said.

“We are not using this as an excuse. We are just approaching this scientifically. And all families of those who died will get assistance," he said.

Backing up Salceda’s claim was Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, who said the deaths were not due to poor conditions in evacuation centers.

“They have had medical conditions before they were brought to the evacuation centers. Their deaths had nothing to do with their evacuation and exposure to ash fall," Duque said in a separate interview on dzXL radio.

He also said there has been no epidemic so far in the evacuation centers.

Salceda said the four deaths were “acceptable" considering that there are some 47,563 evacuees now staying in 29 evacuation centers, almost the population of a large town.

He said that with the province’s mortality rate of 0.72% a year, the expected mortality in the evacuation centers would have been 15.

- with Nikka Corsino, GMANews.TV


Church eyes adopt-a-family program for Mayon evacuees

(12/30/2009 | 03:04 PM - GMA NEWS.TV)

The Albay Catholic Church is set to organize an adopt-a-family program to decongest public school classrooms serving as temporary shelter for displaced families in Albay.

Catholic officials said the 'Adopt a Family Evacuee Program' will be realized through the help of foster families from unaffected parishes, according to an article posted Tuesday night on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines' news site.

The announcement of the program came after Legazpi Diocese Social Action Center Director Fr. Ramoncito Segubiense attended a meeting with Albay Governor Jose Salceda and international relief agencies including United Nations Development Program, World Vision Philippines, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Food Program, Action Against Hunger (ACF International) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

“We will talk to Catholic families to accommodate at least 500 families or 2,500 individuals in their homes," Salceda said.

Public schools in various parts of Albay are currently housing 47,500 evacuees from within the 8-km danger zone radius.

The governor is optimistic that Catholic households will accommodate the displaced families because there were already informal arrangements between relatives.

Segubiense said priests will talk to leaders of various mandated organizations to facilitate the identification of foster families in their respective parishes.

Segubiense added that the adopt-a-family program is supported by new Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon.

The provincial government assured that it will continue to provide the evacuees’ food requirements because they still have their “claim cards."

'CLASSROOM TENTS' BADLY NEEDED
Salceda is hoping more donors would give out tents that could be used as temporary classrooms. He said that classes are expected to resume this coming Monday, but the local government has not enough of such tents.

“We have received commitments from international NGOs for our food requirements but we have not received enough for classroom tents," the governor said in the article on the CBCP Website.

UNICEF has pledged 100 tents to serve as temporary classrooms for the students, who are returning to school on Monday.

According to Salceda, 600 tents are needed to accommodate all returning students, noting that the UNICEF has yet to deliver on its commitment.

- with Nikka Corsino/LBG, GMANews.TV


NO CHEER FOR GRIEVING FAMILY AT MAYON EVACUATION CENTER

(Sophia Dedace, GMA News.TV - 12/30/2009 | 02:26 PM )

CAMALIG, ALBAY — A mother quietly grieves the death of her three-year-old son inside an evacuation center in this town, unmindful of the hustle and bustle of fellow evacuees lining up for government relief goods.

The reality had not sunk in for forty-three-year-old Girlie Guillen, whose son Joselito died the day after Christmas, days after restive Mayon Volcano drove her family out of their home.

“He was vomiting before his sudden death. I still could not believe it. He was just with us during Christmas," the mother said in an interview.

She could not accept her youngest son’s death, as if the melancholy from spending the holidays away from home was not enough. Guillen, still dazed, would often stare at her son lying in his casket near the stage of the Baligang Elementary School.

“We can’t imagine how to welcome the New Year without him," Guillen said
Her family is just one of several hundreds spending the holidays inside one of 29 cramped evacuation centers in the province following a ban inside the eight-kilometer danger zone around Mayon.

The government has assured help for the family of Guillen, who thinks her son died after drinking contaminated water. The Camalig government, however, insists that the water being supplied to evacuees is chlorinated and safe for drinking.

Provincial health officials looking into Joselito’s death said the young boy had an existing medical condition and had died of a parasite.

“No deaths were traced to lack of, or poor quality of food or nutrition, water and shelter in the camps," said a health evaluation statement from the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council.

A closer look at the council’s health assessment summary would show, however, that water supply at Baligang Elementary School is inadequate. About 13 faucets are needed to serve all the 2,500 evacuees, but only three are available.

Clean toilets are also lacking. The nine toilets available are less than a tenth of the 126 required by the World Health Organization.

Life goes on for others inside the evacuation center. Children oblivious to the adversity crowd the school playground, mothers tend to their infants, while fathers set up makeshift stoves on which they cook their families’ daily ration of rice, noodles and canned sardines.

It’s a stark contrast to Guillen’s world, which appears to have stopped. Grief-stricken, she has somehow forgotten about the hassles of being away from home, but still thinks the New Year will not bring good cheer.

— NPA/GMANews.TV


ANIMAL TRANSFER FROM MAYON COSTLIER THAN HUMAN EVACUATION

(By Sophia Dedace, GMA News.TV12/30/2009 | 09:16 AM)

LEGAZPI CIY, Albay – Even animals deserve to be safe, too. In fact, the Albay provincial government has spent more for their evacuation than for human evacuees.

To deter evacuees from returning to their homes to care for their animals, the Albay provincial government and animal welfare advocates on Tuesday started transferring animals left in Mayon Volcano’s danger zones to safer ground.

In Barangay Mabingit within Legazpi City's danger zone, residents herded about 20 cattle and carabaos to an embarkation area where trucks were waiting to bring them to an evacuation camp. Some animals resisted by unfamiliar handlers and were forcibly taken.

Workers from Albay’s Agriculture Rehabiliation (Agri-Rehab) office marked the animals so that their owners could distinguish them.
Tuesday’s evacuation was only a test run, according to Dick Green, disaster relief manager of the US-based International Fund for Animal Welfare.

On Thursday, his group and the Agri-Rehab office plan to bring to safety some 2,014 carabaos, 1,793 cows, and 4,640 dogs from five municipalities and three cities in Albay under threat from Mayon’s impending eruption.

Green said chicken and pigs would not be evacuated because they are expected to be sold by owners before they are rescued.

Albay Governor Joey Salceda said they have allotted P11 million for the evacuation of the animals, a far cry from the P3 million the government has spent for the evacuation of more than 47,500 residents. The animal evacuation is requiring more trucks and labor.

The animals evacuated on Tuesday would be taken to the Mayon Riviera, a sprawling 28-hectare property two kilometers away from Mayon’s eight-kilometer danger zone.

Agri-Rehab head Romulo Elvira Jr. said the government has prepared tents and pens to house the animals. They would be fed daily by veterinarians.

- GMANews.TV


EARLY MORNING QUAKES ROCK SURIGAO DEL SUR

(12/30/2009 | 09:10 AM - GMA News.TV)

A MAGNITUDE-5.2 QUAKE and a MAGNITUDE-5 AFTERSHOCK rocked parts of Surigao del Sur province in Mindanao early Wednesday morning but state seismologists do not expect the tremors to have damage to property.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the first quake hit at 6:14 a.m., and traced the epicenter to 122 km northeast of Tandag, Surigao del Sur.

The quake was tectonic in origin and was felt at Intensity II in Surigao City, Phivolcs said.

An aftershock was felt at magnitude 5 at about 6:35 a.m., with the epicenter at 118 km northeast of Tandag, Surigao del Sur.

The aftershock was also felt at Intensity II in Surigao City.

Phivolcs warned of more possible aftershocks following the quakes.

- LBG, GMANews.TV

nancyk58
31-12-2009, 12:57 PM
UPDATES ON 31 DECEMBER 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE READING THIS.

ON NEW YEAR'S EVE, EVEN MAYON EVACUEES WILL PARTY

(By Sophia Dedace, GMANews.TV - 12/31/2009 | 02:08 PM )

LEGAZPI CITY, Albay – For the past two weeks, Aiza Alonto has been bored while feeling caged in a cramped classroom in Bagumbayan Elementary School in Legazpi City, one of several evacuation camps for the 47,000 or so residents inside Mount Mayo's danger zone.
But tonight, she's going to party.

The Albay government on Thursday night is set to stage a concert in the provincial capitol’s Astrodome to help displaced residents usher in 2010 with hope. Albay Governor Joey Salceda said the event is part of the government’s effort to attend to the evacuees’ psychosocial well-being.

“The concert is exclusively for evacuees," Salceda said, showing the concert ticket to reporters.

The concert will feature three local bands, namely Power Beat, Cast of Clowns, and Tremor. He said the government tried to get more prominent artists, but they were not available.

Even Lola Natividad, 82, would attend the concert if only she were not suffering from arthritis.

The concert is expected to draw about 4,000 of the 47,000 locals taking refuge in evacuation camps.

‘Excited’ for New Year
The evacuees in Bagumbayan Central School remain optimistic about the year ahead, despite coping with a limited daily ration of food and water.
Aiza Alonto said she and her family are better off living in the evacuation camp than in their home in Barangay Buyuan.

Cheska, 7, said she enjoys life in the evacuation center because she can play with more children. The government has also given them toy horns so they can greet the New Year with their own noise-making sans firecrackers, as many anticipate any day now nature's bang from the majestic mountain that dominates the landscape.

- HS, GMANews.TV


5-6 DEBT COLLECTORS CAUGHT IN EMPTY MAYON DANGER ZONE

(2/31/2009 | 01:13 PM -GMA News.TV)

LEGAZPI CITY, Albay – An imminent volcanic eruption is one way to avoid debt collectors.

Two Indian nationals, both engaged in the so-called "5-6" lending business, were briefly held Thursday morning after they were caught inside Mayon Volcano’s eight-kilometer danger zone looking for residents who owed them money. But everyone had already been evacuated.

Task Force Mayon spokesperson Captain Razaleigh Bansawan said Gupreet Singh and Sawarn Singh were discovered by roving soldiers in Barangay Bunga in Legazpi City.

They were taken to the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council office to be presented to Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, but they declined to talk to reporters.

The two, who also sold umbrellas, were eventually released and warned that they would be formally charged if they were seen again in areas now off-limits to humans.

- Sophie Dedace, GMANews.TV

MAGNITUDE-5.5 QUAKE ROCKS MINDANAO

(2/31/2009 | 06:11 AM - GMA NEWS.TV)

A magnitude-5.5 quake rocked parts of Mindanao Wednesday night but state seismologists said there was no damage to property reported so far.

Radio dzBB cited a Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) report indicating the quake was recorded at 7:17 p.m.

The quake was tectonic in origin and its epicenter was traced to 74 km southeast of Mati in Davao Oriental.

It was felt at Intensity IV in Davao City, and Intensity III in Koronadal City, Digos City, and Don Marcelino in Davao del Sur province; and Intensity II in General Santos and Tagum Cities.

While Phivolcs said there was no damage to property, it warned of aftershocks in the area.

The United States Geological Service (USGS) said the quake was recorded at 7:17 p.m. and measured magnitude 5.4.

USGS said the quake's epicenter was 100 km southeast of Davao; 130 km east-northeast of General Santos; 205 km south of Hinatuan; or 1,065 km south-southeast of Manila.

But USGS said a magnitude-4.6 aftershock was recorded at 7:38 p.m. with the epicenter at 125 km east-southeast of Davao, 170 km east-northeast of General Santos, and 195 km south of Hinatuan, or 1,080 km southeast of Manila.

Meanwhile, the USGS said a magnitude-5.4 quake was recorded off Eastern Visayas Wednesday afternoon.

It said the quake was recorded at 3:48 p.m., with the epicenter traced to 65 km southwest of Guiuan in Samar; 80 km south-southeast of Tacloban in Leyte; 90 km north of Surigao; or 650 km southeast of Manila.

LBG, GMANews.TV


Power and water supplies cut in Mayon danger zone

(by Sophia Dedace, GMA News.TV12/31/2009 | 04:45 AM

LEGAZPI CITY, Albay – A full moon and fiery lava cascading down Mount Mayon's slopes will be the only sources of light in the danger zone belt surrounding the rumbling volcano on New Year's eve, as Albay Gov. Joey Salceda ordered power to be cut off to compel residents to stay out.

Around 20 percent of residents are still insisting on staying inside the eight-kilometer danger zone, a circumferential area around the foothills of Mayon, according to the provincial government. Some residents sneak back in from evacuation centers to look after their crops and homes. Many animals in the zone have already been evacuated along with people.

Starting Wednesday night, the National Power Corporation (Napocor) and local power utility Albay Electric Cooperative (Aleco) cut off the supply of electricity in the volcano’s eight-kilometer danger zone.

A news report aired over dzBB on early Thursday also said that the water supply will also be cut off. Earlier, an advisory from the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council had warned that water and delivery of other services would also be suspended in the coming days, part of the government's effort to compel residents to comply with the ban on human activity inside the danger zones.

Earlier on Wednesday, Salceda said the government would intensify its crackdown on “hardheaded" residents who still defy government orders, especially because New Year’s eve celebrations involve additional risks from firecrackers, the firing of guns, and drunken behavior.

"Our cutoff of power means we are serious in making sure no one gets hurt and residents have a happy New Year away from danger," Salceda said in an interview on dzXL radio.

CHR gave go-signal
Salceda also said the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has given them clearance to forcibly evacuate the residents.

“The CHR sees no legal or human rights basis to object to such emergency measures so long as they are carried out in a manner that is respectful of the dignity of persons," read an advisory from the Commission.

In a press briefing, Salceda said he no longer sees any reason why the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology’s (Phivolcs) order banning human activity within the eight-kilometer danger zone should not be followed.

“We already supplied them with fuelwood. We also evacuated their animals. We increased the water supply per camp," Salceda said.

He noted that the government has purchased about P510,000 worth of firewood and has allotted P11 million for operational and maintenance costs for animal evacuation in three cities and five towns threatened by imminent Mayon’s eruption.

A total of 720,000 liters of water per day have also been made available for the 32 evacuation centers, he added.

To help the residents cope with having to welcome the New Year away from home, the Albay government has prepared more than 10,000 media noche packs and even a concert for the evacuees.

No time to relax
State volcanologists likewise warned that Mayon may have gone into a “lull," showing a decrease in volcanic activity, but Alert Level 4 remains hoisted because of the remaining threat of a hazardous explosion of pyroclastic materials, which poses a bigger danger than lava flows.

Earlier, Phivolcs director Dr. Renato Solidum said other signs still point to magma making its way up the volcano’s crater at the summit.

Julio Sabit, Phivolcs spokesperson and science research specialist, also said the full moon on January 1 could help intensify volcanic activity.

Statistically, there are such instances of eruptions during full moons, Sabit said. The chances of a full moon itself causing an eruption are very minimal, he explained, but it could trigger one if the volcano is already about to erupt.

JV/HS, GMANews.TV

nancyk58
01-01-2010, 01:49 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN THE PHILIPPINES - SOUTHEAST ASIA ON 1 JANUARY 2010

RESTIVE MAYON GOOD FOR TOURISM, BAD FOR FARMERS

(By Sophia Dedace, GMA News.TV12/31/2009 | 09:33 PM)

LEGAZPI CITY, Albay – As the countdown to the New Year begins, Embarcadero de Legazpi teems with tourists. With a towering view deck that offers visitors a spectacular view of a smoldering Mayon Volcano, this commercial establishment built near the Legazpi sea port is only one of the attractions thriving from the volcano's imminent eruption.

“Yesterday, I went to the spa and tried different restaurants," said a Japanese tourist. Nearby, a coaster packed with foreigners passes by. A flea market in the heart of the provincial capitol is filled to the brim with shoppers.

With the 76,000 tourists that poured into the province this month – most of whom came when Alert Level 3 status was raised last December 14 – it is not surprising that businesses are cashing in on the biggest surge in Albay’s tourism history.

“Our hotels, even the smaller ones, are getting fully booked. Flights and buses get higher load factors, but higher tricycle ridership is the one that gives the locals real monetary benefit. Turo-turo, restaurants, malls, bars – even night clubs too – are flourishing," said Albay Governor Joey Salceda.

Arnold Borras, a tricycle driver plying the Legazpi-Daraga route, said he has been working more than 20 hours a day in the past two weeks due to the influx of tourists. A tricycle ride costs P30 to P35 while van rentals cost P2,500 to P4,000 per day depending on the distance and duration of the travel.

Bicolana Iya Calamian complains that she had a hard time booking a flight to Albay, but made it on time to welcome the New Year with her family in Daraga.

Salceda said that the tourism boom created a “spillover effect" on other tourist attractions the provincial government is promoting, including the Misibis Bay resorts and the Tiwi and Manito geothermal plants.

The governor, who is also President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s economic adviser, estimates that tourists spend nearly P2.4 million a day in his province.

’Economically disrupted’
But if Mayon’s impending eruption has boosted tourism in the province, it has crippled the livelihood of locals forced to evacuate because they live within the volcano’s danger zone. “The evacuees are the most heavily affected, especially those whose sources of income are lost," Salceda said.

Farida Ahmad had to close her souvenir shop built near the famous Casagwa ruins with a gorgeous view of the volcano. Now, she is struggling to find means to feed her six children.

Farmers from Barangay Mabingit in Legazpi City had to “surrender" their cows and carabaos to authorities so they could also be transferred to safer ground.

Salceda said that millions of pesos worth of crops will be lost because farmers can no longer tend to them.

He added that about 4,000 residents permanently relocated from danger zones are the most badly hit.

“I had to pull out their sources of income in prioritizing their safety. They had to live elsewhere, but their farms are still there," he said. The governor, however, said he has yet to estimate the amount of revenues lost by the displaced residents.

Mayon’s eruption may have its economic benefits, but Salceda stresses that “disaster tourism" is not part of the government’s development program.

“The sudden surge of tourists is an unintended consequence of a volcanic eruption. Disaster tourism is neither encouraged, promoted nor sponsored by the provincial government," he stressed, adding that it would be better if tourists go to the province without expecting an eruption.

GMANews.TV


THE TOP 10 NEWS STORIES OF 2009

(Sophia Dedace & Johanna Camille Sisante, GMA News.TV - 12/31/2009 | 03:43 PM)

The year 2009 shocked the public. A novel virus swept the world into a health-conscious frenzy and caused at least 11,000 deaths globally. The Philippines’ icon of democracy passed away, uniting the country one more time and suddenly ushering her son into the presidential race. A brutal massacre enraged the Filipinos so much that many of them did not seem to mind the declaration of the dreaded martial law for the first time since the 1986 ouster of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos. 2009 was the year of the unfamiliar, the unprecedented, the historic.

Maguindanao massacre
In the annals of political violence in the Philippines, the November 23 massacre in Ampatuan, Maguindanao is unparalleled in its ruthlessness. On a Monday morning, Buluan Vice Mayor Toto Mangudadatu sent his wife, accompanied by female clan members and lawyers, to file his certificate of candidacy in Shariff Aguak on his behalf. Around 30 local journalists covered the unprecedented gubernatorial bid, which did not sit well with the rival Ampatuan clan that has long lorded over the province and is notorious for running a large private army. On the road going to the Comelec office, at least 161 armed men intercepted the convoy and led the hapless civilians to a hillside, where they were brutally killed. Several witnesses have said Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. was at the massacre scene, firing at the victims and making sure they were dead. Andal Jr. and several members of the Ampatuan clan are facing multiple murder charges for the mass slaughter of 57 people in the worst election-related violence in the country.

The passing of Tita CoryAugust was the month the country turned yellow. After more than a year of battling colon cancer, former President Corazon Aquino passed away on August 1. Her death saw the outpouring of support from Filipinos, who turned out in droves to pay their last respects to the woman who championed democracy after the two-decade tyrannical rule of Ferdinand Marcos. Her wake drew high-profile figures from the international community, who were inspired by the woman in the yellow dress. The transfer of her casket from a school stadium in Quezon City to the Manila Cathedral – a route that traversed major points in Metro Manila – took five hours. Her funeral cortege lasted more than eight hours as hundreds of thousands of supporters converged on rain-soaked streets, chanting “Cory, Cory!" and showering confetti on her flag-draped casket. Mrs. Aquino’s funeral is considered the public’s biggest sendoff since her husband Ninoy was laid to rest in August 1983.


ONDOY AND PEPENG
TROPICAL STORM ONDOY (Ketsana) dumped more than A MONTH’s worth of RAIN IN just 12 HOURS, triggering the WORST FLOODING to hit the Philippine capital and neighboring provinces IN MORE THAN 40 YEARS. Barely had the country recovered when TYPHOON PEPENG (PARMA) pummeled NORTHERN LUZON a week later. The twin calamites left a trail of DESTRUCTION – HUNDREDS were KILLED, MILLIONS were DISPLACED, and an estimated $4.4 billion worth of damage was reported. But the extent of devastation became more evident from images of flood-inundated and mud-covered homes, people wading in knee- to chest-deep floods, and throngs of people desperately scrambling for food. Despite the grim situation – FOUR SUBSEQUENT STORMS hit the country within the next month – the disasters saw the heroism of Filipinos and sparked the SPIRIT OF VOLUNTEERISM in many places.

A(H1N1) flu
As it was new and unfamiliar, "swine flu" became one of the most feared diseases in 2009 despite its relatively mild nature. On June 11, the World Health Organization declared a swine flu pandemic — the first global flu epidemic in 41 years — as infections rose in the United States, Europe, Australia, South America and other places. Countries all over the world scrambled to detect cases of Influenza A(H1N1) infection, and the Philippines was no exception. When the first Asian fatality turned out to be a 49-year-old Filipina who had a pre-existing heart disease, stores ran out of face masks and rubbing alcohol as the public went panic buying to protect themselves from A(H1N1) infection. The virus did not die down, but the panic over its spread eventually ceased as public knowledge about the disease increased.

Election fever
A month after Mrs. Aquino succumbed to colon cancer, Liberal Party president Senator Mar Roxas announced that he was dropping his presidential ambitions to give way to her only son Senator Noynoy Aquino, who was asked by several groups to follow his mother’s footsteps. Noynoy eventually heeded the clamor, joining other presidential aspirants such as Senator Manuel Villar Jr. and former president Joseph Estrada, who will again run for president despite legal questions. Meanwhile, Senator Francis Escudero announced that he would not be running for any post at all, despite his relatively high survey ratings early on. The political landscape became more interesting when President Arroyo finally ended speculation over her political plans and declared that she will seek a House seat for Pampanga's second district once she steps down in 2010.

Martial law in Maguindanao
Filipinos swore "never again to martial law" when they ousted Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, and many have since trooped to the streets over the slightest hint of possible authoritarian rule. Interestingly enough, Mrs. Arroyo's declaration of martial law in Maguindanao following the November 23 massacre in the province was not met with massive protests, although several political personalities slammed Proclamation No. 1959 as an unnecessary show of force. The declaration prompted the two chambers of Congress to convene into a joint session, the first in history, to decide whether they would revoke the edict. However, the Senate and the House of Representatives never got to vote on the matter, as Mrs. Arroyo lifted martial law eight days after the proclamation.

Con-ass
On June 2, majority of the members of the House of Representatives did what previous Congresses have failed to do: it approved a charter change measure, House Resolution 1109, which called on Congress to convene into a constituent assembly that would amend the 1987 Constitution. Many Filipinos are averse to the idea of amending the Constitution under the Arroyo administration, the bad memories from the Marcos era still fresh in their minds. Critics slammed Mrs. Arroyo’s manipulation of the lower house, which "railroaded" the resolution’s approval by cutting short the interpellation of opposition lawmakers, and various sectors joined huge protests condemning the move. HR 1109 has been gathering dust in the House, as the Senate has not acted on it.

Lavish dinners
Mrs. Arroyo's July 30 meeting with US President Barack Obama was overshadowed by news of her lavish dinners with her entourage. The dinner at the posh Le Cirque restaurant in New York reportedly cost $20,000 (P960,000), considered by many as an obscene amount considering that the world was still reeling from the global financial crisis. Public outrage was further fueled when news leaked out that Mrs. Arroyo’s entourage had a $15,000 dinner at Bobby Van's Steakhouse in Washington DC. Two lawmakers, Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, allegedly paid for the New York and Washington dinners, respectively. Nevertheless, Mrs. Arroyo received severe criticism for the dinners, as they were reported at a time when the Philippines was mourning the death of former president Corazon Aquino, who was known for her modest lifestyle.

Kidnappings: ICRC, Fr. Sinnott, and teacher Canizares
In the afternoon of January 15, three International Committee of the Red Cross volunteers went to the Sulu provincial jail in Patikul town to inspect a water sanitation project. Mary Jean Lacaba, Andreas Notter, and Eugenio Vagni were intercepted by armed men from the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf Group near the provincial capitol in Jolo. The bandits released Lacaba on April 2 while Notter escaped on April 18. Vagni was released on July 12. In October, MILF rebels kidnapped Irish priest Michael Sinnott in Lanao del Norte. The missionary was released a month later, on the day US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton arrived in the Philippines for a short visit. But public school principal Gabriel Canizares was not as lucky as the other kidnap victims. On November 9, Canizares’ severed head was found at a gas station in Sulu.

Suicide of Ted Failon’s wife
“Papa, I’m so sorry. Gustung-gusto ko ang magsabi sa iyo ng totoo pero hindi ko po alam kung paano uumpisahan. Sobrang takut na takot ako…Sana po mapatawad mo ako, papa." This was Trinidad Etong’s note to her husband, broadcaster Ted Failon (Teodoro Etong), the night before she shot herself. On April 15, Failon found Etong slumped in their bathroom with a gunshot wound. He took her to the hospital but she died a day later. Her death was wrapped with controversy after police found the bathroom cleaned up – raising suspicions that her death was not a case of suicide. Failon’s house maids – who were charged with obstruction of justice for supposedly tampering with evidence – said they had to scrub the bathroom floor so that the couple’s youngest daughter would not see her mother’s blood. After a month-long inquiry, the NBI concluded that Etong committed suicide over financial woes. - YA, GMANews.TV


IN MEMORIAM: 2009 WAS A YEAR OF GREAT LOSS IN RP

(CARMELA G. LAPENA, GMANews.TV -12/31/2009 | 01:40 PM)

HEROES

Muelmar “Toto" Magallanes

Survived by his parents Samuel and Maria Luz, and older brother Joefran

The previously unknown 18-year old suddenly became famous when he lost his life in the epic floods of Ondoy in metro Manila after saving 30 people. Three-fourths of the Philippine capital went under water in the record rainfall, the worst the region had suffered in 40 years.

Magallanes, a strong swimmer, was able to bring his family and neighbors to higher ground in Barangay Bagong Silangan, Quezon City with the help of his brother. Their houses were submerged in the floods and Magallanes had to swim back and forth, rescuing people from their rooftops. His last rescue was a mother and her baby, who would have been swept away on the Styrofoam box they were clinging to if he had not been there.

“I am going to be forever grateful to Muelmar," said Menchie Penalosa, the mother of the six-month old girl, in an AFP article posted on The Age. “He gave his life for my baby. I will never forget his sacrifice." In the same story, Muelmar’s father was quoted as saying “he always had a good heart."

Writer Dennis Villegas quotes Maria Luz, Muelmar’s mother, as saying, "He's a very good son, always helpful and very thoughtful. Why did he have to die? I should have died, not him."

Magallanes was heralded as one of Time Magazine’s top ten heroes of 2009.

NATIONAL LEADERS

Corazon Aquino

January 25, 1933 - August 1, 2009
Cardio-respiratory arrest due to colon cancer

Survived by her children Maria Elena (Ballsy), Aurora Corazon (Pinky), Benigno Aquino III (Noynoy), Victoria Elisa (Viel), and Kristina Bernadette (Kris)

Fondly called TITA CORY, she became the first female president of the Philippines in 1986, ending the 20-year regime of Ferdinand Marcos. She is hailed as the mother of Philippine Democracy and was named Time Magazine’s Woman of the Year in 1986 “for her determination and courage in leading a democratic revolution that captured the world’s imagination."

She also topped Time Magazine’s list of significant deaths in 2009. U.S. Senator Richard Lugar wrote: “She showed that one person of modest demeanor can change history."

“I have led a full life. I cannot complain," Mrs. Aquino said in March 2008, when she was told that she had stage 4 cancer of the colon.

Thousands of supporters clad in yellow flocked to the streets to pay their last respects during the five-hour transfer of her casket from the La Salle Greenhills campus in Quezon City to the Manila Cathedral, and the eight-hour funeral cortege to the Manila Memorial Park.

In her late husband Ninoy Aquino’s poem “I Have Fallen in Love With the Same Woman Three Times," he calls her our “source of comfort, our wellspring of Hope."

GMA NEWS.TV

nancyk58
02-01-2010, 06:42 PM
UPDATES ON 2 JANUARY 2010

MAYON EVACUEES HEAD HOME AS ERUPTION LESS IMMINENT

(01/02/2010 | 09:14 AM - GMA NEWS.TV)

UPDATED 2:40pm After involuntarily spending the holidays away from home, residents are being permitted by the provincial government to start going home to the foothills of Mount Mayon after state volcanologists declared that an eruption is no longer imminent.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has lowered the alert level around Mayon Volcano from “4" to “3" early Saturday morning, noting the decreased volcanic activity recorded from Mayon Volcano. But Alert Level 3 still means Mayon is in a state of "relatively high unrest" and if it continues, an eruption is still "possible within weeks."

After the change in status, Albay Governor Joey Salceda ordered the partial decampment of evacuation centers, which are located mostly in public schools set to resume classes after the holidays. In an earlier interview, Salceda said that he will allow 7,218 families or 34,482 people to return to their homes within six to eight kilometers from the volcano once the alert level is lowered to 3.

"If the alert level is lowered, we will allow those living within the 6-8 km area to go home," he added. The area within a six-kilometer radius from the volcano's summit is still off-limits as a "permanent danger zone."

Army repositions checkpoints to 7 km
The Philippine Army is repositioning its checkpoints outwards from the six-kilometer Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) to a seven-kilometer radius from Mayon's crater. This is to keep evacuees who used to live within the six-kilometer danger zone from taking advantage of the decampment operations to return to their homes.

"We'll reposition our checkpoints at the seven-kilometer mark so that we can keep farmers from straying into the six-kilometer danger zone. Our directives are still to maintain no human activities within the six to seven kilometer danger zone, said Captain Razaleigh Bansawan, spokesman of Task Force Mayon of the 901st Brigade."

"The no-human-activity policy within the (six kilometer) permanent danger zone is still in place," Bansawan emphatically added.

About 200 military men, along with members of the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) are set to transport residents living within the seven to eight-kilometer radius aboard 15 military trucks and 10 newly acquired all-terrain vehicles from Korea.

"Declining trend in Mayon's activity"
In its January 2 (8 am) bulletin, the Philvolcs noted "a declining trend in Mayon volcano’s activity," including no more "ash ejections" from the crater.

According to the Philvolcs web site, "Alert Level 3 means that there is less probability of a hazardous explosive eruption. However, the lowering of the alert level from 4 to 3 should not be interpreted that the unrest of the volcano has ceased."

Phivolcs had raised the alert level at Mayon to “3" last December 14 and to “4" last December 20, prompting the evacuation of around 47,000 residents in the danger zone to some 29 evacuation centers a safe distance away from Mayon.

Nikka Corsino/HS/TJD, GMANews.TV


PHIVOLCS EYES LOWERING MAYON ALERT LEVEL

(01/01/2010 | 02:57 PM - GMANews.TV)

Following a relatively uneventful New Year from restive Mayon Volcano in Bicol, state volcanologists said Friday they are considering lowering the alert level in the next few days.

In its January 1 morning update, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said it may lower the alert level if the volcano does not act up in the “next few days."

“Alert Level 4 is still being maintained but if no significant event should occur during the next few days, Phivolcs-DOST shall consider the possibility of lowering down the alert level from 4 to 3," Phivolcs said in its bulletin.

Phivolcs had raised the alert level at Mayon to “3" last December 14 and to “4" last December 20, prompting the evacuation of around 47,000 residents in the danger zone to some 29 evacuation centers a safe distance away from Mayon.

Under Alert Level 3, eruption is possible within weeks and extending the danger zone in the sector where the crater rim is low will be considered. Alert Level 4, on the other hand, means a hazardous eruption is possible within days, and the extension of the danger zone to 8 km or more is recommended.

34,482 people might be allowed to go home
Albay Governor Jose Salceda said that if the alert level is lowered to “3," they will allow 7,218 families or 34,482 people to return to their homes within six to eight kilometers from the volcano.

“So long as the alert level stays as is, we will not allow anyone to go home yet," he said in an interview on dzBB radio. “If the alert level is lowered (from 4 to 3), we will allow those living within the 6-8 km area to go home," he added.

Extended Danger Zone still hazardous
In the meantime, Phivolcs reiterated that the Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) reaching up to 8 km from volcano’s southern sector and 7 km from the northern sector should be free from human activity.

The agency said that active river channels and lahar-prone areas in the southern sector should also be avoided especially during bad weather conditions or when there is heavy and prolonged rainfall.

“Civil Aviation Authorities must advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ejected ash and volcanic fragments from sudden explosions may pose hazards to aircrafts," it added.

Phivolcs said that in the last 24 hours, it detected 28 volcanic earthquakes and 91 rockfall events due to detachment of lava fragments at the volcano’s upper slopes.

No ash explosion was observed, while weak to moderate emission of white steam at the summit crater was seen during cloud breaks.

However, it said flowing lava and intermittent rolling incandescent lava fragments were observed Thursday night while sulfur dioxide emission was at 1,255 tons/day.

TJD, GMANews.TV


DEPED ISSUES EMERGENCY MEASURES FOR CLASSES NEAR MAYON

(01/01/2010 | 01:02 AM - GMA News.TV)

With classes due to resume next week, pupils from families evacuated from the danger zone of restive Mayon Volcano will attend “emergency classes" in the classrooms of four schools being used as evacuation centers.

This was one of the guidelines issued by the Department of Education’s Legazpi City division, the National Disaster Coordinating Council said Thursday.

“Pupil evacuees will hold emergency classes from noon to 6 p.m. Classes will return to normal once the (Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology) announces for the return of evacuees to their own places," the NDCC said in its 7 a.m. Thursday update.

It added the pupil-evacuees will follow their usual morning-afternoon schedule at the evacuation center once classes resume.

During classes, “the rest of the room occupants (evacuees) will stay in the tent(s) outside the rooms being used as classrooms," the NDCC said.
The guideline applies to Albay District, Albay Central School, Buyuan Elementary School, and Matanag Elementary School.

In Bugtong Elementary School, pupil evacuees will be integrated with pupils there as the number of children is “manageable" with the regular schedule of classes.

At Legaspi Port District II Gogon Central Schools and San Roque Elementary School, emergency classes will be held with an emphasis on content subjects for 250 minutes.

Classes there will start from 6:30 a.m. to noon. Occupants of the room will go out to give way to those holding classes.

The DepEd Albay’s initial plan was to accommodate the displaced children at big central schools, and hold double shift classes in the host schools.

Displaced teachers from affected schools will be tapped to assist the teachers at the “host" schools.

As of 7 a.m. Thursday, the NDCC said there were 10,032 families or 47,563 people staying in 29 evacuation centers.

GMANews.TV


Text TV of the German channel ZDF = ZDF Text brought the news item of most Mayon evacuees being allowed to go home after 3 weeks in evacuation centres. 45,000 people are transported back. They are also given food for 3 days and some cash. Only 3,000 are continuing their stay in the evacuation centers because they are living within the 6 km zone of the volcano. ZDF text

nancyk58
03-01-2010, 09:27 PM
UPDATES ON 3 JANUAR 2010

3 PRIORITIES SET FOR MAYON EVACUEES AFTER DROP IN ALERT LEVEL

(01/03/2010 | 09:17 PM - GMA News.TV)

Maintaining cleanliness in evacuation centers and normal resumption of classes top the priorities of the Albay provincial government on the first working day of 2010, two days after state volcanologists lowered the alert level around restive Mayon Volcano.

Albay Governor Jose Salceda also said a third priority would be to have provincial officials assess the extent of damage or disruption to the livelihood of residents evacuated from their homes since December 14.

“We will focus on three big things on Monday. First is cleanup. Second is damage assessment at the evacuation centers and villages. Third is ensuring regular classes will resume for both evacuees and students of evacuation classrooms," Salceda said in an interview on dzBB radio.

This developed as Malacañang lauded the Albay provincial government for ensuring zero casualty in responding to the threat of Mayon.
Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council under Salceda lived up to Palace expectations of efficiency.

"The PDCC headed by Governor Salceda lived up to our expectation. We have always considered the PDCC in Albay to be one of the best and most efficient in the country," Remonde said on government-run dzRB radio.

Some 47,000 people spent Christmas and New Year in some 29 evacuation centers in the province after Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) raised the alert level to “4" last December 20.

The alert level was lowered to “3" last Saturday as Phivolcs noted a drop in the volcano's activity in the past days.

Salceda said the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) is now cleaning up the evacuation centers and schools, while children at the schools had been trained to clean the classrooms.

He also said he would wait for the report of the municipal agriculturist on damage to agriculture, and the local social works department to report on damage to houses.

Salceda also commended the PDCC for ensuring zero casualty since the evacuation began last Dec. 14, when Phivolcs raised the alert level at Mayon to “3."

At least four people from the evacuation centers died, but Salceda said the deaths were not related to conditions at the evacuation centers.

KBK, GMANews.TV


96% OF MAYON EVACUEES DECAMPED – ALBAY GOV

(SOPHIA M. DEDACE, GMANews.TV01/03/2010 | 11:50 AM)

A day after state volcanologists reduced Mayon Volcano’s danger alert level, the Albay provincial government has so far sent home 45,000 of the 47,000 evacuees. Governor Joey Salceda on Sunday said only 2,322 from 510 families are in temporary shelters.

The remaining evacuees are those living in the six-kilometer-radius permanent danger zone and in the seven-kilometer extended danger zone in Mayon's southeast flank. This includes barangays (villages) in Legazpi City and in Daraga and Camalig towns.

Salceda earlier said the government found it more difficult to “decamp" evacuees who have relied on the government for daily food rations and health assistance than those who did not depend on any aid.

“Even with entitlements and enticements, many families found value in food and health security in their camps, tempering their natural predisposition for going home," Salceda said.

But on Sunday, Salceda said the government was able to convince the residents to return home through the “early recovery package, which consists of the following: 15 kilograms of rice per family for three days of ration, P1,400 in cash-for-work and livelihood programs, and P15-million farm rehabilitation package for affected agricultural communities.

Salceda said they had to assure the residents that the government would help them turn back to normalcy after almost 21 days of displacement. “They are Mayon victims whether in the camps or in their homes. Thus, they need the assistance of the state and the community wherever they are," Salceda said.

Last Saturday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology lowered Mayon Volcano's warning level to Alert Level 3, prompting the Albay government to send majority of the evacuees home because an eruption is less imminent.

Those in the six-to-seven kilometer danger zones still have to take temporary shelter in evacuation camps.

About P55.4 million has been spent for evacuees in the past two weeks, according to the National Disaster Coordinating Council.

LBG, GMANews.TV

nancyk58
04-01-2010, 04:54 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION ON 4 JANUARY 2010

PERMANENT RELOCATION OF MAYON's 6-KM ZONE RESIDENTS EYED – GOV

(01/04/2010 | 06:07 PM - GMA NEWS.TV)

The government of Albay province plans to permanently relocate more than 2,000 people who reside within Mayon Volcano's six-kilometer permanent danger zone, Governor Joey Salceda said on Monday.

This, even after the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs)
lowered the volcano’s alert level from 4 and 3 last Sunday.

“We are after preserving their dignity as the conditions in evacuation centers are different," Salceda said in a phone interview.

About 2,322 people or about 510 families would be transferred from the evacuation areas to the resettlement sites as soon as the local government gathers enough money to fund the relocation, according to the governor.

Evacuees from upper barangay Pandag in Legaspi City would be transferred to barangay Taysan, while those from barangay Bañadero in Daraga would be moved to barangay Anislag, he said. Evacuees from barangay Anoling in Camalig town, meanwhile, would be transferred to barangay Baligang, he added.

In a separate phone interview, Phivolcs director Renato Solidum said the move was a “better option" as it was “more viable" in terms of disaster management.

As of press, Solidum said the alert level of Mayon remains hoisted at number 3 but Phivolcs is closely monitoring the volcano’s activities that could lead to the further lowering of alert levels.

Salceda tried to allay residents’ fears, saying they have nothing to worry because there are already available lots for the families and that the government would assist them in building core shelters. He added that resettlement areas have already “integrated eco-systems" and ample assistance, which include livelihood program, would be provided to the residents.

The transfer has yet to start, Salceda said, and the government is still studying options whether to let school children finish this school year before it begins.

Aie Balagtas See/JV, GMANews.TV



NDCC: P55.4M SPENT FOR MAYON EVACUEES IN TWO WEEKS

(01/03/2010 | 09:23 AM - GMA NEWS.TV)

At least P55.37 million was spent for some 47,000 people evacuated from the danger zones around restive Mayon Volcano in the last two weeks, before state volcanologists lowered the alert level and allowed displaced families to go home.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said the amount includes assistance from the National Government, local government units and nongovernment organizations (NGO).

Of the amount, P9.31 million came from the NDCC. Another P4.88 million came from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, P6.92 million from the Department of Health, P32.88 million from local government units and P1.39 million from NGOs.

More than 47,000 people were evacuated from danger zones since the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) raised the alert level there to 3 last December 14.

Phivolcs raised the alert level to 4 last December 20, but lowered the alert level on Saturday after noticing lowered activity from Mayon in past days.

As of 6 p.m. on Friday, the NDCC said 10,032 families or 47,563 people were staying in 29 evacuation centers.

The DSWD distributed rice, family food packs, noodles, blankets, plastic mats, canned goods, water jugs, jackets, towels and sweaters to the evacuees.

Each displaced family will receive two kilos of high-energy biscuits from the United Nations World Food Programme.

Also, the DSWD's central office allotted P500,000 more as a standby fund for evacuees during the preemptive evacuation. The DSWD's Bicol office has P802,718 in standby funds and has stockpiled relief goods.

The DSWD likewise conducted entertainment activities as part of its psychosocial intervention program. It organized three psychosocial teams to debrief and counsel evacuees.

For its part, the DOH distributed drugs, medicines, face masks, emergency health kits, chlorine granules and drinking water containers. It also distributed anti-venom kits.

LBG/NPA, GMANews.TV


PHIVOLCS HINTS AT LOWERING MAYON ALERT LEVEL TO 2 IN FEW WEEKS

(01/03/2010 | 07:56 AM - GMA NEWS.TV)

A day after lowering the alert level for Mayon Volcano from “4" to “3," state seismologists hinted Sunday they may lower alert level further down to “2" in the next few weeks.

But Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) head Renato Solidum Jr. said it is still too early to relax, and that residents should be ready if Mayon acts up again.

“If the volcano’s activity continues to decline, we may lower the alert level to 2 in the coming weeks," Solidum said in an interview on dzBB.

He said they will still have to observe the volcano for at least one more week.

Under the Phivolcs’ classification, Alert Level 3 means magma is close to the crater, and eruption is possible within weeks.

Alert Level 2 indicates unrest probably of magmatic origin and could eventually lead to eruption.

On Saturday, Phivolcs lowered the alert level to “3" from “4," decreasing the area considered danger zones from 8 km to 6 km radius from the crater.

However, the danger zone is at 7 km radius at the southeast portion of the Volcano.

Solidum also reiterated his warning to residents and tourists not to get near the volcano’s danger zone, as rockfalls are still being recorded.

“Rocks and lava are still falling and there are still pyroclastic flows," he said.

“If there is a resurgence of activity, we want our residents to be ready. Mayon is a very active volcano," he added.

Otherwise, he said there were few quakes and little bulging at the volcano, indicating magma is no longer going up the summit.

LBG, GMANews.TV

nancyk58
05-01-2010, 07:15 PM
UPDATES ON 5 JANUARY 2010, part I

2 KILLED IN NEW YEAR's DAY LANDSLIDE IN DINAGAT ISLANDS

(01/05/2010 | 09:43 PM - GMA News.TV)

TWO people were KILLED while two others were injured after LANDSLIDES caused by HEAVY RAINS hit a village in Cagdianao town in Dinagat Islands last New Year's Day.

Citing belated reports, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) on Tuesday said the landslides also affected 100 families or 925 people. At least 20 families or 100 people were forced to stay at the village gym.

Cagdianao is a fourth-class town with a population of 12,886 people in 2,554 households.

In its report Tuesday, the NDCC identified the fatalities as May Dence Sibunga, 8; and Rodelio Sibunga, 7. It did not name the injured people.

At least eight houses were destroyed, the NDCC said. Damage to property - including wooden bridge and culverts and mangroves - was estimated at P1.3 million.

"As of reporting time, power lines are still cut off in Cagdianao," the NDCC said.

The NDCC said the Cagdianao Mining Corp. allowed its heavy equipment to be used to clear boulders and debris in affected areas.

- KBK, GMANews.TV


MAYON VOLCANIC ACTIVITY DECLINES, BUT RESIDENTS STILL WARY

(01/05/2010 | 01:07 PM - GMA News.TV)

Even as volcanic activity at Mayon Volcano continues to decline, some evacuees who have returned to their homes expressed fears over living around the restive volcano once more.

In its 7 a.m. bulletin on Tuesday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said it recorded only three volcanic quakes and 21 rockfall events in the last 24 hours.

"Steaming activity and crater glow were not observed due to thick clouds that covered the summit crater," the Phivolcs said.

On Monday, the Phivolcs' seismic monitoring network detected seven volcanic earthquakes and 33 rockfall events related to the detachment of lava fragments at the volcano’s upper slopes.

The Phivolcs lowered the alert level for Mayon from "4" to "3" last January 2 and allowed the return of several evacuated families to their homes. According to Albay Governor Joey Salceda, 96 percent of the 47,000 evacuees have returned to their homes.

Despite the lower alert level for Mayon, some residents fear the continuing volcanic activity, a report by GMA News' Cedric Castillo over Unang Hirit said.

"Sometimes we get scared when the wind is warm, and if the lava flow is strong. The first night we were here, the lava glowed so bright," said one resident who has returned to her home outside the Permanent Danger Zone.

Even though it has lowered the alert level, the Phivolcs said the public should remain on alert against sudden explosions that may generate hazardous volcanic flows.

"People residing close to these danger areas are also advised to observe precautions associated with post-eruption activity, such as rockfalls, pyroclastic flows, and ash fallout which can also occur anytime due to instabilities of lava deposited on steep slopes," it said in its bulletin.

Alert Level 3 remains in effect over Mayon, which means that the 6-km radius Permanent Danger Zone around the volcano and the 7-km Extended Danger Zone on the southeast flank of the volcano should be free from human activity.

According to Capt. Razaleigh Bansawan, spokesman for the Joint Task Force Mayon, there are currently 11 checkpoints within the danger zone.

In a text message to reporters, Bansawan said eight checkpoints manned by the Philippine Army covers the southeast, southwest, and northwest sectors while three checkpoints within the east and northeast section of Mayon Volcano are manned by elements of the Albay provincial police.

Bansawan said Salceda has ordered the task force to "intensify its checkpoints and security patrols to deny the entry of tourists and their local guides as well as farmers" in the Permanent Danger Zone.

The Phivolcs said civil aviation authorities should continue advising pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ejected ash and volcanic fragments from sudden explosions may pose hazards to aircraft.

- with a report from Jam Sisante/RSJ/LBG, GMANews.TV



Text TV on 4 January 2010: 2 earthquakes hit the Solomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean, North-East of Australia. Tremors destroyed a considerable number of houses and triggered a minor tsunami that did not cause much damage. AP

nancyk58
05-01-2010, 09:40 PM
Update of the situation in the Philippines - 5 January 2010, part II

http://drk.dk/nyheder/nyheder/tyfonofre+evakueret+p%c3%a5+tredje+maaned
(website for Dansk Røde Kors, DRK = DANISH national RED CROSS)

Typhoon victims have now been evacuated for three months

Many houses in the Philippines are still under water after the typhoon "Ketsana" hit the country in October 2009. 300 families in the province "Laguna" are still living in evacuation centers and cannot return home for the time being

Responsible for the page: Laura Kjeldbjerg. Edited: 5 January 2010.

For three months Jelita Ajes has lived in an evacuation center with her husband, children and grandchildren. They would prefer to return to their homes, but it is not an option.

"We came here because of the typhoon "Ketsana" and have lived here ever since. Our house is still under water, and right now the water is on a level with the hip," says Jelita Ajes.

The family managed to get a few household items out of the house, but they lost the rest of their belongings. At the evacuation center, the family received food and other necessities from the Philippine Red Cross.

Lack of funds for relief efforts

Jelita Ajes and her family are among the many thousands who had to flee their home when four typhoons hit the Philippines in October 2009. Nearly a thousand people died, and 300,000 homes were destroyed.

Now many people live in tents without proper toilet facilities, and that means poor sanitation and breeding ground for diseases. In addition, the situation is worsened by the lack of money for relief efforts.

"Lack of funds may prevent us from helping the vulnerable groups with for instance shelter. At the moment churches and schools that have served as evacuation centers are shut down, and the residents are evicted," said Graham Saunders, the IFRC's head of housing.

No privacy in the evacuation center

The flooding after the typhoon is so violent that the river water is not expected to withdraw before February or March this year. Yet Jelita Ajes and her family members hope that they can return home soon.

"We will return to the house as soon as the water level falls. It is very stressful to be here. There are so many people and so many children - no privacy. But we have no choice but to stay here until we can move back to our homes," says Jelita Ajes.

nancyk58
06-01-2010, 04:36 PM
UPDATES ON THE 6 JANUARY 2010

YOKO ONO DONATES P2.5M TO ‘ONDAOY VICTIMS

(01/06/2010 | 03:17 PM - GMA NEWS.TV)

Yoko Ono, widow of the late Beatles member John Lennon, has donated ¥5 million or P2.5 million for the thousands of victims of Tropical Storm Ondoy (international code: Ketsana), which hit the Philippines September last year, killing hundreds. A statement from the Philippine Embassy in Japan said Ono visited the Philippine Embassy in Fujimi, Tokyo before Christmas to personally pledge the donation.

"[Ono] learned about the very severe and continuing conditions of the "Ondoy" victims and decided to take action. As a mother herself, she feels deep sympathy and love for suffering children," the statement read.

A total of 464 people were killed when Ondoy brought a record rainfall in Metro Manila and several nearby provinces on Sept. 26, 2009. Thousands were left homeless by the floods it caused.

Ono, an artist herself who belongs to an aristocratic family, grew up in the Fujimi manor that now houses the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo. The mansion was built by Ono’s uncle, who later sold it to the late President Jose P. Laurel.

After World War II, the Philippines bought the property from the Laurel family and is now called the "Jewel of the Philippines."

"The Fujimi residence is very close to my heart and I consider it my home sweet home in Japan. I am therefore very grateful to the Philippine government for maintaining the house in a good condition all these years," the statement quoted Ono as saying.

Ono and Lennon married in 1969 and collaborated on several projects. They have a son named Sean. John was shot dead Dec. 8, 1980 in New York by Mark David Chapman.

- Nikka Corsino/KBK/RSJ, GMANews.TV

nancyk58
06-01-2010, 11:54 PM
http://drk.dk/nyheder/temaer/tsunamien+fem+aar+efter - DRK = Dansk Røde Kors = Danish national Red Cross

Five years after the tsunami

Five years ago an earthquake in the Indian Ocean triggered a massive tsunami that killed around 230,000 people. A record collection enabled the Danish Red Cross' long-term work on the reconstruction, and today, living conditions in many places are better than before the tsunami.

Responsible for this page (edited 6 January 2010): Anne Lene Larsen Højvang

On 26 December 2004 an earthquake in the Indian Ocean triggered a giant tsunami. Up to 30 meter high waves rushed over Southeast Asia and caused damage as far as Africa's east coast.
Ten countries were hit by the giant waves and around 230,000 people died and millions lost their homes.

The tsunami led to a record collection of money in Denmark

The catastrophic scale of the tsunami made a deep impression on most of Denmark. That led to the Danish Red Cross' record collection of nearly 217 million Danish Kroner of which around 154 million DKK came from the Danish people. It was an unfamiliar situation for the Red Cross being used to asking for money. Suddenly aid poured in.

"An important reason was the pictures from Thailand and other holiday destinations where the Danes were among the victims. Thousands died in countries such as Indonesia and Sri Lanka, but not many Western tourists - but the dead Western tourists meant that we easier than normally could understand the situation and the resulting grief, "explains Anders Ladekarl, Secretary General of the Danish Red Cross.

The tsunami has provided better living conditions for millions

Over 1.7 million people in ten different countries have received help from the Red Cross after the tsunami. We concentrated our efforts on the two countries that were hardest hit, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
Here we have spent the last five years on rebuilding the tsunami-stricken areas in Indonesia and Sri Lanka. We have succeeded to such a degree that the population in many places today has better living conditions than before the tsunami struck.
"The large amount collected enabled us to plan the assistance thoroughly and over many years. We got a real opportunity to rebuild lives and give the population better opportunities than they had before. And we did," says Anders Ladekarl today.

Challenges for relief efforts in Sri Lanka

Resurgence of a civil war in Sri Lanka has made relief work difficult. Sometimes the coordination of relief efforts among the many organizations that wanted to help has also been chaotic.
"Although everything has not gone quite as planned, we are in the Red Cross now even better equipped for major disasters than before the world learned to know the word tsunami. And no doubt the populations in Sri Lanka and Indonesia in general now have better living conditions," says Anders Ladekarl.

Ten countries were affected

Indonesia: 165,000 dead
Sri Lanka: 36,000 dead
India: 16,400 dead
Thailand: 8,300 dead
Somalia: 400 dead
Maldives: 108 dead
Malaysia: 80 dead
Myanmar: 61 dead
Bangladesh
Seychelles


216 million dollars later
Not everything has gone according to plan
There was a civil war in the way
Indonesian province better today
Psychological help after the tsunami
A healthier life after tsunami
Volunteers prevent disasters

Support our work
Each day volunteers and staff from the Red Cross will help people affected by disasters, wars and conflicts, or otherwise living in desperate conditions. Support our work today - so we can make a difference tomorrow.

nancyk58
07-01-2010, 12:50 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN THE PHILIPPINES ON 7 JANUARY 2010

MAYON ACTIVITY UP ANEW; ALERT LEVEL 3 REMAINS

(01/07/2010 | 10:42 AM - GMA News.TV)

Mayon Volcano’s activity has intensified anew in the last 24 hours, but state volcanologists maintained on Thursday that alert level “3" stays.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said that its seismic monitoring network recorded 20 volcanic quakes and 20 rockfall events.

“Weak emission of white steam at the summit crater was observed during cloud breaks. Crater glow last night was not observed due to thick clouds covering the summit. Aerial survey conducted yesterday revealed remnants of lava pile inside the crater," it said in its 7 a.m. bulletin.

But it added sulfur dioxide emission was lower in the last 24 hours, at 672 tons a day, compared to 1,914 tons recorded Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Phivolcs said its seismic system detected four volcanic earthquakes and 21 rockfall events related to the detachment of lava fragments at the volcano’s upper slopes.

Phivolcs lowered the alert level to “3" on Jan. 2, after raising it to “4" last December 20.

Alert Level 3 means the 6-km radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) around the volcano and the 7-km Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) on the southeast flank of the volcano should be free from human activity because of sudden explosions that may generate hazardous volcanic flows, it said.

“People residing close to these danger areas are also advised to observe precautions associated with post-eruption activity, such as rockfalls, pyroclastic flows, and ash fallout occurring anytime due to instabilities of lava deposited on steep slopes," it said.

Active river channels and those perennially identified as lahar-prone in the southern sector should also be avoided especially during bad weather or when there is heavy and prolonged rainfall.

Civil aviation authorities must advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ejected ash and volcanic fragments from sudden explosions may pose hazards to aircraft.

LBG/RSJ, GMANews.TV

nancyk58
07-01-2010, 08:21 PM
http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/indonesia-tsunami-feature-231209

INDONESIA: REMEMBERING THE TSUNAMI AND ITS AFTERMATH

On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history, the ICRC recounts the aftermath in one of the most devastated of the tsunami-affected areas, the regional province of Nangroe Aceh Darusalam in Indonesia, or Aceh, as it is commonly known.

On 26 December 2004, an undersea earthquake, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra in Indonesia, triggered a devastating TSUNAMI, inundating coastal communities with huge waves killing hundreds of thousands people. The regional province of Nangroe Aceh Darusalam (NAD) in Indonesia ended up at the heart of the tragedy.

From the day of the tsunami onwards, the ICRC provided the Indonesian Red Cross Society (Palang Merah Indonesia – PMI) with equipment and relief items. Because it was one of the few international organizations already active in Aceh (with means of communication, logistics and a stock of relief supplies), together with the PMI, the ICRC was able to respond immediately after the disaster struck.

On 28 December, ICRC delegates and PMI volunteers distributed 1,000 tarpaulins for shelters and family kits for 9,000 displaced people, containing clothing, hygiene items and food. In addition, 20 PMI branches and local hospitals received first aid kits and medical equipment to treat the wounded. Distributions then continued every day (see box Assistance provided).

Meanwhile, ICRC/PMI engineers continued trucking clean water and installing water tanks and sanitation facilities where they were most urgently needed. The joint teams cleaned thousands of wells, drilled boreholes, built latrines and communal washrooms and donated tonnes of chemicals to ensure safe drinking water provision. These activities took place in the northeast sector of NAD, as well as in Banda Aceh and its surroundings. Gradually, thanks to increased access to conflict-affected areas, 75 humanitarian assessments were carried out. They revealed an acute need to repair community infrastructure, improve water and sanitation conditions and boost local food production capacity.

ICRC/PMI teams provided medical and surgical supplies to hospitals still functioning in Banda Aceh and to ad-hoc health facilities in places where displaced people had gathered. At the request of the authorities, the teams also distributed large quantities of painkillers, antibiotics, other medicines disinfectant and medical equipment to health facilities (“Puskesmas”) in Banda Aceh and along the north coast.

An ICRC/PMI medical team erected a 100-bed field hospital provided by the Norwegian Red Cross to treat patients. After the closure of the hospital in May 2005, ICRC/PMI and the Norwegian Red Cross donated it to the Ministry of Health and they organized a training course for their own staff and PMI health personnel on how to redeploy the facility if need be. PMI/ICRC teams also erected a temporary camp in Lhong Raya stadium, next to the field hospital, to shelter 400 displaced patients in need of simple medical care and the relatives accompanying them.

The ICRC and PMI acted quickly to ensure the proper and dignified disposal of the remains of tsunami victims and helped the authorities take immediate action to reduce the health risks related to the presence of a large number of bodies strewn throughout the affected areas. ICRC specialists supported the PMI, whose volunteers undertook a remarkable effort under acute psychological strain, by organizing on-the-spot training and by providing body bags and equipment for handling bodies, and by helping to bury remains.

Since the main lines of communication had been disrupted by the tsunami, tens of thousands of people were anxiously searching for their relatives. They turned to the Red Cross for assistance.

From day one of the disaster, on 26 December 2004, ICRC/PMI tracing teams deployed the full array of technical solutions they had been trained with to restore family links. They offered various services to the public, in order to re-establish contact between the survivors isolated by the disaster and their families. Most of the visitors who contacted the ICRC and the PMI Tracing offices were looking for their children.

From the outset of the disaster, the ICRC also created a special section on its Geneva-based website so that people in Indonesia and elsewhere who had lost contact with their relatives could register online, provide the identity and other details concerning the relative unaccounted for or register themselves as survivors. In total, 44,300 people registered. This phase of the ICRC/PMI emergency tracing operation culminated in the publication of all these names in public places and, finally, a three-volume book distributed in early July 2005.

MASS GRAVES
ICRC/PMI Tracing teams surveyed 63 unmarked mass graves of tsunami victims in NAD in 2006 and assessed 300 other graves in 2007, where 97,000 tsunami victims had been buried. The ICRC/PMI Tsunami Mass-Grave Project completed its task at the beginning of 2008. Together with their colleagues on the tracing teams, ICRC/PMI teams surveyed 343 gravesites in seven districts, where 108,720 victims of the tsunami were buried, which means that less than 50% of the people reportedly killed by the tsunami have been properly buried. The ICRC and the PMI produced a 2,300-page report, which they handed over to Social Services (DINAS) and to the Governorate of Aceh, to help them address the needs of people with missing relatives.

ASSISTANCE PROVIDED IN NAD, BANDA ACEH AND SURROUNDINGS

Relief assistance
In all, 265,000 tsunami victims received essential items (hygiene products, clothing, cooking utensils, tents, tarpaulins, mats, blankets and baby parcels); 36,000 received food rations; 2,400 families were housed in ICRC tents and 120,000 people benefited from clean-up operations and received reconstruction kits (composed essentially of tools and essential items for the maintenance of adequate standards of hygiene).

Water and sanitation
ICRC/PMI teams cleaned 3,620 wells, drilled 5 boreholes, built 667 latrines and 42 communal washrooms and donated 154 tonnes of chemicals to ensure the provision of safe drinking water. These activities took place in the northeast sector of NAD and in Banda Aceh and its surroundings.

Medical assistance
The ICRC provided surgical gloves sufficient to perform 100 major operations or 200 minor operations, suture material sufficient for 100 to 120 operations, dressing material for 1,600 dressings, plaster casting material sufficient to treat 80 fractures, 18 kits of basic medicines for dispensaries and 10 sets of basic equipment for dispensaries.

Forensic work / management of remains
ICRC/PMI teams provided 10,500 body bags, 500 large rolls of plastic, 2,500 rubber boots, 500 helmets with lamps, 3,000 pairs of protective gloves, 3,000 facemasks, 400 shovels and 500 sets of protective clothing to PMI volunteers, troops of the Indonesian National Armed Forces and police teams mobilized to rapidly dispose of the dead bodies. Together, the PMI, the police, the armed forces and search and rescue teams collected over 105,000 corpses in the town of Banda Aceh alone.

Re-establishment of family links
For a six-week period starting on 26 December 2004, over 2,500 people used ICRC satellite phones to call their relatives in Indonesia or abroad free of charge, with most calls made from the west coast of Aceh. Meanwhile, ICRC/PMI tracing teams printed and distributed specially designed "I am alive" registration forms to the public throughout NAD. They collected 18,500 of these forms and in April 2005, when all other means of tracing missing persons had been exhausted, they published the names of 10,000 people seeking news from their families in local newspapers. In June, they published the names of a further 7,500 people in the same situation.

The third ICRC/PMI tracing activity was the registration of "persons sought." This started in January 2005, in response to a clear need; when people were filling in "I am alive" forms, they insisted on adding the names of missing family members. The "Persons Sought" form was therefore needed to ensure that tracing requests were recorded correctly and to collate the names of missing family members into lists. From January to mid-April 2005, joint ICRC/PMI teams collected 25,000 such forms throughout NAD. Children (for these purposes, anyone under 18) were by far the most vulnerable group when the tsunami hit, and made up 40% of the ICRC/PMI “Persons Sought” list.

Through their intensive fieldwork, ICRC/PMI tracing teams directly solved more than 3,800 cases where family links had been broken. Twenty-two children (out of 48 registered as unaccompanied) were reunited under ICRC auspices.

nancyk58
08-01-2010, 06:44 PM
UPDATES ON 8 JANUARY 2010

MAGNITUDE-5.2 QUAKE ROCKS MINDANAO - PHIVOLCS

(01/08/2010 | 10:04 PM - GMA News.TV)

A magnitude-5.2 quake rocked parts of Mindanao Friday night, even as state seismologists warned of possible aftershocks.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the quake struck at 8:15 p.m. and was tectonic in origin.

Phivolcs traced the epicenter of the quake to 128 kilometers southeast of Mati, Davao Oriental. It said the quake was felt at Intensity III in Davao City and Intensity II in General Santos City and in Marbel, South Cotabato.

While no damage to property was expected from the quake, Phivolcs warned of possible aftershocks.

- GMANews.TV


DESTRUCTIVE TSUNAMI CRASHES OVER SOLOMON ISLANDS

(01/05/2010 | 12:12 PM - GMA News.TV)

HONIARA, Solomon Islands — Authorities in helicopters flew over remote coastlines in the Solomon Islands on Tuesday assessing the damage from a LARGE EARTHQUAKE and TSUNAMI that crashed ashore a day earlier, devastating at least one village.

No injuries were reported some 24 hours after the biggest in a series of quakes churned a tsunami wave that was up to 10 feet (3 meters) high as it plowed into the coast.

Locals said residents were lucky the event happened during the day when many people were awake and able to flee easily, and noted they were better prepared since a deadly tsunami in the region three years ago.

The provincial capital of Gizo was badly damaged in April 2007 when a 8.1-magnitude quake unleashed a tsunami that slammed into the island, killing more than 50 people.

The "general rule in villages and Gizo" is that "if there's anything more than 20 seconds of shaking or any sea water recedes, head for the hills," said dive shop owner Danny Kennedy, adding that the tsunami had not reached Gizo this time.

Solomon Islands' police commissioner Peter Marshall said hundreds of villagers had been affected.

"But it would appear that the Solomon Islands has gotten away comparatively lightly," with no deaths or injuries reported so far, he told New Zealand's National Radio.

A MAGNITUDE-7.2 QUAKE sent a TSUNAMI crashing into the shores of Rendova Island and nearby Tetepare Island about 9:30 a.m. local time Monday. Eight other quakes greater than magnitude 5.0 have rocked the region since.

A police boat and two helicopters patrolled Tuesday to check the coastline, where many homes are at sea level and close to the coast, making them vulnerable to tsunamis, said Julian Makaa, a spokesman for the National Disaster Management Office.

"Two damage assessment teams have been sent to Rendova to walk through and conduct damage surveys, but no casualties have been reported," Makaa told The Associated Press.

Another disaster management official, Loti Yates, said earlier at least 16 houses were destroyed and 32 damaged in Baniata village on Rendova, an island some 190 miles (300 kilometers) from the capital Honiara, where some 3,600 people live.

"One report from police was that one village was hit by a 6 to 10 foot (2-3 meter) wall of sea water," Yates said. "It was a total inundation police saw in a flyover."

Makaa said the village, Retavo, had a population of about 20 and no deaths or injuries were reported yet.

One helicopter was checking the southwest coast of Rendova, where the wave could have caused serious damage, he said. A government boat arrived in the area Tuesday with emergency food, water and tarpaulins for survivors.

Ten foreign tourists were staying on Tetepare Island, an uninhabited eco-tourism site, and the four Germans, four Britons and two New Zealanders were evacuated.

The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded nine earthquakes greater than magnitude 5.0 in the region since late Sunday. The magnitude 7.2 was centered 64 miles (103 kilometers) southeast of Gizo, and followed a magnitude 6.5 tremor less than two hours earlier centered 54 miles (90 kilometers) southeast of Gizo at a depth of 6 miles (10 kilometers).

The Solomon Islands lie on the "RING OF FIRE" — an arc of earthquake and volcanic zones that stretches around the Pacific Rim and where about 90 percent of the world's quakes occur. - AP


1,000 PEOPLE HOMELESS ON SOLOMONS AFTER TSUNAMI

(01/05/2010 | 05:19 PM - GMA News.TV)

HONIARA, Solomon Islands — A disaster management official says an earthquake and a tsunami have destroyed 200 homes on one island in the Solomons leaving about one-third of the population homeless.

Disaster management office director Loti Yates says visual assessments from the air Tuesday show extensive damage after a 7.2-MAGNITUDE TEMBLOR struck.

No injuries have been reported some 30 hours after the biggest in a series of quakes churned a tsunami wave that was up to 10 feet (3 meters) high as it plowed into a remote region in the nation's west on Monday.

Yates says more than 1,000 people have been affected after some 200 houses were destroyed.

Only 3,600 people live on Rendova, one of the Solomon Islands some 190 miles (300 kilometers) from the capital Honiara.

- AP

nancyk58
09-01-2010, 09:11 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION ON 9 JANUARY 2010

Pagasa: LPA MAY CAUSE FLASH FLOODS, LANDSLIDES IN VISAYAS, MINDANAO

(01/09/2010 | 06:14 PM - GMA News.TV)

A low-pressure area (LPA) threatens to trigger landslides and flash floods in parts of Eastern Visayas and Mindanao, state weather forecasters said on Saturday.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) also said the tail-end of a cold front is affecting Luzon.


"Visayas and Mindanao will experience cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms becoming widespread rains over eastern sections of Visayas and Mindanao which may trigger flashfloods or landslide. Luzon will be mostly cloudy skies with light rains," Pagasa said in its 5 p.m. bulletin.

It said moderate to strong winds blowing from the Northeast would prevail over Luzon, eastern sections of Visayas and Mindanao.

Coastal waters along these areas will be moderate to rough, it added.
Elsewhere, winds will be light to moderate blowing from the Northeast to North with slight to moderate seas.

Meanwhile, Pagasa said strong to gale force winds might affect seaboards of Northern and Central Luzon.

It advised fishing boats and small seacraft not to venture out into the sea, and large vessels to be alert against big waves.

- GMANews.TV

nancyk58
12-01-2010, 06:16 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA - 12 JANUARY 2010

Weather in the PHILIPPINES today: (23°C to 30°C). At 5 p.m. Tuesday, a northeast monsoon affects Luzon while a trough of a low-pressure area (LPA) extends across Eastern Visayas and Mindanao. PAGASA

EARTHQUAKE JOLTS METRO MANILA ON TUESDAY NIGHT

(Mark D. Merueñas, GMA News.TV - 01/12/2010 | 07:28 PM)

(Update 2- 8:44 p.m.) A MAGNITUDE-5.0 EARTHQUAKE jolted the central part of LUZON on Tuesday night, even as state forecasters warned against POSSIBLE AFTERSHOCKS.

The earthquake took place at 6:54 p.m., Renato Solidum, director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), said.

According to the USGS Earthquake Hazards website, the earthquake's epicenter was located 50 kilometers west of Manila, in the vicinity of Bataan province, with an estimated depth of 112.4 km below the earth's surface.

A magnitude-5 earthquake is classified as a strong earthquake generally felt by most people indoors and some people outdoors, according to the Phivolcs website.

"It was a strong earthquake so having aftershocks is possible," Solidum said.

However, he added that the earthquake is not expected to cause much damage since the center was deep in the earth's crust.

"It could have been due to the movement of the South China Sea Plate into the Manila Trench," Solidum added.

Based on Twitter reports, the earthquake was felt in Makati, Quezon City, Taguig, Caloocan, and as far as Los Baños, Laguna.

- RJAB, Jr./JV, GMANews.TV


PHIVOLCS: MAGNITUDE- 2.1 QUAKE ROCKS N LUZON

(01/12/2010 | 07:59 AM - GMA News.TV)

A "MILD" MAGNITUDE-2.1 QUAKE rocked parts of Northern LUZON Monday night, but state seismologists said there was no initial damage to property.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the epicenter was located 2 km southeast of La Trinidad in Benguet province. It said the quake was recorded at 10:07 p.m., and was tectonic in origin.

Phivolcs said the quake was felt at Intensity II in Baguio City. It added it does not expect any damage or aftershock.

- LBG/RSJ, GMANews.TV
-----------------------------------------

News note (from UNICEF.org)

UNICEF GEARS UP RELIEF EFFORTS TO TSUNAMI-STRUCK SOLOMON ISLANDS

GIZO, SOLOMON ISLANDS, 5 January 2010 – UNICEF PACIFIC is providing immediate support to the victims of a tsunami that hit Rendova and Tetepare Islands in the Solomon Islands on 4 January.

UNICEF Pacific was already working in Gizo on reconstruction of schools affected by the 2007 tsunami. Following reports that Rendova Island has been severely affected with hundreds of houses damaged and large areas completely inundated the children’s agency dispatched a rapid assessment team to Rendova and Tetepare Islands by boat.

There are 3600 people living on Rendova Island.

Emergency supplies that had been pre-positioned following the 2007 Tsunami are poised to be utilized. These supplies allow access to adequate sanitation, safe water and basic health care. UNICEF is also preparing materials and staff so that children, tremendously vulnerable during natural catastrophes, are protected. UNICEF materials and advisors will assist so that children are able to continue learning and studying, and be provided safe recreation areas while their caretakers turn to rebuilding their lives.

“This is the second major disaster affecting Western Province of Solomon Islands in the course of three years,” said UNICEF Pacific Representative Dr. Isiye Ndombi. “Although it is still unclear how great the devastation has been this time, it is clear that the psychological trauma for children and adults experiencing two tsunamis in such a short period will be significant.”

“Fortunately UNICEF Pacific is already on the ground in the area and able to provide immediate support to the people of Rendova and Teperare and other islands possibly affected. It will take several days however until we know the full extend and consequences of this tsunami because these islands are very remote and difficult to access.”

On Rendova Island itself UNICEF Pacific is in the process of reconstructing 19 schools affected by the 2007 Tsunami and has pre-positioned emergency supplies in the capital Honiara to address water, hygiene, health, education, child protection and psycho-social recovery issues in emergencies. In addition to the rapid response team already dispatched to Rendova and Tetepare Islands, two Emergency Specialists from UNICEF Pacific are travelling today from Fiji to Solomon Islands to provide additional support to relief efforts.

UNICEF Pacific has been working with reconstruction of schools and sanitation infrastructure in Western Province of Solomon Islands since April 2007 and is on track to complete reconstruction of 110 schools in the province by the end of 2010. The 2007 Tsunami in Solomon Islands affected more than 37.000 people including 18.000 girls and boys, left 54 dead and caused heavy damage to thousands of homes, more than 200 schools, 2 hospitals and several health facilities in Western Province.

For more information, please contact:
Tomas Jensen, Communication Specialist
Tel + 679 9925606,
E-mail: tjensen@unicef.org


UNICEF distributes school supplies in typhoon-affected Philippines

By Silje Vik Pedersen (article updated 5 January 2010)

PANGASINAN, Philippines, 4 January 2010 – Puelay Elementary School in Villasis was one of many schools flooded when Typhoon PEPENG (known internationally as PARMA), hit the region in October.

“Three of our classrooms were totally destroyed, as well as tables, chairs, blackboards and computers,” said Principal Belen Bautista. “The play area was covered in mud and both the children’s and the teachers’ books were damaged.” With help from parents, students and the community, the school was able to reopen.

Children lined up in the courtyard, ready to receive their backpacks containing the notebooks, pens, crayons, glue, slippers, a drinking bottle and scissors that UNICEF handed out to all 1,145 students.

Tricia Mae, age eight, is in third grade and her house is located right next to the school.

“We were awake when the water came. My aunt said we should go to the church, but I don’t remember how we got there. When we came back to the house the next day all my clothes were gone and my school books were wet and muddy. I also lost my shoes,” she said as she eagerly opened her new school bag. “I am happy that I am back at school and that I have new notebooks and pens.”

‘EVERYONE HAS RETURNED'
“Everything in the school was damaged. It took us over a week to clean the school, but now the classrooms are full of students again and everyone has returned,” said teacher Gloria Orena.

UNICEF has distributed school packs to 23 schools in the affected areas of the country, enough supplies for 30,659 school children. However, there are still many more schools in need of help. Two of these are situated on the other side of the Agno River, in Rosales.

Carmen Elementary School and Robert Estrella National High School were both affected by flooding. There is still mud in the courtyards and along the pathways, and several of the classrooms have lost their walls. Damaged books lie outside, their titles barely readable.

MORE HELP NEEDED
The central office for the Department of Education has made Carmen Elementary School their first priority for repairs, but more assistance is needed.

“We lack food and school supplies for the children and the teachers,” said Principal Arturo de la Cruz. “We also have a problem with children dropping out of school because they have lost their books.”

Many of the students come from Carmen East and Carmen West, two of the worst affected regions. Several hundred families lost their homes and many are living with relatives or are in tents at a relocation site in nearby San Pedro. Some of these children, lacking books or money for transport, are finding it hard to return to school.

‘I HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO GO’
Marjon, 14, is living with his family in a tent in San Pedro.
“I have only been to school once since we were evacuated here. When we lived in Carmen I went to school every day and it makes me sad that I haven’t been able to go,” he said.

Returning children to school as quickly as possible is the best to restore a sense of normalcy in children’s lives.

Marjon and his friends are hoping to return to school in the near future. “I just want to finish school so I can find a job to support my family,” he says.
---------------------------------------------

UNICEF’s five-year tsunami report (Tsunami Report 5 Year Anniversary) highlights goals reached in relief and recovery efforts

GENEVA, 18 December 2009 - Five years after an earthquake off the coast of Indonesia triggered a massive tsunami that spread throughout the Indian Ocean, UNICEF issued a report summarizing the results of its relief and recovery programmes in the eight affected countries.

The tragic events of December 26, 2004 caused destruction on an unprecedented scale. Nearly 230,000 people were killed – the majority of them women and children. Communities were devastated, livelihoods destroyed, homes, schools and heath facilities washed away. Yet the sheer scale of the Tsunami’s destruction – as well as the massive mobilization of resources received from international relief – provided many opportunities to restore basic services and build back better than before.

The international community pledged over USD 14 billion for the relief and recovery of tsunami-affected countries, and UNICEF funds received for the Tsunami stand at USD 694.7 million, of which three quarters was raised from UNICEF’s National Committees.

As the report indicates, the opportunities to build back better presented themselves not only in the sphere of basic services – such as health, education and water and sanitation – but also in improving the security of communities vulnerable to natural disaster or violent conflict, and in providing greater security to vulnerable children.

In INDONESIA, for example, “the unprecedented international response to the Tsunami created a unique opportunity to bolster the PEACE PROCESS between the Government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement,” the report states, citing the PEACE AGREEMENT that was signed between the two parties in August 2005.

Beyond the effort to address immediate needs following the Tsunami, UNICEF’s reconstruction efforts focused on both Tsunami- and conflict-affected areas, a strategic decision designed to consolidate the peace reached in the aftermath of the Tsunami.

And in THAILAND, recovery efforts have been instrumental in building national systems to STRENGTHEN CHILD PROTECTION. A model Child Protection Monitoring System was initially established in 2007 to identify and monitor the situation of children orphaned by the Tsunami, as well as other at-risk children. The model was expanded from 27 sub-districts in 2007 to 36 sub-districts in 2008, and is now being considered for national replication.

The report also highlights some of the important lessons learned from the Tsunami relief and recovery operations – not the least of which is ensuring that governments, international agencies and NGOs partners coordinate their relief activities, complementing each other rather than overlapping their efforts. Another is ensuring that all stakeholders are better prepared to deal with emergencies as they occur.

In MYANMAR, for example, lessons UNICEF learned from the Tsunami response have positively influenced preparedness and response to other emergency situations, the report indicates. Following cyclone Mala and other emergencies in 2006, UNICEF was able to quickly mobilise and deliver emergency relief goods, including family kits, insecticide treated bednets, and essential drugs for local health centres, in the affected areas. Following cyclone Nargis in 2008, UNICEF distributed child survival kits to help treat up to 600,000 episodes of diarrhoea, 300,000 cases of pneumonia and 60,000 cases of post-partum haemorrhage prevention, and 6,200 cases of neonatal sepsis and severe pneumonia. UNICEF also provided support for therapeutic feeding programmes to respond to identified pockets of severe acute malnutrition.

Recovery programmes in some countries have now drawn to a close, with ongoing recovery work handed over to the national authorities or integrated into existing programmes carried out by the UNICEF country offices. Due to the scale of the recovery required in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, UNICEF will continue to support reconstruction activities through the end of 2010.
About UNICEF

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help CHILDREN survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of VACCINES for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is [B]funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For more information, please contact:
Veronique Taveau, UNICEF Media, Geneva,
Tel + 41 22 909 5716,
E-mail: vtaveau@unicef.org

nancyk58
13-01-2010, 11:49 PM
Chris Martin and Glastonbury festival organiser Emily Eavis have urged people to donate to Oxfam's appeal for earthquake victims in Haiti, which was launched in reaction to the deadly quake that struck the country yesterday (January 12th).

Both Chris and Eavis visited the island with Oxfam in 2002, and each said they expected the country to need all the help it can get following the 7.0-magnitude quake. Chris said via the official site: "I visited Haiti with Oxfam a few years ago. It's a country of extreme poverty and brutal living conditions. Most people in Port-au-Prince live in tin shacks. The earthquake that has struck Haiti will have turned the city into an unimaginable hell. The people of Haiti will be desperate for help and assistance."

Head to Oxfam.org.uk to leave a donation. Alternatively, call 0300 200 1999, or visit an Oxfam shop. Oxfam currently has a team of 100 people working in Haiti. Both Coldplay and Glastonbury have donated to the appeal.


From GMA News.TV:

» UN mission chief in Haiti appears to have died in quake

» Haiti quake new blow for country mired in misery

» DFA having difficulty finding out if there are Filipino casualties in Haiti

» Many casualties expected after big quake in Haiti

» Strong quake hits Haiti, collapsing hospital


RED CROSS: Up to 3-M affected by Haiti quake

(01/13/2010 | 09:26 PM - GMA News.TV)

GENEVA — Haiti's devastating earthquake has left an estimated 3 million people in need of emergency aid, a Red Cross official said Wednesday, as aid groups and governments scrambled to send tons of disaster relief to the impoverished Caribbean nation.

Humanitarian officials said the proximity of the quake's epicenter, only 10 miles (15 kilometers) from the capital Port-au-Prince, and Haiti's crumbling infrastructure meant it was impossible to gauge exactly how many people might be dead or wounded.

"There's probably 3 million people potentially affected," said Paul Conneally, spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies.

The first airlifts to Haiti concentrated on search and rescue efforts and setting up makeshift hospitals.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the United States was offering full assistance — civilian and military. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Britain would provide "whatever humanitarian assistance is required," while France, Canada, China, Germany, Mexico and Venezuela pledged immediate support in terms of personnel, cash and supplies.

Germany said it would donate €1 million ($1.45 million), while China pledged $1 million.

One of the first teams expected to arrive Wednesday was 37 search and rescue specialists from Iceland, who are bringing with them 10 tons of their own equipment.

French rescue authorities say 65 clearing specialists and 6 sniffer dogs are leaving for Haiti on Wednesday, while Spain is rushing three airplanes to Haiti with at least 100 tons of tents, blankets and cooking kits. Israel is sending in an elite Army rescue unit of engineers and medics.

The Red Cross said Haiti's disaster relief teams were "completely overwhelmed."

"There's no structured response at this point," spokesman Simon Schorno told The Associated Press.

The United Nations is also deploying a disaster coordination team to Haiti.

Officials were struggling to assess the scale of the disaster amid badly damaged communication networks, said Elizabeth Byrs, a U.N. humanitarian spokeswoman, but it was working with aid agency Telecoms Sans Frontieres to immediately get phone lines working.

There is no electricity in the capital, and roads are filled with obstacles and debris, she added. Port-au-Prince's airport remains open, but the artery connecting it to the city is blocked, so aid officials were still trying to decide on the best way to rush lifesaving assistance.

U.N. agencies and Red Cross societies were trying to send in teams and aid from their regional hub in Panama, while USAID is mobilizing a response group and two urban search and rescue units, Byrs said.

If aid cannot travel over the airport road, assistance may be rerouted through the Dominican Republic, said Charles Vincent, a senior World Food Program official, whose agency plans to airlift tons of high-energy biscuits from El Salvador, enough to feed 30,000 people for a week.

"The first priority is to save lives," Vincent told reporters.

Byrs said the neighboring Haitian cities of Carrefour and Jacmel may also be heavily damaged.

Conneally said his estimate of the Haitians affected relied on previous Red Cross experience in earthquake relief.

"Port-au-Prince has been massively impacted," Conneally said. "There are many, many people trapped in the rubble."

He said emergency shelter and long-term rebuilding efforts could easily require a year of aid work.

At the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI appealed for a generous international aid response for the quake victims and pledged the Catholic Church's support.

The Christian aid organization World Vision, which has 400 staff in Haiti, said it would immediately distribute supplies it had stored in Haiti for hurricane relief.

Low-lying areas of Port-au-Prince, including the Cite Soleil slum, appeared to be hit worse than neighborhoods higher up the hills, said World Vision spokesman Casey Calamusa.

Maggie Boyer, the World Vision spokeswoman in Haiti, said the moment the quake hit felt "like a truck had run into her building," he added. - AP

nancyk58
14-01-2010, 12:07 PM
So far there have been posted links etc. to help via OXFAM.org.uk - www.redcross.org - ICRC via www.icrc.org and www.unicef.org.

Now AVAAC has sent out this appeal to donate:

Stand with Haiti‏

From: Luis Morago - Avaaz.org (avaaz@avaaz.org)
Sent: 14. januar 2010 02:53:29
To: Nancy Boysen

Dear friends,

Haiti's worst earthquake in 200 years struck yesterday, devastating the capital city, killing thousands and threatening over 3 million people in this desperately poor country.

Haitians are urgently appealing to the world for help -- we’re already in touch with strong local organisations mobilising community-based relief efforts.

Let’s send a worldwide wave of donations to the front lines, to save lives now and help people recover and rebuild. Avaaz will work partners to make sure the help reaches those who need it most. Click below to donate:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/stand_with_haiti

Based on expert advice from leading humanitarian NGOs who have been working in Haiti for over 30 years, we'll offer donations to trusted local organizations, including:

Honor and Respect for Bel Air, a big community-based network in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince, which is also supported by our friends at the respected Brazilian NGO Viva Rio

Coordination Régionale des Organisations de Sud-Est (CROSE), which brings together some of the most active community groups in the South of Haiti where the earthquake struck hardest. These groups include: women's groups, schools networks and local cooperatives.

In 2008, Avaaz members donated over $2 million for Burmese monks to respond to the devastating Cyclone Nargis. Our money made an incredible difference there -- because it went directly to local people on the front lines of the aid effort.

Times of painful tragedy can bring out the best in us by bringing people together. Let's join with the people of Haiti to help them rescue their communities from this brutal disaster -- act now at this link:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/stand_with_haiti


With hope for Haiti,

Luis, Paul, Graziela, Paula, Ricken, Pascal, Alice, Benjamin, Milena and the whole Avaaz team

More information:

Haiti devastated by massive earthquake (BBC):
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8455629.stm

Thousands feared dead as major quake strikes Haiti (Reuters):
http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUK126337392643._CH_.2420

Deadly earthquake hits Haiti (Reuters pictures):
http://www.reuters.com/news/pictures/slideshow?articleId=USRTR28T0W#a=7

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Donate to Haiti via one of the above organizations or Doctors without borders aka. Médecins sans Frontières - if you can. Any donations - also small ones - are welcome as it is the thought that counts. So please HELP / spread the news of this disaster.

nancyk58
14-01-2010, 06:57 PM
UPDATES FROM GMA NEWS on 14 JANUARY 2010

Mayon evacuation cost Albay P26M in damages

(01/14/2010 | 06:34 PM - GMA News.TV)

The recent activities of Mayon Volcano had cost the Albay government some P26.2 million in damages to agriculture and infrastructure, Governor Joey Salceda said Thursday.

In a statement, Salceda estimated the worth of agricultural damages at P17 million. The figure was based on the 1,500 farmers who were unable to tend to hundreds of hectares of land during the 20-day evacuation period from December 14 to January 2.

At the time, volcano was threatening to erupt, prompting the provincial government to evacuate more than 47,000 residents in five provinces and three cities located within Mayon danger zones.
Mayon’s ash fall and lava flow also damaged farmlands situated in the said zones.

Salceda also pegged at P9.2 million the worth of damages to schools that served as evacuation centers for the displaced families. The amount was on top of the P1.5 million the provincial government spent daily during the evacuation period.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Wednesday lowered Mayon’s alert status to Level 2, prompting Salceda to order the remaining 2,000 residents to return to their homes within the six-kilometer radius permanent danger zone.

- Sophia Dedace/KBK, GMANews.TV


Magnitude-5.1 quake rocks Mindanao

(01/14/2010 | 08:05 AM )

A magnitude-5.1 quake hit parts of Mindanao Wednesday night, but state seismologists said no damage to property was initially reported.

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) head Renato Solidum Jr. said Thursday the quake was recorded at 8:42 p.m.
"It was felt in some areas in Mindanao including Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato and South Cotabato," Solidum said in an interview on dzXL radio. He said the quake was particularly felt at Intensity IV in Isulan in Sultan Kudarat.

On the other hand, the United States Geological Service said the quake's epicenter was traced to 65 km south of Cotabato, 110 km west-northwest of General Santos City, 150 km west-southwest of Davao, or 960 km south-southeast of Manila.

- LBG/RSJ, GMANews.TV


Albay to send remaining Mayon evacuees home

(01/13/2010 | 05:17 PM - GMA News.TV)

Following the lowering of Mayon Volcano’s alert level in Albay province, Governor Joey Salceda on Wednesday gave the go-signal for the 2,000 remaining evacuees to return to their homes.

"The PDCC-Albay hereby orders the full decampment of evacuees from Anoling, Camalig, and Bañadero, Daraga effective today," Salceda, concurrent chair of Albay’s Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC), said in an emailed statement.

Earlier in the day, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology lowered Mayon’s alert status from Level 3 to 2 after noting the further decline in the overall activity of Mayon, the country’s most active volcano. [See: Phivolcs lowers Mayon alert level to 2]

The Phivolcs raised the alert status to Level 3 last December 14, and to Level 4 last December 20. But after a lull in volcanic activity, state volcanologists lowered the status to Level 3 last January 2. The lowering of the status prompted the decampment of about 96 percent of the evacuees, or about 45,000 of the 47,000 displaced residents.

PERMANENT RELOCATION

In a related development, Salceda said the government’s relocation efforts are ongoing for residents living within the six-kilometer permanent danger zones.

Earlier, Salceda said they are mulling permanent relocation for those residing in the said danger zone.

A total of 2,322 people or about 510 families would be transferred from the evacuation areas to the resettlement sites as soon as the local government gathers enough money to fund the relocation, Salceda said.

Evacuees from upper barangay Pandag in Legaspi City would be transferred to barangay Taysan, while those from barangay Bañadero in Daraga would be moved to barangay Anislag, he said. Evacuees from barangay Anoling in Camalig town, meanwhile, would be transferred to barangay Baligang, he added.

Salceda, however, said the total number of residents within the six-kilometer zone who will permanently be relocated is yet to be determined.

Based on GMA news research data, the permanent danger zone spans 20 barangays (villages) in 6 towns with a combined population of 12,803 persons or over 2,700 families.

- Sophia Dedace/RSJ/KBK, GMANews.TV


HEADLINES about the HAITI EARTHQUAKE on 13 JANUARY 2010

» Haiti quake: Survivors struggle while awaiting aid

» One of four Filipino soldiers trapped in Haiti rescued - AFP

» Wife of Pinoy medical staff in Haiti turns to Facebook for comfort

» World nations rush rescue, relief workers to Haiti

» Obama promises all-out relief effort in Haiti

» AFP: 4 RP soldiers remained trapped in Haiti after quake

» Stiller, Hilton, other celebs urge quake relief

» Tens of thousands feared dead after Haiti quake

nancyk58
15-01-2010, 02:24 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN the PHILIPPINES on 15 JANUARY 2010

MAGNITUDE-5.3 QUAKE ROCKS PARTS OF MINDANAO

(01/15/2010 | 12:36 PM - GMA News.TV)

A 5.3-magnitude earthquake rocked some parts of Mindanao early Friday but no one was reported injured, state seismologists said.

In its 10:26 a.m. bulletin, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the earthquake occurred 8:07 a.m., with the epicenter traced to 32 kilometers east of Tagum in Davao City.

The quake was felt at Intensity IV in Davao City; Intensity III in Tagum City and President Roxas in North Cotabato; Mati, Davao del Norte, and Magsaysay, Davao del Sur.

It was felt at Intensity II in Matalam, Makilala, and Kabacan towns in North Cotabato; Kidapawan, General Santos, and Digos Cities; and Matan-ow and Taragona in Davao Oriental. Caraga in Davao Oriental felt the tremor at intensity I.

Phivolcs said that no damage is expected but aftershocks may be possible.

A 5.1-magnitude earthquake rocked parts of Mindanao Wednesday night. It was felt in Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato at North Cotabato, but no damage was reported.

- Nikka Corsino/RSJ, GMANews.TV


UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN HAITI on 15 JANUARY 2010 from the Filipino GMA News.TV

SECOND FILIPINA SAVED FROM HAITI RUINS, 5 STILL MISSING

(MARK D. MERUEÑAS, GMANews.TV - 01/15/2010 | 03:44 PM)

(UPDATE 2 - 8:26 p.m.) A second Filipina was rescued from the ruins of a supermarket in the quake-torn Hatian capital of Port-au-Prince, Philippine authorities reported Friday, leaving five more Filipinos either missing or trapped in establishments that were brought down by a magnitude-7 tremor that hit Haiti on Tuesday (Wednesday in the Philippines).

Rescued from the rubble of the Carribean Supermarket in Port-au-Prince's Delmas 95 District was Grace Fabian, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement Friday night.

Upon hearing the good news, Fabian’s family could not help but get emotional. They embraced each other as they shed tears of joy for Grace.

The Fabian family has been suffering sleepless nights and losing their appetite since the powerful tremor struck Haiti, GMA News’ Joseph Morong reported on Friday.

Arturo, the Fabian patriarch no longer wants his daughters, Grace and Roselyn, to stay in Haiti.

“I don't want you to be there anymore. Just stay here with us. I can take care of your needs. Go home," said a weeping Arturo.

He also called on the Philippine government to immediately repatriate Filipinos staying in the Caribbean country.
Earlier, rescuers saved Aurora Aguinaldo from the wreckage of the same establishment.

THIRD FILIPINA
The third Filipina, Geraldine Lalican, remains trapped in the supermarket. The DFA said that Lt. Col. Lope C. Dagoy, commander of the 10th Philippine Contingent in Haiti, told the Philippine Permanent Mission to the United Nations that "rescuers continue efforts to extract" Lalican.

"Commander Dagoy said that a task force continues to search for, and make an accounting of, Filipino Community members. Filipinos who were able to contact the Philippine Contingent reported that they are all safe albeit suffering minor injuries. Filipinos in the neighborhood of Delmas 41 and 42 are also safe," the DFA said .

Over at the collapsed UN headquarters along Theoowle Bourdon Street, three UN peacekeepers remain trapped, namely Army Sergeant Eustacio Bermudez, Air Force Sergeant Janice Arcena, and Navy Petty Officer 3 Pearlie Tanagi.

Philippine authorities identified the sixth missing Filipino as Jerome Yap, one of about 35 to 40 international staffers of UN based in Haiti. Yap is an administrative officer of the principal deputy special representative of the UN secretary general in Haiti. Authorities could not say where Yap was last seen before the quake
Meanwhile, the Philippine government remains optimistic that the three peacekeepers are still alive, especially after signs of life were detected in the rubble.

"The arrival of new rescuers from the US, France and China with equipment has given us some hopes of the early rescue of our elements," said Col. Gregory Cayetano, commanding officer of the military's Peacekeeping Operations Center based in Camp O'Donnel, Capas, Tarlac.

The remaining Filipinos residing in other parts of the Caribbean country have already contacted the Philippine contingent in Haiti to tell them that they did not sustain serious injuries due to the quake.

Dagoy communicates with military officials in the Philippines through a satellite equipment provided to him by the UN. The military in the Philippines is also communicating with Philippine officials in Haiti through the Internet, whose connection was often “unstable," according to Cayetano. The powerful quake had brought down communication lines in Port-au-Prince.

Additional deployment
The Philippines will be deploying a fresh set of 155 peacekeepers to Haiti in February to augment rescue forces in the Caribbean nation, according to Cayetano.
Residents of the impoverished Caribbean nation could experience shortage in food and water supply, Cayeteno said.

"The utilities are down, so we expect that their food supply will be affected. Refrigeration of food will also be affected," Cayetano said in an interview with GMA News on Friday.

"We expect they will really have some belt-tightening while at the same time doing their functions, this is a huge sacrifice," he added.

There are 462 Filipinos in Haiti composed of 290 are civilians and 172 military and police peacekeepers, according to the DFA.

Haiti is having an extremely difficult time picking up from the disaster, reports said. Bodies remain scattered along capital Port-au-Prince’s streets, while civilians have started building makeshift shelters and sourcing food themselves.

Other survivors fled as far as 1,000 kilometers from the capital, including crossing the border to the Dominican Republic, to seek medical help.

A total of 17 UN personnel were found dead, while 50 remain missing. Several countries have already sent their contingents to assist the remaining UN peacekeeper, while relief goods and rescue workers were sent from China, Taiwan, Israel, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

- with reports from AIE BALAGTAS SEE/ARCS/GMANews.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

RP TO SEND MEDICAL TEAMS, ADDITIONAL PEACEKEEPERS TO HAITI

(01/15/2010 | 05:52 PM - GMA NEWS.TV)

The Philippines will send medical teams and more peacekeepers to Haiti to to assist in relief operations following this week's devastating earthquake that killed thousands of people.

During the inauguration of the Caticlan Airport in Aklan on Friday, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said she has instructed the Department of Health to form medical teams that will be sent to aid in humanitarian work in the Carribean country, which was rocked by a magnitude-5.7 earthquake Tuesday afternoon (Wednesday morning in Manila).

"We are more than ready to give a helping hand as we were victims ourselves -- Ondoy, Pepeng and Frank -- and a few months ago, about a year ago, we have also been a recipient of international assistance, now it is our turn to the give back," President Arroyo said.

At the same time, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner said the President has also given orders to the military leadership to prepare to deploy more peaceekeepers to Haiti.

Brawner said 155 soldiers would be sent to assist in relief and recovery operations.

"We are just waiting for the approval of UN (United Nations) and the pertinent documents like visas and then the vaccines and other necessary requirements for postings," he said.

Medals, recognition
Mrs. Arroyo said she would grant medals and other forms of recognition to the Filipino peacekeepers already in Haiti who are assisting in rescue and recovery operations even though they themselves were victims as the United Nation headquarters they were staying at collapsed because of the earthquake.

"It is especially close to our hearts because we have peacekeeping troops on Haiti who are doing a good job. To once again rise to the occasion, we have risen to the occasions here in the Philipines each time, so we will give them medals when they return," she added.

Three Filipino peacekeepers remain trapped inside the UN headquarters. They have been identified as Perly Tanagui of the Philippine Navy, Sgt. Jermis Arcena of the Philippine Air Force, and Sgt. Estacio Bermudez of the Philippine Army.

Data from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) show that there are 462 Filipinos in Haiti — 290 are civilians, while 172 are military and police peacekeepers.

On Thursday, Cpl. David Catacutan was rescued after being trapped in the Montana hotel since the earthquake rocked the country.

"We are glad to hear that one of them has already been rescued and, moreover, there is a strong likelihood that the three others have survived the temblor. The only thing to do is clear the rubble to get to them," said Press Secretary Cerge Remonde.

Remonde assured that Philippine authorities are ready to cope with such disasters should they occur in the Philippines.

"Heaven forbid that a similar tragedy should befall the Philippines. However, if it does, our National Disaster Coordinating Council is at a level of preparedness to meet that contingency," he said.

-with additional report from Johanna Camille Sisante/RSJ, GMANews.TV
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FILIPINA RESCUED FROM HAITI SUPERMARKET, 6 STILL MISSING

(MARK D. MERUEÑAS, GMANews.TV - 01/15/2010 | 03:44 PM )


A Filipina was rescued from the ruins of a supermarket in the quake-torn Hatian capital of Port au-Prince, Philippine authorities reported Friday. But six more Filipinos remain either trapped or missing in establishments that were brought down by the magnitude-7 tremor that hit Haiti on Tuesday (Wednesday in the Philippines).

The rescued woman was identified as Aurora Aguinaldo who, along with two other Filipinas, were trapped inside the Caribbean Supermarket in Delmas 95, according to Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesperson Ed Malaya.

Malaya assured that Aguinaldo was already in a "safe and sound" condition. The two remaining women trapped in the establishment were identified as Geraldine Calican and Grace Fabian.

Over at the collapsed UN headquarters along Theoowle Bourdon Street, three UN peacekeepers remain trapped, namely Army Sergeant Eustacio Bermudez, Air Force Sergeant Janice Arcena, and Navy Petty Officer 3 Pearlie Tanagi.

Philippine authorities identified the sixth missing Filipino as Jerome Yap, one of about 35 to 40 international staffers of UN based in Haiti. Yap is an administrative officer of the principal deputy special representative of the UN secretary general in Haiti. Authorities could not say where Yap was last seen before the quake.
Meanwhile, the Philippine government remains optimistic that the three peacekeepers are still alive, especially after signs of life were detected in the rubble.

"The arrival of new rescuers from the US, France and China with equipment has given us some hopes of the early rescue of our elements," said Col. Gregory Cayetano, commanding officer of the military's Peacekeeping Operations Center based in Camp O'Donnel, Capas, Tarlac.

Meanwhile, Filipinos residing in Haiti's Quest Department districts of Delmas 41 and 42 have all been accounted for and are in safe condition, according to Malaya.

The remaining Filipinos residing in other parts of the Caribbean country have already contacted the Philippine contingent in Haiti to tell them that they did not sustain serious injuries due to the quake.

Lt. Col. Lope Dagoy, Philippine contingent commander to Haiti, communicates with military officials in the Philippines through a satellite equipment provided to him by the UN.

Cayetano said the Philippine military was also communicating with Philippine officials in Haiti through the Internet, whose connection was often “unstable." The powerful quake had brought down communication lines in Port-au-Prince.
The Philippines will be deploying a fresh set of 155 peacekeepers to Haiti in February to augment rescue forces in the Caribbean nation, according to Cayetano.
Residents of the impoverished Caribbean nation could experience shortage in food and water supply, Cayeteno said.

"The utilities are down, so we expect that their food supply will be affected. Refrigeration of food will also be affected," Cayetano said in an interview with GMA News on Friday.

"We expect they will really have some belt-tightening while at the same time doing their functions, this is a huge sacrifice," he added.

There are 462 Filipinos in Haiti composed of 290 are civilians and 172 military and police peacekeepers, according to the DFA.

Haiti is having an extremely difficult time picking up from the disaster, reports said. Bodies remain scattered along capital Port-au-Prince’s streets, while civilians have started building makeshift shelters and sourcing food themselves.

Other survivors fled as far as 1,000 kilometers from the capital, including crossing the border to the Dominican Republic, to seek medical help.

A total of 17 UN personnel were found dead, while 50 remain missing. Several countries have already sent their contingents to assist the remaining UN peacekeeper, while relief goods and rescue workers were sent from China, Taiwan, Israel, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

- ARCS/GMANews.TV
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NAIA can withstand strong quake, official says

(01/15/2010 | 02:20 PM - GMA NEWS.TV)

A Philippine official assured the public that the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) – the primary hub for the country’s airlines – can withstand an earthquake as powerful as the one that hit HAITI. More
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

RP contingent in Haiti faces shortage of food and water

nancyk58
15-01-2010, 02:41 PM
I HAVE NOW RENAMED THE THREAD SO IT COVERS

UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN

SOUTHEAST ASIA AS WELL AS HAITI!

I THINK THAT IT IS IMPORTANT NOT TO FORGET SOUTHEAST ASIA / THE PHILIPPINES!

IF I JUST STARTED A NEW THREAD CALLED UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN HAITI - THEN WE (ALSO ME) MIGHT FORGET ABOUT THE PHILIPPINES AND SOUTHEAST ASIA - AND THE NUMBER OF THREADS TO POST UPDATES IN WOULD BE VERY HIGH!

SO THAT'S MY REASONS FOR RENAMING THIS THREAD.

NANCY AKA. NANCYK58

nancyk58
15-01-2010, 02:47 PM
Updates from GMA news.TV on HAITI on 15 January 2010

Groups struggle to get food, water to Haitians

(01/15/2010 | 04:10 PM - GMA News.TV)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Aid workers hoping to distribute food, water and other supplies to a shattered Port-au-Prince are warning their efforts may need more security Friday as Haitians grow increasingly desperate and impatient for help.

United Nations peacekeepers patrolling the capital said people's anger is rising that aid hasn't been distributed quickly, and the Brazilian military warned aid convoys to add security to guard against looting.

"Unfortunately, they're slowly getting more angry and impatient," said David Wimhurst, spokesman for the Brazilian-commanded UN peacekeeping mission. "I fear, we're all aware that the situation is getting more tense as the poorest people who need so much are waiting for deliveries. I think tempers might be frayed."

The international Red Cross estimated 45,000 to 50,000 people were killed in Tuesday's cataclysmic earthquake, based on information from the Haitian Red Cross and government officials.

Hundreds of bodies were stacked outside the city morgue, and limbs of the dead protruded from the rubble of crushed schools and homes. A few workers were able to free people who had been trapped under the rubble for days, but others attended to the grim task of using bulldozers to transport loads of bodies.

For the long-suffering people of Haiti, the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation, shock was giving way to despair.

"We need food. The people are suffering. My neighbors and friends are suffering," said Sylvain Angerlotte, 22. "We don't have money. We don't have nothing to eat. We need pure water."

From Europe, Asia and the Americas, more than 20 governments, the UN and private aid groups were sending planeloads of high-energy biscuits and other food, tons of water, tents, blankets, water-purification gear, heavy equipment for removing debris, helicopters and other transport. Hundreds of search-and-rescue, medical and other specialists also headed to Haiti.

The UN World Food Program began organizing distribution centers for food and water Thursday, said Kim Bolduc, acting chief of the large UN mission in this desperately poor country. She said it was remarkable there were no widespread reports of looting, but added that "the risk of having social unrest very soon" made it important to move quickly.

Governments and government agencies have pledged about $400 million worth of aid, including $100 million from the United States.

But into the third day following the 7.0-magnitude quake, the global helping hand was slowed by a damaged seaport and an airport that turned away civilian aid planes for eight hours Thursday because of a lack of space and fuel. Aid workers have been blocked by debris on inadequate roads and by survivors gathered in the open out of fear of aftershocks and re-entering unstable buildings.

Across the sprawling, hilly city, people milled about in open areas, hopeful for help, sometimes setting up camps amid piles of salvaged goods, including food scavenged from the rubble.

Small groups could be seen burying dead by roadsides. Other dust-covered bodies were being dragged down streets, toward hospitals where relatives hoped to leave them. Countless dead remained unburied, some in piles. Outside one pharmacy, the body of a woman was covered by a sheet, a small bundle atop her, a tiny foot poking from its covering.

Aid worker Fevil Dubien said some people were almost fighting over the water he distributed from a truck in a northern Port-au-Prince neighborhood.

Elsewhere, about 50 Haitians yearning for food and water rushed toward two employees wearing "Food For The Poor" T-shirts as they entered the international agency's damaged building.

"We heard a commotion at the door, knocking at it, trying to get in," said project manager Liony Batista. "'What's going on? Are you giving us some food?' We said, 'Uh-oh.' You never know when people are going over the edge."

Batista said he and others tried to calm the crowd, which eventually dispersed after being told food hadn't yet arrived.

"We're not trying to run away from what we do," Batista said, adding that coordinating aid has been a challenge. "People looked desperate, people looked hungry, people looked lost."

Engineers from the UN mission have begun clearing some main roads, and law-and-order duties have fallen completely to the mission's 3,000 international troops and police. About 5,500 US soldiers and Marines were expected to be in Haiti by Monday. Their efforts will include providing security, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

Wimhurst, the mission spokesman, said Haitian police "are not visible at all," no doubt because many had to deal with lost homes and family members. The first US military units to arrive took on a coordinating role at the airport.

Batista, the Food For The Poor project manager, went back to the Dominican Republic late Thursday and awaited the arrival of 100 shipping containers loaded with rice, canned goods and building supplies.

"I don't think that a word has been invented for what is happening in Haiti," he said. "It is total disaster."

- AP
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Exiled former leader Aristide wants to return to Haiti
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SIGNS OF LIFE DETECTED IN COLLAPSED UN BUILDING IN HAITI

(01/15/2010 | 01:26 PM - GMA NEWS.TV)

Two days after the powerful quake that hit Haiti, signs of life were finally detected inside the United Nations headquarters in the Hatian capital of Port-au-Prince where three Filipino peacekeepers are trapped.

Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner Jr. received the good news Friday morning from Lt. Col. Gregory Cayetano, commanding officer of the AFP's Peacekeeping Operations Center based in Camp O'Donnel, Capas, Tarlac.

Brawner said there's still proof of life. There's a proof of life in the UN building that collapsed, and we believe that the three trapped peacekeepers are inside.
The information relayed by Cayetano to Brawner was from the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs Consulate in Cuba, radio dzBB's Benjie Liwanag said on Friday.

Brawner said he was told that after hearing voices and noises, rescuers zeroed in on the second floor of the UN building, formerly the Christopher Hotel. The second floor is where most of the UN offices are located. It is also the area where three Filipinos are believed to be trapped.
The three trapped Filipino peacekeepers are Army Sergeant Eustacio Bermudez, Air Force Sergeant Janice Arcena, and Navy Petty Officer 3 Pearlie Tanagi.

A fourth peacekeeper, Cpl. David Catacutan was, who was trapped at the Montana Hotel, was earlier pulled out of the rubble.

"It is possible that they are tapping the metal parts of the building or its walls or pipes. But definitely there's movement inside the building," Brawner told reporters at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Friday.

Brawner said rescue operations had been intensified in Haiti. Heavy equipment had started arriving in the area, two days after a magnitude-7 earthquake tore down structures in the impoverished Caribbean country.

The Red Cross claims that between 45,000 and 50,000 could have died from the tremor.

If requested, the Philippine government will deploy additional troops from the 11th Philippine contingent to Haiti, according to Brawner.

- MARK MERUEÑAS/ARCS/GMANews.TV
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

George Clooney, MTV working on Haiti telethon [/B]
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

HAITI QUAKE AID SNARLED; UP TO 50,000 FEARED DEAD

(01/15/2010 | 09:24 AM - GMA NEWS.TV)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Doctors and search dogs, troops and rescue teams flew to this devastated land of dazed, dead and dying people Thursday, finding bottlenecks everywhere, beginning at a main airport short on jet fuel and ramp space and without a control tower.

The international Red Cross estimated 45,000 to 50,000 people were killed in Tuesday's cataclysmic earthquake, based on information from the Haitian Red Cross and government officials. Worries mounted, meanwhile, about food and water for the survivors.

"People have been almost fighting for water," aid worker Fevil Dubien said as he distributed water from a truck in a northern Port-au-Prince neighborhood.

From Virginia, from China, a handful of rescue teams were able to get down to work, scouring the rubble for survivors. In one "small miracle," searchers pulled a security guard alive from beneath the collapsed concrete floors of the UN peacekeeping headquarters, where many others were entombed.

But the silence of the dead otherwise was overwhelming in a city where uncounted bodies littered the streets in the 80-degree heat, and dust-caked arms and legs reached, frozen and lifeless, from the ruins. Outside the General Hospital morgue, hundreds of collected corpses blanketed the parking lot, as the grief-stricken searched for loved ones. Brazilian UN peacekeepers, key to city security, were trying to organize mass burials.

Patience already was wearing thin among the poorest who were waiting for aid, said David Wimhurst, spokesman for the UN peacekeeping mission.

"Unfortunately, they're slowly getting more angry and impatient, because when they see us moving — and we're patrolling the streets, the military and the police are out patrolling the streets in order to maintain a calm situation, so that humanitarian aid can be delivered," he said.

In Washington, President Barack Obama announced "one of the largest relief efforts in our recent history," starting with $100 million in aid. The first of 800 paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division were to deploy to Haiti from North Carolina, to be followed by more than 2,000 Marines.

From Europe, Asia and the Americas, other governments, the UN and private aid groups were sending planeloads of high-energy biscuits and other food, tents, blankets, water-purification gear, heavy equipment for removing debris, helicopters and other transport, and teams of hundreds of search-and-rescue, medical and other specialists.

But two days after much of this ramshackle city was shattered, the global helping hand was slowed by the poor roads, airport and seaport of a wretchedly poor nation.

Some 60 aid flights had arrived by midday Thursday, but they then had to contend with the chokepoint of an overloaded Toussaint L'Ouverture International Airport. At midday, the Federal Aviation Administration said it was temporarily halting all civilian flights from the US at Haiti's request, because the airport was jammed and jet fuel was limited for return flights. The control tower had been destroyed in Tuesday's tremor, complicating air traffic. Civilian relief flights were later allowed to resume.

Those which did land then had to navigate Haiti's inadequate roads, sometimes blocked by debris or by quake survivors looking for safe open areas as aftershocks still rumbled through the city. The UN World Food Program said the quake-damaged seaport made ship deliveries of aid impossible.

The looting of shops that broke out after the 7.0-magnitude quake struck late Tuesday afternoon added to concerns. The Brazilian military warned aid convoys to add security to guard against looting by the desperate population.

"There is no other way to get provisions," American Red Cross representative Matt Marek said of the store looting. "Even if you have money, those resources are going to be exhausted in a few days." The city's "ti-marchant," mostly women who sell food on the streets, were expected to run out soon.

The quake brought down Port-au-Prince's gleaming white National Palace and other government buildings, disabling much of the national leadership. That vacuum was evident Thursday.

"Donations are coming in to the airport here, but there is not yet a system to get it in," said Kate Conradt, a spokeswoman for the Save the Children aid group. "It's necessary to create a structure to stock and distribute supplies," the Brazilian military said.

Edmond Mulet, a former UN peacekeeping chief in Haiti, was expected to arrive later Thursday from UN headquarters in New York to coordinate the relief effort. The first US military units to arrive took on a coordinating role at the airport, but State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley underlined, "We're not taking over Haiti."

Across the sprawling, hilly city, people milled about in open areas, hopeful for help, sometimes setting up camps amid piles of salvaged goods, including food scavenged from the rubble. Police and UN peacekeeper trucks pushed down crowded streets, showing little sign of coordinated action.

Small groups by roadsides could be seen burying dead. Other dust-covered bodies were being dragged down streets, toward hospitals where relatives hoped to leave them. Countless remained unburied, stacked up, children's bodies lying atop mothers, tiny feet poking from blankets.

The injured, meanwhile, waited for treatment in makeshift holding areas — outside the General Hospital, for example, where the stench from piles of dead, just a few yards (meters) away, wafted over the assembled living.

Here and there, small tragedies unfolded. In the Petionville suburb, friends held back Kettely Clerge — "I want to see her," she sobbed — as neighbors with bare hands tried to dig out her 9-year-old daughter, Harryssa Keem Clerge, pleading for rescue, from beneath their home's rubble.

"There's no police, there's nobody," the hopeless mother cried. By day's end, the girl was dead.
At the collapsed UN peacekeeping headquarters, an Estonian guard, Tarmo Joveer, was pulled alive and unhurt from the ruins at 8 a.m. Thursday, 39 hours after the quake — a "small miracle," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in New York. But UN officials reported that 36 other U.N. personnel, mostly peacekeepers and international police, were confirmed dead and almost 200 remained missing, including top staff.

Nearby, firefighters from Fairfax County, Va., and a rescue team from China, with sniffer dogs, clambered through rubble and searched for signs of life. Two excavators stood by, ready to dig for survivors — or dead.

Fr the long-suffering people of Haiti, the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation, shock and disbelief were giving way to despair.

"We need food. The people are suffering. My neighbors and friends are suffering," said Sylvain Angerlotte, 22. "We don't have money. We don't have nothing to eat. We need pure water."

But life also went on. Brazilian soldiers helped deliver a baby girl in an improvised garage-hospital at their base, just hours after the quake hit. Capt. Fabricio Almeida de Moura said the child was doing well, but the life of the mother, who apparently went into labor from the shock of the tremor, was in danger from bleeding, the Agencia Brasil news service reported.

The unimaginable scope of the catastrophe left many Haitians, a fervently religious people, in helpless tears and prayer.
Reached by The Associated Press from New York, Yael Talleyrand, a 16-year-old student in Jacmel, on Haiti's south coast, told of thousands of people made homeless by the quake and sleeping on an airfield runway, "crying, praying and I had never seen this in my entire life."
Earlier, she said, one woman had run through Jacmel's streets screaming, "God, we know you can kill us! We know you're strongest! You don't need to show us!"

- AP

inengsol1500
15-01-2010, 07:17 PM
I know that there are very few Filipinos on this but here's how to donate to the Philippine Red Cross:

How to Donate for Haiti Aid (http://www.redcross.org.ph/Site/PNRC/appeal-haiti-earthquake.aspx)

or for SMART Subscribers:
Txt HAITI<amount>to 4483.
Ex.HAITI 50. Amounts: 10, 25, 50, 100.

It's our time to help. :)

P.S: Thanks, Nancy for all the updates. :hug:

nancyk58
16-01-2010, 03:06 AM
DANISH TEXT-TV on 15 JANUARY 2010:

THE DEVASTATING HAITI EARTHQUAKE (MAGNITUDE 7.0 ON THE RICHTER SCALE):

140,000 are probably killed

Up to 250,000 WOUNDED

More than 1.5 mio are homeless

2 mio survivors need help now and in coming weeks

Several UN stockpiles (holding goods for the relief work) have been plundered, but are being rebuilt.


40,000 dead bodies buried by the authorities

Dead bodies lying in the streets in Port-au-Prince

Outbreak of epidemics feared


The most important Haitian harbour is still closed.

USA - Cuba made a deal: US planes allowed to transport relief goods to Haiti by planes crossing Cuba


The UN will establish 200 "street kitchens" - each of them to provide 500 survivors with food and water = the total number of people helped this way will amount to 10,000.

Hillary Clinton, the American Secretary of State will visit Haiti together with the frontman of the organization US Aid on Saturday.

The USA fear great influx of people / refugees from HAITI.


UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon will visit Haiti as soon as possible.

Many UN employees have been killed - at least 37

330 of 12,000 UN employees are missing / unaccounted for.


FACTS IN HEADLINES OF THE DEVASTATING HAITI EARTHQUAKE (MAGNITUDE 7.0 ON THE RICHTER SCALE):

The earthquake struck Haiti on 12/1 at 16:53 local time

41 violent aftershocks followed

The capital - Port-au-Prince hard hit:
Many buildings collapsed
Extensive damage to official buildings including UN buildings

No electricity

Limited access to clean water

Phone system down - still not quite reliable/stable

Many roads impassable due to collapsed buildings

mehelik
16-01-2010, 11:42 AM
Thanks Nancy for your updates!
I was close to tears, when I saw it in the TV... Many gatherings have started immediately in my country, the most via telephones, I know it´s nearly nothing, but at least something :( I know nobody can´t give the time back, but I hope the world´ll become one and will help as much as will be possible!

nancyk58
16-01-2010, 01:32 PM
I visited Oxfam for news - and it said that you could support HAITI via dec.org.uk. DEC is short for Disasters Emergency Committee and I had never heard of dec before, so I checked it on Wikipedia and found this:

Disasters Emergency Committee (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia):

The Disasters Emergency Committee is an umbrella group comprising thirteen UK charities. These charities are all associated with disaster related issues such as providing clean water, humanitarian aid and medical care.

The DEC was created in 1963. It brings together a unique alliance of the UK's aid, corporate, public and broadcasting sectors to rally the nation's compassion, and ensure that funds raised go to DEC agencies best placed to deliver effective and timely relief to people most in need.

In the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, the committee provided 3000 telephone lines for people to give donations and ran television campaigns in order to obtain donations. It was instrumental in coordinating the efforts of the member charities so that all the areas affected received aid and that there was no overlap in the services provided in any one area.

The DEC is currently appealing for donations in support of humanitarian relief in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Member charities
ActionAid, British Red Cross , CAFOD,
CARE International, Christian Aid , Concern
Help the Aged, Islamic Relief, Merlin, OXFAM, Red Cross,
Save the Children , Tearfund , World Vision

On Oxfam (UK) you could DONATE TO HAITI - day and night - via dec.org.uk using the number 0370 60 60 900 (Disasters Emergency Committee).


And I recommend you to read the article about the HAITI EARTHQUAKE from Daily Mail (16.1.10) with the title: HAITI EARTHQUAKE: The hope and horror as boy, two is found alive after 48 hours in the rubble (of his home). There is a thread (started by Mark / mc_squared) with that title where the article with very moving pictures can be read / seen.

nancyk58
16-01-2010, 09:06 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN HAITI ON 16 JANUARY 2010

WATER DELIVERY DISRUPTIONS IMPERIL HAITI QUAKE SURVIVORS

(01/16/2010 | 05:28 PM - GMA News.TV)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Hundreds of thousands of Haitians are in desperate need of DRINKING WATER because of an earthquake-damaged municipal pipeline and truck drivers either unable or unwilling to deliver their cargo.

"Many drivers are afraid of being attacked if they go out, some drivers are still missing in the disaster and others are out there searching for missing relatives," said Dudu Jean, a 30-year-old driver who was attacked Friday when he drove into the capital's sprawling Cite Soleil slum.

The lack of water has become one of the greatest dangers facing Haitians in part because earthquake survivors stay outdoors all day in the heat out of fear of aftershocks and unstable buildings. While aid has started to pour in from around the world, supplies are not quickly reaching all who need them.

Even before Tuesday's quake, the municipal system in this city of 3 million people was unreliable. Haiti's poorest live in shacks with no plumbing and carry their water home in jugs from public wells. Most people depend on water delivered by truckers, who get their water with the help of diesel pumps that draw from a huge underground natural reservoir.

"There's no shortage of water, the water's here, the trucks are here as you see," said Jean, who said his attackers let him go unharmed after they recognized him.

Since the quake, at least one water treatment plant was shuttered because of a lack of electricity. Pipes for the municipal water system are believed damaged. No water is running in Cite Soleil, home to more than a million people.

Adding to the problem is that stores that have water and food to sell are not opening out of fear of violence.

Tom Osbeck, a missionary from Indiana whose Protestant-run Jesus in Haiti Ministry operates a school just north of Port-au-Prince, said a scarcity of drinking water and food is fraying the nerves of increasingly despairing survivors.

"Even distributing food or water is very dangerous. People are desperate and will fight to death for a cup of water," Osbeck said Friday from his home about 5 miles (8 kilometers) from the center of the quake.

Aid groups, businesses and governments from around the world are scrambling to meet the need.

OXFAM had water supplies in Haiti left over from a 2008 storm and has managed to get some 2,000 and 5,000-liter tanks into the capital city. U.S. military officials say helicopters are ferrying in water and other supplies from the USS Carl Vinson. Procter & Gamble Co. is sending 3 million water-purifying packets along with cash donations for earthquake relief.

Rebecca Gustafson, part of the disaster assistance team of USAID, said international agencies are assessing the best places for community water treatment centers. She said much of the focus of international aid for now is on rescue and recovery efforts.

"Once that wave subsides, in the coming days you'll see more and more aid coming in," she said.

While government agencies and troops worked to move supplies out of the jammed airport, some Haitians and far smaller organizations worked on their own to get aid to thirsty, hungry people.

Milero Cedamou, the 33-year-old owner of a small water delivery company, twice drove his small tanker truck 10 miles outside Port-au-Prince, paying $25 for each fill-up and then returned to a tent camp where thousands of homeless people were living.

"This is a crisis of unspeakable magnitude, it's normal for every Haitian to help," Cedamou said. "This is not charity."

Jean Ponce, a 36-year-old mason, was among 200 people holding plastic buckets who clustered around the truck — emblazoned with the slogan "Wait for God" on its side — when it returned. He lost one of his children in the quake and said the
bucketful he collected would be the first drinkable water his four surviving children tasted since the disaster struck.

"This is nearly like a miracle," Ponce said.

- AP


RP MEDICAL TEAM TO HAITI FORMED, LEAVES MONDAY

(01/16/2010 | 12:01 PM - GMA News.TV)

The Philippine government will send a 21-member medical team to Haiti on Monday to help in rescue and relief operations for "as long as needed."

Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral said Saturday that the team includes three trauma surgeons, two orthopedic surgeons, one internist, one pediatrician, five nurses, three epidemiologists, and two sanitary engineers.

Heading the team is Dr. Emmanuel Bueno, head of the emergency room of the East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City.

'As long as needed'
Cabral said that she expects the team to be in Haiti for at least two weeks, but may extend their stay depending on the needs of the people there.

When asked how long the team is expected to help out in Haiti, she said, “We estimate two to three weeks." “But we cannot be certain about that. It will depend how long they are needed there," she added.

Team to take commercial flight
In an earlier interview on dzRH radio, Cabral said the team will take a commercial flight, as Haiti will be too far for a government C-130 cargo plane.
“By Monday we expect that they will be cleared to go to Haiti," she said on government-run dzRB radio. She said they are still coordinating with the Department of Foreign Affairs to address the visa needs of the medical team’s members.

Cabral also said that she is coordinating with the United Nations on where the 21-member Philippine medical team will be assigned.

More Pinoy peacekeepers to be sent
For his part, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said that a new peacekeeping contingent will likely go to Haiti with the medical team.

“The team is assembled and ready to go. Remember, we've always sent medical teams to other countries when disasters strike. This team will go to Haiti next week," Remonde said in a separate interview on dzRH radio.

A Philippine contingent to a United Nations peacekeeping force in Haiti is already helping in rescue and relief operations there.

“The medical contingent and the new peacekeeping contingent will go to Haiti together," Remonde said.

Consulate tasked to look after Pinoys
Meanwhile, Remonde said that Philippine consular officials will continue to coordinate in accounting for Filipinos there in Haiti.

“The consular officials have instructions from the President and the Department of Foreign Affairs. They will look after the welfare of our Filipinos there, particularly those who are undocumented," he said.

- TJD, GMANews.TV


DFA MISINFORMED, SECOND FILIPINA IN HAITI STILL MISSING

(Mark D. MerueÑas, GMANews.TV - 01/16/2010 | 12:43 PM)

Just the night before, the Fabian household had broken into tears of joy after learning that a family member trapped in a supermarket in quake-hit Haiti had been rescued.

But their jubilation was shattered the next day, Saturday morning, when they learned that Grace Fabian's supposed rescue had been misreported.

In an interview with GMA News, military spokesman Romeo Brawner Jr said they received new information from Lt. Col. Lope Dagoy, commander of the 10th Philippine Contingent in Haiti, belying earlier reports that Fabian had been pulled out of the rubble.

'Some confusion' -AFP
"Ms. Fabian has not yet been rescued. There had been some confusion," apologized Brawner in a Balitanghali interview.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) had announced to media on Friday night that Fabian was the second Filipino to be rescued from the Caribbean Supermarket, which collapsed due to the 7.0 magnitude quake that hit Haiti Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila).
That was just hours before the same agency reported the rescue of Aurora Aguinaldo, another Filipina inside the supermarket when it gave way.

GMANews.TV tried, but failed to reach DFA spokesperson Ed Malaya for comment.

Pointing fingers?
A radio dzBB report had earlier quoted the DFA as saying they got the news of Fabian's rescue from Grace's father, Arturo, himself.

Asked by GMA News to react on DFA's claim, Arturo said he had learned about the supposed rescue from the news, prompting him to call up a certain "Judy Razon" from the DFA to confirm if the reports were correct.

"She told me, 'We haven't received any reports, the only name listed as rescued is Aurora Aguinaldo'," Arturo recounted.

It was only on the morning of Saturday that the bad news would finally be confirmed by the military.
"That's what hurts me the most because I still read on TV that my daughter had already been rescued," said Arturo.

Sibling: Grace is still missing
Arturo said that he was able to talk to his other child in Haiti on Friday, who called him up to say that Grace remained trapped in the rubble. Arturo would later that night learn about the supposed rescue, leaving him and their other relatives hugely relieved.

But now that the good has been reversed, all Arturo coulld do was appeal to the government to exhaust all efforts to rescue his daughter and the six other Filipinos known to be trapped in the ruins.

Arturo broke into tears while delivering his appeal. "I beg for your help. You are parents too, just as I am," he said.

'We're doing everything we can'
Brawner said that, despite the misinformation, the government is unfazed in helping with the search and rescue operations in Haiti.
We're not saying that Ms. Fabian is in any danger... Grace's family can rest assured that we and the whole Philippine contingent are doing everything we can," Branwer said.

Apart from Grace, five other Filipinos are confirmed still trapped in a number of establishments in Haiti's capital of Port-au-Prince.

The missing Filipinos include Jerome Yap, Geraldine Lalican, Petty Officer 3 Pearly Panangui, Sergeant Janice Arocena, and Sergeant Eustacio Bermudez.

Brawner said that backhoes and bulldozers have already arrived at the United Nations Peacekeeping headquarters at the Christopher Hotel to help dig out rubble that might be weighing down on trapped victims.

The Philippines will be sending 155 more soldiers to Haiti in February to augment rescue forces there. The Department of Health will likewise be sending a medical team on Monday.

- TJD, GMANews.TV


Read also today’s Daily Mail article posted here on coldplaying.com: “Haiti earthquake: The hope and horror as boy, two, is found alive after 48 hours in the rubble” – a very descriptive article with very moving pictures – some of them full of hope (2 small children saved and a man saved) and some very terrible pictures showing dead bodies and the rubble of collapsed houses).

Daily Mail's article can also be read on: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worl...#ixzz0clhYy7qa

nancyk58
17-01-2010, 03:40 PM
HAITI INFORMATION AND ACTIONS

http://www.care2.com/causes/human-rights/blog/how-to-help-haiti/

By now I'm sure you have seen pictures of the absolute devastation in Haiti. As many as 100,000 people could be dead. Survivors are sleeping in the streets among the dead, too afraid to go back into buildings. The people of Haiti need us now to survive, and they will need our help for a long time to rebuild.

Learn more about this disaster:

Haiti After the Quake

Haiti in Chaos After Earthquake

Long Term Health Problems Facing Haiti Now

Help Haiti: A Day Without Pay

Rescue Dogs Sent to Haiti from Around the World

Animal Victims in Haiti Need Your Help

The above articles can be read here: http://www.care2.com/causes/human-rights/blog/how-to-help-haiti/

DEMAND AN APOLOGY FROM PAT ROBERTSON:
Pat Robertson (televangelist): Apologize
Pat Robertson is at it again. The televangelist once linked the 9/11 terrorist attack and the devastation of Hurricane Katrina to legalized abortion in the U.S. Now he claims that Haiti is "cursed" because of a "pact to the devil" made by slaves who revolted against French colonial rule in the 1790s. Incredibly, Robertson also suggested that the devastating earthquake, which may have killed tens of thousands of people, could be a "blessing in disguise." Pat Robertson, your ridiculous treatises are deeply offensive. We demand that you immediately apologize to the people and government of Haiti.

HAITIAN REFUGEES GRANTED TEMPORARY LEGAL STATUS

Three days after a massive earthquake devastated Haiti, Homeland Security
Secretary Janet Napolitano granted temporary protected status to Haitian refugees in the United States.
Refugee Council USA, a coalition of organizations including Human Rights First, Amnesty International USA and International Rescue Committee, had called on President Obama to grant temporary protected status for refugees. Care2 and other groups ran petitions in support of TPS for Haitian refugees. And Congress finally joined the call, too.
Granting Haitian refugees in the U.S. temporary protected status will not only protect them from being deported at a time when their country simply cannot take them in. It also allows these refugees to work legally in the U.S. while they are here - thus allowing them to earn money to send back home to family and loved ones in desperate need to help.
Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), the ranking Republican senator on the foreign relations committe, supported the move, stating: "It is in the foreign policy interest of the United States and a humanitarian imperative of the highest order to have all people of Haitian descent in a position to contribute towards the recovery of this island nation."


Haiti Orphanage Needs Help (Justin Perkins/Luke Montgomery)
EDITOR'S NOTE: Justin Perkins is a particularly cool Care2 colleague who sent us this message. We both thought you would want to read it.
I got a very sad, but inspiring email this morning from Luke Montgomery - the founder of Adopt-a-pet.com, a friend and partner of Care2, and WeCanBuildAnOrphanage.com . Luke is obviously not as happy as he looks in this picture right now during a more inspiring moment at his orphanage - he is scrambling to go into probably one of the scariest and stressful situations he has ever faced in his life. I spoke with him on the phone a couple of times today while helping coordinate his air travel, and I could hear the stress in his voice. If you feel compelled to help a brave couple of guys step up to the plate to make a huge difference with AIDS orphans in Haiti - who probably don't have anyone else looking after them amidst the chaos right now - please consider helping Luke make a difference on our behalf. Here's the situation straight from him:

Hello Everybody,
Still no word from our orphanage. Our town of Jakmel (also spelled Jacmel if you want to Google it) has been largely destroyed and our AIDS orphanage is constructed out of cement... not good. Most of these types of buildings in our town have crumbled. Best case: Our kids are safe but all the care staff will be dealing with their own families, destroyed and dead family members and all water and food will now be even more scarce. Worst case: The orphanage collapsed like all other concrete buildings in town and the locals might hesitate to dig out HIV infected bloody kids. I haven't been able to sleep. Crying.
I'm going back to Haiti in the next few days and need help to give hands-on help to our kids and the townspeople.
You can help. Give money or pass this donation link around: http://tinyurl.com/ykt74rg
love,
Luke

About Luke Montgomery
Website: http://www.wecanbuildanorphanage.com
Biography: Luke Montgomery is the co-founder of WeCanBuildanOrphanage.com, an interactive charity building a home, clinic and school for AIDS orphans in Haiti. Passionate about helping children and obsessed with leveraging the power of "good ideas for good causes," Luke has worked as a marketing and Internet fundraising consultant for non-profits. His work as a media strategist has captured front page coverage in The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today and Los Angeles Times among others. His projects have been the on-air talk of John Stewart, David Letterman, Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh, Donahue and Pamela Anderson. Luke's TV producer credits include a documentary aired in-part on CNN, a 30-minute comedy series pilot and a pet adoption TV special starring Drew Barrymore and Kelsey Grammer. Other celebrities recruited to his work include Larry King, Alicia Silverstone and Jack Lemmon. His consulting has focused on animal welfare with work including the Humane Society of the United States and the SPCA of Canada. Luke was founder of Adopt-a-Pet.com, a national non-profit pet adoption website that saves tens of thousands of homeless pets every month. Luke divides his time between Haiti, Montréal and San Francisco.
Read more: orphans, haiti, human rights, haiti earthquake, earthquake. orphanage, missing children, help haiti


We wanted to share with you all of the ways you can help on Care2 (see below).

Take Action for Haiti:

Haitians Living Abroad: A Call to Rebuild

Honor UN Peacekeepers in Haiti


Donate to Help Haiti via various international charitable relief organizations:

A magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti, and Haitian Prime Minister Jean Max Bellerive estimates as many as 100,000 people may be dead. The epicenter of the quake was just 10 miles from the capital Port-au-Prince, causing widespread devastation in this island nation. The American Red Cross estimates three million people are affected.
Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas, and the Haitian people desperately need our help now.
The best way for you to help the people of Haiti is to donate to a well-respected charity with experience in medical and disaster relief. Haiti needs immediate assistance, and these organizations already have teams in place to assess the damage and provide the emergency medical care, food, clean water and shelter that people need.

The following is an alphabetical list of groups that are working to help Haiti with direct links to their earthquake relief fund donation pages:
Abandoned Children's Fund
Donate directly above or call 1-888-884-0567.

American Red Cross
You can text "Haiti" to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the American Red Cross, call 1-800-REDCROSS or donate directly at the link above.

CARE
Donate online above or call 1-800-521-CARE from the U.S. or +1-404-681-2552 from outside the U.S.

Catholic Relief Services
Donate online by clicking the link above, text RELIEF to 30644, or call 1-800-736-3467.

Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF)
The UN's Central Emergency Response Fund. Donate directly above.

Children's Hunger Relief Fund
Donate directly above or call 1-888-781-1585 from the U.S. or +1-707-528-8000 from outside the U.S.

Christian Blind Mission
Donate online above - Canadians can donate online to Christian Blind Mission Canada.

Doctors Without Borders / Medecins Sans Frontieres
Visit this link to donate from outside the U.S.

Freedom From Hunger
Donate online above or call 1-530-758-6200 x1042

International Medical Corps

International Rescue Committee
Donate directly above or call 1-877-REFUGEE

Mercy Corps
Donate directly above or call 1-888-256-1900

Oxfam
If you are outside of the U.S., you can find the direct link to donate through your Oxfam affiliate here.

Partners in Health
Donate online through the link above, or donate by mail by sending a check with "Haiti Earthquake Relief" in the memo line to:
Partners In Health
P.O. Box 845578
Boston, MA 02284-5578

Save the Children
Donate directly above or make checks out to "Save the Children" and send to:
Save the Children Income Processing Department
54 Wilton Road
Westport, CT 06880

UNICEF USA
Donate directly above or call 1-800-4UNICEF. Canadians can donate directly to UNICEF Canada.

World Emergency Relief
Donate directly above or call 1-888-484-4543 from the U.S. or +1-760-930-8001 from outside the U.S.

Yele Haiti
You can text "Yele" to 501501 to make a $5 donation to Wyclef Jean's organization in Haiti, or donate directly here.

STAY INFORMED
Visit Haitifeed.com for twitter updates, photos, videos and more to find out what is happening in Haiti.

Please leave comments with any organizations we should add, twitter users we should follow, sites with news, your thoughts and prayers for the people of Haiti. Is your community organizing to help? Let everyone know how in the comments!

Everything in this post comes from:
http://www.care2.com/causes/human-rights/blog/how-to-help-haiti/

nancyk58
17-01-2010, 05:08 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN HAITI ON 17 FEBRUARY 2010, PART I OF II

100 FILIPINOS ACCOUNTED FOR, SAFE IN HAITI, SAYS DFA

(GMA News.TV)

At least 100 Filipinos in Haiti’s Delmas district have been accounted for and were safe, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Sunday. The DFA said efforts were still underway for the rescue of Filipinas Grace Fabian and Geraldine Lalican, who remained trapped under the ruins of the Carribean Supermarket area in Port-au-Prince.


HAITIANS DESPERATE FOR SUPPLIES; RESCUES STILL ON

(01/17/2010 | 05:24 PM - GMA News.TV)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Rescuers pulled a dehydrated but otherwise uninjured woman from the ruins of a luxury hotel in the Haitian capital early Sunday, an event greeted with applause from onlookers witnessing rare good news in a city otherwise filled with corpses, rubble and desperation.
"It's a little miracle," the woman's husband, Reinhard Riedl, said after hearing she was alive in the wreckage. "She's one tough cookie. She is indestructible."

For many, though, the five days since the magnitude-7.0 quake hit have turned into an aching wait for the food, water and medical care slowly making its way from an overwhelmed airport rife with political squabbles. And while aid is reaching the country, growing impatience among the suffering has spawned some violence.

Nobody knows how many died in Tuesday's quake. Haiti's government alone has already recovered 20,000 bodies — not counting those recovered by independent agencies or relatives themselves, Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive told The Associated Press.

The Pan American Health Organization now says 50,000 to 100,000 people perished in the quake. Bellerive said 100,000 would "seem to be the minimum."

A U.N. humanitarian spokeswoman declared the quake the worst disaster the international organization has ever faced, since so much government and U.N. capacity in the country was demolished. In that way, Elisabeth Byrs said in Geneva, it's worse than the cataclysmic Asian tsunami of 2004: "Everything is damaged."

Truckloads of corpses were being trundled to mass graves Saturday. Search teams also recovered the body of Tunisian diplomat Hedi Annabi, the United Nations chief of mission in Haiti, and other top U.N. officials who were killed when their headquarters collapsed.

Experts have said rescue of people trapped beneath wreckage after three days is unlikely. But an American team pulled a woman alive from a collapsed university building where she had been trapped for 97 hours. Another crew got water to three survivors whose shouts could be heard deep in the pancaked ruins of a multistory supermarket.

At the Hotel Montana, the son of co-owner Nadine Cardoso said he could hear her voice from the rubble, and the effort to pull her to safety began. Twelve hours later, with more than 20 friends and relatives of the prominent community member watching early Sunday, she was lowered from a hill of debris on a stretcher.

The rescue was bittersweet for Cardoso's sister, because rescuers also told Gerthe Cardoso they had abandoned a search for her 7-year-old grandson after an aftershock closed a space where he was believed to be. "Well, we can't have them both," she said after her sister was saved.

Later Sunday. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was expected to arrive in Haiti to discuss aid delivery, which appeared to be speeding up.

Florence Louis, seven months pregnant with two children, was one of thousands of Haitians who gathered at a gate at the Cite Soleil slum, where U.N. World Food Program workers handed out high-energy biscuits for the first time. "It is enough because I didn't have anything at all," said Louis, 29, clutching four packets of biscuits.

The Haitian government has established 14 distribution points for food and other supplies, and U.S. Army helicopters scouted locations for more. Aid groups opened five emergency health centers. Vital gear, such as water-purification units, was arriving from abroad.

On a hillside golf course, perhaps 50,000 people were sleeping in a makeshift tent city overlooking the stricken capital. Paratroopers of the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division flew there Saturday to set up a base for handing out water and food.

After the initial frenzy among the waiting crowd, when helicopters could only hover and toss out their cargo, a second flight landed and soldiers passed out some 2,000 military-issue ready-to-eat meals to an orderly line of Haitians.

But aid delivery was still bogged down by congestion at the Port-au-Prince airport, quake damage at the seaport, poor roads and the fear of looters and robbers.

"Many people are just fleeing to the countryside, they are looking for a place to stay and for food," said Enel Legrand, a 24-year-old Haitian volunteer aid worker.

The airport congestion also touched off diplomatic rows between the U.S. military and other donor nations. France and Brazil both lodged official complaints that the U.S. military, in control of the international airport, had denied landing permission to relief flights from their countries.

Haitian President Rene Preval, speaking with the AP, urged all to "keep our cool and coordinate and not throw accusations."

As relief teams grappled with on-the-ground obstacles, U.S. leadership promised Saturday to step up aid efforts. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited and pledged more American assistance. President Barack Obama met with former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton in Washington and urged Americans to donate to Haiti relief efforts.

In Port-au-Prince, hundreds of Haitians simply dropped to their knees outside a warehouse when workers for the agency Food for the Poor announced they would distribute rice, beans and other supplies.

"They started praying right then and there," said project director Clement Belizaire.

Children and the elderly were asked to step first into line, and some 1,500 people got food, soap and rubber sandals until supplies ran out, he said.

- AP

nancyk58
17-01-2010, 05:15 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN HAITI ON 17 FEBRUARY 2010, PART II OF II

HAITI QUAKE WORKERS RESCUE LIVING, MOURN DEAD

(01/17/2010 | 10:10 AM - GMA News.TV)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – All rescuers saw of Saint-Helene Jean-Louis when they arrived at the collapsed University of Port-au-Prince building were the top of her head and her left hand.

It had been four days since a 7.0-magnitude earthquake leveled the building, one of hundreds destroyed in the most powerful natural disaster to hit the impoverished Caribbean nation in more than 200 years - but the 29-year-old student was still breathing inside a stairwell of the former four-story structure. She was surrounded by eight decaying bodies, one entwined with her own.

Rescuers from the Fairfax County, Virginia, Urban Search and Rescue team tore away through a few more layers, digging down and sideways to free her upper body. She was able to sip a little water.

Nearly 30 hours later, working in two shifts, they pulled Jean-Louis out of the building — still alive. She was able to say her name before being whisked away to an Israeli field hospital."To me, she's the hero of the group," said Fairfax County firefighter Richard McKinney. "She had to have spent that first night by herself."

Other foreign and national rescue teams working feverishly to find survivors in the capital of Port-au-Prince celebrated their own successes: Israeli troops rescued the director of Haiti's tax ministry who was trapped in the ruins of his office building. Soldiers carried him out on a stretcher, checked his vital signs and declared him unhurt.

Eighteen members of Mexico's Rescue Brigade, a group with mole-like tunneling skills that rescued survivors after Mexico's deadly 1985 earthquake and in New York after Sept. 11, pulled seven survivors out from under collapsed buildings Friday, said brigade coordinator Fernando Alvarez.

Some were not as lucky: The United Nations announced Saturday that the body of Haiti mission chief Hedi Annabi was found in the rubble of the agency's headquarters, which collapsed in the earthquake.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the bodies of Annabi's deputy, Luiz Carlos da Costa, and the acting police commissioner, Doug Coates, also were found.

The Rev. Dr. Sam Dixon, head of the United Methodist Church's humanitarian relief agency, died before he could be rescued from the rubble of the Hotel Montana, which was destroyed by the earthquake, the church said in a statement from New York.

Emergency workers were still attempting to rescue possible survivors from the hotel Saturday after hearing the voice of a woman speaking in French. The teams said they thought they also had located two other people alive under the rubble.

Nearly 30 teams from around the globe were scrambling Saturday to find and rescue the living, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters in Port-au-Prince.

It was increasingly a race against time: Red Cross spokesman Simon Schorno noted that the critical 72-hour period for finding survivors "has past and ... these stories of people surviving are getting rarer."

Mindful of the odds against the victims, rescuers are celebrating their occasional bouts of good fortune as nothing less than miracles.

"The whole thing is pretty amazing," Fairfax County Lt. Evan Lewis said of Jean-Louis' rescue. "I've been doing this for a long time and you don't see that many people buried for that long of a time who are still coherent."

Jean-Louis didn't speak English, but was able to talk to a local Creole-speaking firefighter while rescuers sawed, drilled, hammered and pulled at the rubble. She stated her age and what part of her body hurt. They inserted IVs into her arms and began administering fluids and antibiotics.
"I just kept telling her, 'Slow and steady,'" said Fairfax County rescuer Robert Schoenberger.

The team — with the help of four specially trained Air Force rescuers — faced daunting obstacles: An aftershock late Saturday morning knocked the IV out of Jean-Louis' arm and sent rescuers scrambling off the mountain of rubble. Numerous bodies inside the building had begun to decay and the stench was at times overwhelming.

At one point, it appeared the only thing holding the rescuers up from freeing the woman was her foot, which was twisted awkwardly. Amputation was discussed. Then a problem arose with a piece of debris resting on her thigh.
"We've gone past plans A, B, C, and D, and we're on plan W," Lewis said, sighing.
The team was especially anxious to save the Haitian woman. Two days earlier, they had worked on a man who talked to them during the eight hours of his rescue operation — then died just before he was pulled out.
Jean-Louis' story had a happier ending.

"You have Mother Nature in all her power and fury with this earthquake, yet this woman has just as much strength as the earthquake," said rescue squad member Kim Klaren. "It's almost like the earthquake picked the wrong woman to pick on."

- AP


HUNGER AND HOPE, THIRST AND FRENZY GRIP HAITI

(01/17/2010 | 08:50 AM - GMA News.TV)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Precious water, food and early glimmers of hope began
reaching parched and hungry earthquake survivors Saturday on the streets of this shattered city, where despair at times turned into a frenzy among the ruins.

"People are so desperate for food that they are going crazy," said accountant Henry Ounche, in a crowd of hundreds who fought one another as US military helicopters clattered overhead carrying aid.
When other Navy choppers dropped rations and Gatorade into a soccer stadium thronged with refugees, 200 youths began brawling, throwing stones, to get at the supplies.
Across the hilly, steamy city, where people choked on the stench of death, hope faded by the hour for finding many more victims alive in the rubble, four days after Tuesday's catastrophic earthquake.
Still, here and there, the murmur of buried victims spurred rescue crews on, even as aftershocks threatened to finish off crumbling buildings.

"No one's alive in there," a woman sobbed outside the wrecked Montana Hotel. But hope wouldn't die. "We can hear a survivor," search crew chief Alexander Luque of Namibia later reported. His men dug on. Elsewhere, an American team pulled a woman alive from a collapsed university building where she had been trapped for 97 hours.Nobody knew how many were dead. Haiti's government alone has already recovered 20,000 bodies — not counting those recovered by independent agencies or relatives themselves, Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive told The Associated Press.

In a fresh estimate, the Pan American Health Organization said 50,000 to 100,000 people perished in the quake. Bellerive said 100,000 would "seem to be the minimum." Truckloads of corpses were being trundled to mass graves.

A U.N. humanitarian spokeswoman declared the quake the worst disaster the international organization has ever faced, since so much government and U.N. capacity in the country was demolished. In that way, Elisabeth Byrs said in Geneva, it's worse than the cataclysmic Asian tsunami of 2004: "Everything is damaged."

Also Saturday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton flew to Port-au-Prince to pledge more American assistance and said the US would be "as responsive as we need to be." President Obama met with former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton and urged Americans to donate to Haiti relief efforts.

As the day wore on, search teams recovered the body of Tunisian diplomat Hedi Annabi, the United Nations chief of mission in Haiti, and other top U.N. officials who were killed when their headquarters collapsed.Despite many obstacles, the pace of aid delivery was picking up.

The Haitian government had established 14 distribution points for food and other supplies, and US Army helicopters were reconnoitering for more. With eight city hospitals destroyed or damaged, aid groups opened five emergency health centers. Vital gear, such as water-purification units, was arriving from abroad.

Thousands lined up in the Cite Soleil slum as U.N. World Food Program workers distributed high-energy biscuits there for the first time. As the hot sun set, the crew was down to just a few dozen boxes left from six truckloads. Perhaps 10,000 people were still waiting patiently, futilely, in line.

Seven months' pregnant, and with two children, 29-year-old Florence Louis clutched her four packets. "It is enough, because I didn't have anything at all," she said.

On a hillside golf course, perhaps 50,000 people were sleeping in a makeshift tent city overlooking the stricken capital. Paratroopers of the US 82nd Airborne Division flew there Saturday to set up a base for handing out water and food.

After the initial frenzy among the waiting crowd, when helicopters could only hover and toss out their cargo, a second flight landed and soldiers passed out some 2,000 military-issue ready-to-eat meals to an orderly line of Haitians.

More American help was on the way: The US Navy hospital ship Comfort steamed from the port of Baltimore on Saturday and was scheduled to arrive here Thursday. More than 2,000 Marines were set to sail from North Carolina to support aid delivery and provide security.

But for the estimated 300,000 newly homeless in the streets, plazas and parks of Port-au-Prince, help was far from assured.

"They're already starting to deliver food and water, but it's mayhem. People are hungry, everybody is asking for water," said Alain Denis, a resident of the Thomassin district. Denis's home was intact, and he and his elderly parents have some reserves, but, he said, "in a week, I don't know."

Aid delivery was still bogged down by congestion at the Port-au-Prince airport, quake damage at the seaport, poor roads and the fear of looters and robbers.

The problems at the overloaded airport forced a big Red Cross aid mission to strike out overland from Santo Domingo, almost 200 miles away in the Dominican Republic. The convoy included up to 10 trucks carrying temporary shelters, a 50-bed field hospital and some 60 medical specialists.

"It's not possible to fly anything into Port-au-Prince right now. The airport is completely congested," Red Cross spokesman Paul Conneally said from the Dominican capital.

Another convoy from the Dominican Republic steered toward a U.N. base in Port-au-Prince without stopping, its leaders fearful of sparking a riot if they handed out aid themselves.

The airport congestion touched off diplomatic rows between the US military and other donor nations.
France and Brazil both lodged official complaints that the US military, in control of the international airport, had denied landing permission to relief flights from their countries.

Defense Minister Nelson Jobim, who has 7,000 Brazilian U.N. peacekeeping troops in Haiti, warned against viewing the rescue effort as a unilateral American mission.

The squabbling prompted Haitian President Rene Preval, speaking with the AP, to urge all to "keep our cool and coordinate and not throw accusations."
At a simpler level, unending logistical difficulties dogged the relief effort.

A commercial-sized jet landed with rescue and medical teams from Qatar, only to find problems offloading food aid. They asked the US military for help, surgeon Dr. Mootaz Aly said, and were told: "We're busy."

As relief teams grappled with on-the-ground obstacles, the US leadership promised to step up aid efforts. In Washington, Obama joined with his two most recent White House predecessors to appeal for Americans to donate to the cause. "We stand united with the people of Haiti, who have shown such incredible resilience," he said. Their resilience was truly being tested, however.

On a back street in Port-au-Prince, a half-dozen young men ripped water pipes off walls to suck out the few drops inside. "This is very, very bad, but I am too thirsty," said Pierre Louis Delmar.

Outside a warehouse, hundreds of desperate Haitians simply dropped to their knees when workers for the agency Food for the Poor announced they would distribute rice, beans and other supplies. "They started praying right then and there," said project director Clement Belizaire.

Children and the elderly were asked to step first into line, and some 1,500 people got food, soap and rubber sandals until supplies ran out, he said.

The aid official was overcome by the tragic scene. "This was the darkest day of everybody living in Port-au-Prince," he said.

- AP


HAITIANS SEARCH DESPERATELY FOR MISSING RELATIVES

(01/17/2010 | 07:14 AM - GMA News.TV)

The earthquake struck just before 5 p.m. Tuesday, when many workers were still away from home. After buildings collapsed, dazed survivors cried out for loved ones and wandered past dead bodies in streets made unfamiliar by the huge heaps of rubble.

The impoverished country's already poor communications system collapsed, both because cellular telephone towers were toppled and because of an overload of calls from people trying to find family and friends.

Only one cellular network is working at the moment, and then only sporadically. Landline telephones are dead. Haitians once again are reduced to relying on "radio jol," or bush radio, as they call the network that speedily spreads news by word of mouth.

Haitians in other countries are using Web sites and social networking systems to look for family members, but on the devastated island itself, people are resorting to more primitive methods. Town criers drive through neighborhoods announcing the names of missing people and locations of relatives who are trying to find them.

Nozile Claude, 38, was eager to distribute a list of survivors from an orphanage in Port-au-Prince's Nazon district. "Nine people died, and we have 56 survivors, some seriously injured, but the rumor's going around that everyone was killed because the orphanage was flattened," he said from one of the dozens of refugee camps that have sprung up across Port-au-Prince.

Some people have no hope, even though they have seen no bodies.
"We can't find four members of our family, but I have no hope for them. So many people have disappeared," said Benson Charles, a 21-year-old information technology student. "Twenty of us from my family managed to get out of the house after it collapsed. We couldn't do anything for the others."

- AP


Federer and Co. stage fundraiser for Haiti victims

Clinton lands in Haiti, pledges cooperative effort

Bush, Clinton call for long-term help for Haiti

RP's Catholic churches to hold 2nd collection for Haiti

nancyk58
17-01-2010, 07:39 PM
NEWS from BBC WORLD on 17 January 2010

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8464274.stm

37 UN STAFF confirmed DEAD, more than 300 MISSING - includes Special Representative Hedi Annabi, deputy Luiz Carlos da Costa and acting police commissioner Doug Coates

UN HQ in the Christopher Hotel and other buildings COLLAPSED in the quake

Believed to be the BIGGEST SINGLE LOSS OF LIFE in the UN's history

THE DELIVERY OF AID TO VICTIMS OF HAITI's EARTHQUAKE IS STILL BEING SLOWED BY BOTTLENECKS, AID WORKERS SAY.

UN and OXFAM STAFF are finally bringing FOOD and WATER to some parts of the capital Port-au-Prince, but the airport remains clogged with loaded planes.

Many survivors of Tuesday's quake have become DESPERATE as they wait for aid, and many are trying to leave the city.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who has arrived in Haiti, said it was the worst humanitarian crisis for decades.

Mr Ban is expected to visit the ruins of the UN mission, where several staff including Special Representative Hedi Annabi were killed, and meet President Rene Preval.

The UN has launched an appeal for $562m (£346m) intended to help 3 M / three million people for six months, while some two million people are thought to need emergency relief.

Meanwhile first reports from the epicentre of the earthquake suggest the damage is even more dramatic than in the capital.


The BBC's Mark Doyle in Leogane, west of Port-au-Prince, described the scene as "apocalyptic", with thousands left homeless and almost every building destroyed.

But in a sign of hope, rescuers pulled THREE PEOPLE ALIVE from the rubble on Sunday. Twelve others were rescued on Saturday, the UN said.

There are also security concerns amid reports of looting.

The US Southern Command's Lt-Gen Ken Keen said that while streets were largely calm there had been an increase in violence. "We are going to have to address the situation of security," he said, quoted by the Associated Press.

"We've had incidents of violence that impede our ability to support the government of Haiti and answer the challenges that this country faces."
AFP news agency quoted one of its photographers as saying police had opened fire on looters in a Port-au-Prince market, killing at least one of them.

AIRPORT 'OVERWHELMED'
Correspondents say although the amount of supplies getting through is still small, there is a sense of movement at last.

The UN World Food Programme has been handing out aid packages containing food, while UK charity OXFAM has been distributing water.

US troops said they had set up their first foothold outside the airport to deliver aid carried in by helicopters.

But many victims are still not receiving any aid, as the airport remains a bottleneck. UN Humanitarian Coordinator Kim Bolduc says getting supplies out to them from the planes is still a major hurdle.

"The Haitian airport now is overwhelmed," said UN Assistant Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, Edmond Mulet. The port is badly damaged, and many roads still blocked by corpses and debris.

David Wimhurst, a spokesman for the UN peacekeeping force in Haiti, said aid was being delivered as quickly as possible.

"Aid is going out but it's simply impossible in 24 hours to bring in enough aid to instantly feed all these people, many of whom are in places that are inaccessible," he said.

The Haitian and Dominican Republic governments are planning an alternative 130km (80 miles) HUMANITARIAN ROAD CORRIDOR to deliver relief supplies from the southern Dominican town of Barahona, the UN reports.

The UN has warned about FUEL SHORTAGES, which it says could affect humanitarian operations.

"Fuel is the key issue," Elisabeth Byrs, a spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told the BBC. "We need fuel to bring in supplies and carry the wounded."

'NO HELP'

The UN says up to 80-90% of buildings in Leogane, about 19km west of Port-au-Prince, have been destroyed.

One survivor in the town said he had come to Haiti from America for his mother's funeral, only for his wife to be killed in the earthquake. He said that so far people in the area had received no help of any kind.

"We don't have any aid, nothing at all," he said. "No food, no water, no medical, no doctors."

Estimates of how many people died following the 7.0 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday have varied.

The Pan American Health Organization put the death toll at 50,000-100,000, while Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said 100,000 "would seem a minimum".

A UN official has said aid workers are dealing with a disaster "like no other" in UN memory because the country had been "decapitated".

Three ministers and several senators are reported to have been killed.

The US has launched what President Barack Obama called "one of the largest relief efforts in its history" following the quake.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the first senior Western official to arrive in Haiti, on Saturday.

She told Haitians that the US would be "here today, tomorrow and for the time ahead", asserting that "Haiti can come back even better and stronger in the future".

Nick Davis, BBC News, Haiti: Relief is finally getting through to some in Port-au-Prince but it's a trickle - not a flood - of the aid needed by the people here.

The US navy is using helicopters to drop supplies of bottled water using soldiers on the ground to keep control. The UN also has distribution points handing out high-energy bars to the hungry.

But demand is outstripping supply - with food and water being taken faster than they can pass it out.

DESTRUCTION AT EPICENTRE OF HAITI QUAKE IS EXTREME

EXTENT OF HAITI DESTRUCTION CLEAR:

First reports from the epicentre of Tuesday's earthquake in Haiti suggest the damage is even more dramatic than in the capital, BBC correspondents say.

They say the scene in Leogane, west of Port-au-Prince, is "apocalyptic", with thousands left homeless and almost every building destroyed.

In the capital, survivors have become desperate as they wait for aid being handed out by international agencies. - But in a sign of hope, rescuers pulled a woman alive from rubble on Sunday. "It's a little miracle," the woman's husband, Reinhard Riedl, told the Associated Press news agency after she was rescued from a luxury hotel.

The UN says up to 80-90% of buildings in Leogane, about 19km (12 miles) west of Port-au-Prince, have been destroyed. The BBC's Mark Doyle - who travelled to the town on Saturday - said people had taken refuge in the surrounding sugarcane fields or mangrove swamps.

David Orr, a spokesman for the UN World Food Programme, said many thousands were feared dead.
"Nearly every house was destroyed here. The military are talking about 20,000 to 30,000 dead."

Many survivors have been leaving quake-hit areas in search of food, water and medicine.

LOGISTICAL CHALLENGES

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is due to arrive in Haiti on Sunday.

The UN has launched an appeal for $562m (£346m) intended to help three million people for six months, while some two million people are thought to need emergency relief.

International relief supplies have been arriving at the airport.
There were aid distributions in parts of Port-au-Prince on Saturday, but deliveries have been hampered by severe logistical challenges.

The airport is congested, the port badly damaged, and many roads blocked by corpses and debris.

On Sunday the UN also warned about fuel shortages, which it says could affect humanitarian operations.

"Fuel is the key issue," Elisabeth Byrs, a spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told the BBC. "We need fuel to bring in supplies and carry the wounded."

There are also security concerns amid reports of looting. On Saturday a crowd was reportedly involved in a fight over goods in Port-au-Prince, but a UN official said the overall situation was calm.

COUNTRY 'DECAPITATED'

Estimates of how many people died following the 7.0 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday have varied.

The Pan American Health Organization put the death toll at 50,000-100,000, while Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said 100,000 "would seem a minimum".

A UN official has said aid workers are dealing with a disaster "like no other" in UN memory because the country had been "decapitated".

Three ministers and several senators are reported to have been killed.

Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said his house had been destroyed and he had been sleeping in his car.

"For the moment, we are trying to save our employees who are still stuck under the rubble," he said.

The UN itself lost at least 40 employees in the earthquake, and confirmed on Saturday that the head of its mission in Haiti had been found dead in the rubble of its headquarters.

The US has launched what President Barack Obama called "one of the largest relief efforts in its history" following the earthquake, which killed tens of thousands of people and left many more homeless.

Seen on BBC News (Text-TV):

SENEGAL OFFERS FREE LAND AND REPATRIATION TO HAITIANS

Haitians are sons and daughters of Africa since Haiti was founded by SLAVES. Now Senegal is offering voluntary repatriation to any Haitian who wants to return to their origin.

Search continuing for missing UN workers

nancyk58
18-01-2010, 11:17 PM
HAITI EARTHQUAKE: UNICEF SITUATION REPORT

17 January 2010

PORT AU PRINCE

- The Government has declared the state of emergency for 15 days. This will help to exceptional administrative measures to be taken. A mourning period of one month has also been declared.
- On January 15, WFP distributed, among others, High Energy biscuits for 5 days, bags for water storage and purifying tablets. High energy biscuits present stock covers the needs of 200,000 families for 15 days; more is expected to arrive.
- There are already 4 secured and permanent points of distribution in town (place Dessalines, 2 football grounds and one tennis court). More secured distribution points are being identified. However, any organization can fix its own distribution points, provided that security is assured.
- The Government has been able to progressively run the School Canteens National Program, having recovered part of its staff and food stock: wet rations have begun to be distributed in Champs de Mars camp.
- The Ministry of Social Affairs will put in place mobile teams to assess the situation and needs of children in the camps. As well, the Institute of Social Wellbeing is trying to reinforce its present at the airport.
- The Government has set up different work commissions, among them the one on fuel. Beginning from January 16, fuel has been delivered to a few gas stations downtown in small quantity.
- Situation in the camps (parks, grounds, courtyards, etc.) is still calm to date, though highly critical. However, security concerns are rising fast. Armed groups are beginning to loot and rob during the night.
- As banks are closed and people lost most of their belongings, cash (money) circulation is extremely limited, hindering access to food. Some fruit and vegetable arrives from the countryside, but people do not have money to buy.

THE UN IN HAITI
- Challenges of organization and extreme difficulty of coordination are characterizing the UN response to the situation and to the increasing needs of the population, the government, and its own UN staff. Coordination and efficacy is improving.
- The Food Aid Cluster has been officially begun to work. The first meeting of the Education Cluster will be held on January 18.
- UNICEF is leading the WASH, Education and Nutrition Clusters (to be established).
- A website with updated information related to response, priorities and gaps of each Cluster or sector will be available, beginning from January 18. OCHA will receive inputs up to 12 pm daily in order to upload the information. www.haiti.oneresponse.info On January 18. OCHA is holding a meeting with all the Cluster Heads to explain the website use and subscription.

UNICEF IN HAITI
- Organization of the operations is being improved, with definition of tasks for every staff as well as rotation in the camp base.
- UNICEF warehouse was partially damaged by t he quake. Presently availability of stocks is being analyzed.
- Two trucks are operational: one for WASH and the second one for the management of the supplies arriving to the airport that need to be stored before distribution.
- A joint mission UNICEF/WFP/WHO will leave on January 18 to assess the situation and needs in Petit Goave. UNICEF staff will be temporarily posted there, covering also Grande Goave, if needed.

CHILD PROTECTION
It is becoming evident that the earthquake, besides its toll of deaths, has left many children wounded, traumatized, stranded and/or orphaned. UNICEF has reinforced the partnership with NGOs as well as the Institut de Bienêtre Social (Ministry of Social Affairs).
- Partnership with AMI (Aide Médicale Internationale) will continue to assure medical care to children in different mobile clinics in all Port au Prince zones.
- AVSI has resumed the psychosocial support to children in the poorest areas of the capital city, often together with AMI. UNICEF is reinforcing this partnership in Petit Goave et Cabaret.
- UNICEF is supporting Save The Children in tracing the families of stranded children. SCF will also estimate the magnitude and situation of the migration from Port au Prince to the areas of Gonaïve et Leogane.
- Effects of people moving to Lekaye is underway by Terre des Hommes.
- The mobile teams of the Institut de Bienêtre Social of the Ministry of Social Affairs are assessing the state of the orphanages and crèches in Port au Prince. As well, two buildings are being evaluated for temporarily sheltering about 200 children in need. One of them has the clearance to shelter up to 55 children.
- MINUSTAH committed to visit all the hospitals to check for abandoned or stranded children in need of help and shelter.
WASH
- On January 16, forty (40) water tanks delivered drinkable water covering the needs of some 60,000 people in 19 sites. On January 17, it is planned that 82 trucks provide water to 36 points for approximately 80,000 people.
- The main challenge is assuring enough fuel for the trucks to run. UNICEF is providing 1,000 gallons to DINEPA (Direction National Eau Potable et Assainissement), and expecting 4 more trucks of 30,000 gallons coming from the Dominican Republic.
- 120,000 bottles of water are expected to be distributed to different hospitals and commissaries.
- The DINEPA (Direction National Eau Potable et Assainissement) has very strong capacity in terms of leadership, producing results and coordinating the sector. The different actors and contributors report directly to DINEPA. UNICEF has officially assumed the role of supporting its staff and work.

- The presence and contribution of the NGOs is very important. The main partners are OXFAM, MSF (Médecin Sans Frontières), Action Contre la Faim, RED CROSS.

- DINEPA and the WASH Cluster defined that the main strategy is to set up high capacity bladders in the neighborhoods of the gathering points. Water purification should be done on site. Bladders will be managed and protected by staff paid by the NGOs at a defined daily pay.
- The private sector is highly committed to help and is ready to deliver 8 million liters of clean water per day.
- At present, the most urgent needs are: a) fuel for transportation /delivery; b) Chlorine for purification; c) Water quality testing equipment; d) Pods / timber for latrine constructions.

UPDATE FROM JACMEL
One UNICEF staff is presently posted in Jacmel city and the situation there is as follows:
- 356 deaths in the south-western districts, 332 of them in Jacmel city. Number is expected to increase as there are still many people under the debris. A school and a church have collapsed burying more than 150 persons. 420 wounded have been registered at date.
- Nearly 12,000 families were affected by the quake; 8,000 people are living in the camps (6,000 in Jacmel and 2,000 in Cote Fer). Displaced people have gathered in 3 sites (camps) in Jacmel, as well in 2 sites in Cote de Fer.
- 8,335 houses were damaged, more than 2,500 among them completely destroyed. Many private, public and commercial buildings need to be completely re-built.
- 43 schools either collapsed or damaged, as well as six health infrastructures.
- 63 new injured were hospitalized; 21 patients need to be urgently evacuated. UNICEF Santo Domingo is negotiating with the Dominican Republic’s authorities.
- Hospital Saint Michel was relocated in the grounds of a church.
- The Red Cross installed four 10,000-liter water bladders in the hospital, school and Pinchinat camp. Both MINUSTAH and private-owned trucks organized by UNICEF assured water provision for the bladders.
- Wet rations are being distributed in the camps, where people gather to spend the night. Probably half of the people who is in Pinchinat camp will be relocated.
- WFP and UNICEF have made emergency stocks available in ACDI VOCA stores, as well as in the towns of Thiott and Ricot for the population of Cote Fer
- WFP is currently estimating the number of children in order to provide specific rations.
- Camps management is particularly complicated and hinders distribution flow, as well as protection and surveillance of children. However, the municipality is progressively taking the lead with the collaboration of local NGOs.
Problems and needs:
- Camps management is particularly complicated and hinders distribution flow, as well as protection and surveillance of children. Sanitation is an issue. Locally working NGOs are facing a severe shortage of materials and tools.
- Social and psychological support not yet available.
- Urgent need of water purifying tools and materials. Water supply from local nappes was discontinued for fear of contamination. Water provision was assured only by MINUSTAH’s trucks.
- Additional tents for Saint Michel Hospital. Blood bags, medial supplies and drugs.
- Need for detailed assessment of health and education structures. Regional authorities of health, education and protection are starting to participate in the coordination, however, their participation is still weak.
- Latrines building in Pinchinat is affected by the lack of tools and materials. Hygiene kits are not sufficient to cover the needs.

nancyk58
18-01-2010, 11:43 PM
Some HAITI headlines from various Text-TVs / News

UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN HAITI ON 17 and 18 JANUARY 2010

Read on Danish Text-TV (TV2) on Sunday 17 January 2010:

Danish UN employee saved after 5 days - no wounds, only a few bruises.

Angry and frustrated Haitians in Port-au-Prince waiting for help - hungry and thirsty.

Rotting corpses in the streets.

Relief goods waiting in the airport, but the security situation is very serious.

Reports of clashes in Port-au-Prince involving around 1,000 Haitians using stones, knives and hammers as weapons. The fight concerned clothes, bags and toys from collapsed houses and shops.


Read on Text-TV Monday 18 January 2010:

An international conference on rebuilding / reconstructing Haiti to take place on 25 January 2010 in Montreal in Canada.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy suggested this international conference. Haiti will participate with its president, and the USA will be represented by Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State.


Around noon Danish TV2 News:

Interview with the Secretary General of the Danish Red Cross:

Due to the dangerous security situation, Red Cross aid workers found it necessary to distribute food and drinking water with soldiers around to protect them against violent, desperate Haitians who were attacking both the aid workers and other Haitians in the queue. Red Cross found a better solution by distributing food vouchers to the waiting Haitians in the morning. Then in the afternoon those with food vouchers are being handed food and drinking water. It has turned out to be working.


Danish Text-TV:

3 Americans wounded at the airport (and not 30 Americans as was rumoured earlier today).

46 dead UN employees and 500 missing or at least unaccounted for (some of the missing may have returned home).

IRCR reported about violence and lootings in Haiti 6 days after the devastating earthquake.

Prices for food and transport increasing fast.

Limited access to shelter, sanitation, water, food and medical treatment.

Poor sanitation in tent camps according to the IRCR leader in Haiti.

UN planning to send 2,000 more UN soldiers to Haiti.


BBC WORLD, News:

Britons gave £23m to Haiti earthquake appeal - Disasters and Emergency Committee, DEC.

UK government trebled its funding for the humanitarian response from £6.2m to £20m to provide food, shelter, health and relief work.

US forces bolster Haiti efforts: Aid efforts gather pace.

UN and US forces pushed back an angry crowd at the airport gates with batons.


German Text TV:

EU: 422 mio EURO for Haiti.


There has been a 6.0-magnitude earthquake in Guatemala with its epicentre 100 km south-east of the capital Guatemala City - not far away from the El Salvador border - in a depth of 103 km. With an earthquake of this magnitude much devastation can be expected.

nancyk58
19-01-2010, 01:27 AM
HAITI related news from GMA News.TV 18 JANUARY 2010

Haitians pray, cry for help in the ruins

More troops, aid go to Haiti, but hunger persists

More US troops, UN peacekeepers expected for Haiti

Canada to send 1,000 more troops to Haiti

65 more Filipinos accounted for in Haiti

RP peacekeepers carry heavy workload in Haiti

Condition of injured RP soldier in Haiti quake improves

RP to send 155 troops in earthquake-ravaged Haiti


BONO, TIMBERLAKE TO PERFORM AT HAITI BENEFIT

(01/18/2010 | 11:41 AM - GMA News.TV)

BEVERLY HILLS, California — George Clooney says the "Hope for Haiti" benefit for victims of the earthquake in Haiti will include performances from Bono, Sting, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and Alicia Keys.

Speaking to The Associated Press at the Golden Globes ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Clooney said that more than 40 celebrities are expected to attend the Jan. 22 event. The actor said the aim of the benefit is "to show the people of Haiti that the whole world is paying attention."

The benefit, which Clooney and Haitian-born singer Wyclef Jean will host, will be broadcast on more than a dozen broadcast and cable networks. It will be held in New York, with CNN's Anderson Cooper chiming in from Haiti.

The show will benefit the RED CROSS, UNICEF, OXFAM AMERICA, Partners in Health and Jean's YELE HAITI FOUNDATION.

Clooney said that songs from participating artists will also be available on iTunes, with proceeds going to the relief effort. - AP

nancyk58
19-01-2010, 07:19 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN HAITI ON 19 JANUARY 2010, Part I of III

Danish TV2, Text-TV on 19 January 2010:

A total of 5 persons rescued out of the rubble of a collapsed grocery.

23-year-old young female university student saved herself - she sent a SMS message that she was alive, but trapped in a rubble - and where to find her. Rescuers then rushed to the place where she was trapped and managed to free her from the rubble after some time.

Before the earthquake there were 380,000 orphans in Haiti.

Haitians orphans having lost parents in connection with the earthquake will be helped in the USA after having received an entry permit allowing them to travel into the USA. According to Janet Napolitano, the US Secretary of Homeland Security, orphans will be granted a humanitarian residence permit. The orphans might be adopted by Americans. Some organizations are worried because they fear abuse and trafficking.

According to the President of the Dominican Republic who has met with Haiti's President, Haiti will need 10 billion Dollars (= 7 billion Euro) for reconstructing and rebuilding Haiti. The money would be paid over 5 years, 2 billion Dollars per year in the framework of a programme. To provide the financial support and to control it, a central authority in Haiti and an international coordination would be needed.

Relief thrown down from helicopter.

UN Security Council has approved that 3,500 more UN soldiers and policemen will be sent to Haiti.

Danes have donated more than 20 million Danish Kroner to Haiti via the major relief organizations since Wednesday 13 January 2010. MSF / Médecins Sans Frontières has received 6.1 million Danish Kroner, Danish Red Cross 7.8 and Unicef 6.4 million Danish kroner.

Maersk Line has pledged free transport of relief goods provided that the coordination is made by UN having the superior logistic task of distributing relief goods.

Thousands of Haitians are fleeing out of Port-au-Prince due to the escalating violence and the lack of food.

Shortage of fuel has caused increasing fares. Nevertheless, the busses are more crowded than during the Christmas season!


ARDtext on 18 January 2010:

The EU will provide 422 million Euro for Haiti.

ARDtext on 19 January 2010:

According to the Haitian government the earthquake killed 200,000 people.

Big tent villages will be established for the victims of the Haiti earthquake on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. About 1.5 million homeless Haitians are to live there for a long period of time.

According to the relief organizations there are reports of increasing violence in the disaster area.

According to Red Cross despair has led to looting.

MSF (Médecins sans Frontières): People with stab and bullet wounds need treatment.

UN's Secretary-General Ban has - with success - asked the World Security Council to send 3,500 more Blue Helmet soldiers and policemen to Haiti.


BBC WORLD News on 19 January 2010:

US starts aid airdrops into Haiti. The US military has begun airdropping food and water supplies into earthquake-hit Haiti. Some 14,000 ready-to-eat meals and 15,000 litres of water were dropped North-East of Port-au-Prince. That this has not been done before is due to the fact that airdrops were found too risky, but congestion at the airport has hampered aid distribution. The US is now considering airdrops across Haiti. More than 2,000 US marines are set to join 1,000 US troops in Haiti.

US troops dropped at Haiti Palace and are expected to be unloading water, food and equipment

UN Security Council has voted to boost its peacekeeping forces to help control outbursts of looting.

Anger has been growing in the streets of the capital as people wait for help.


GMA News.TV on 18 and 19 January 2010:

CONDITION OF INJURED RP SOLDIER IN HAITI QUAKE IMPROVES

(01/18/2010 | 04:57 PM )

The condition of a Filipino peacekeeper injured in last week's devastating quake in Haiti has improved, allowing him to be transferred from a hospital to a local clinic.


RP PEACEKEEPERS CARRY HEAVY WORKLOAD IN HAITI

(01/18/2010 | 07:46 PM )

In the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake that wrecked Haiti last week, Filipino peacekeepers have been working around the clock for rescue and retrieval operations and have even secured damaged establishments from looters, an official from the Armed Forces of the Philippines said on Monday.

Their duties also kept them from worrying about at least three of their colleagues who remained trapped under the rubble of the collapsed Christopher Hotel in Port-au-Prince, the capital of the Caribbean nation.

"Our peacekeepers are busy because they have much work to do. Aside from rescue, they also provide security in areas like the Caribbean Supermarket which may be looted because people are getting hungry," AFP information chief Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner Jr. said in an interview over dzBB radio.

The Pan American Health Organization said 50,000 to 100,000 people perished in the quake. Haiti Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said 100,000 would "seem to be the minimum."

While aid was slowly reaching devastated areas, growing impatience among the suffering has spawned looting and violence, reported the Associated Press. Aid delivery was bogged down by congestion at the Port-au-Prince airport, quake damage at the seaport, poor roads and the fear of looters and robbers.

Missing Filipinos

As of Monday, six Filipinos were still missing. They were identified as Grace Fabian and Geraldine Lalican, who are still presumed trapped inside the collapsed Caribbean Supermarket, peacekeepers Petty Officer 3 Pearly Panangui, Sgt. Janice Arocena and Sgt. Eustacio Bermudez, and UN worker Jerome Yap.

Brawner said the chances of recovering the missing peacekeepers trapped under the Christopher Hotel may be fading by the day.

The hotel, the headquarters of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Haiti, has seven stories—including two extension floors.

He added that the signs of life in past days such as voices and tapping had already waned. “The signs have since weakened," he said.

In the meantime, Brawner said the AFP is giving support to the families of the missing peacekeepers. "We are in contact with the families. We give them updates, we tell them not to lose hope, and assure them we are doing everything we can," he said.

Brawner said Filipino troops are helping in rescue operations but the frontline now consists mainly of personnel who know how to operate rescue equipment.

He also said troops from other countries like China and France have arrived in Haiti as well.

100 Filipinos safe, accounted for
Last Sunday, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs announced that at least 100 Filipinos in Haiti’s Delmas districts were accounted for and were safe.

Of the recorded 462 Filipinos in Haiti, 290 are civilians and 172 are peacekeepers. There are some Filipino priests and nuns as well. Filipinos working in the Caribbean country occupy middle- to upper-level management positions and are employed in the garment, telecommunication and power generation sectors.

This week, Philippine government is set to send a 155-member Philippine peacekeeping contingent and a medical team to help in rescue efforts in the quake-hit country.

– Sophia Regina Dedace/JV, GMANews.TV with reports from AP


65 MORE FILIPINOS ACCOUNTED FOR IN HAITI

(01/18/2010 | 10:40 PM)

Sixty-five more Filipinos living in a residential area in Haiti were confirmed alive and safe, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Monday.


BODY OF UN PINOY WORKER IN HAITI RETRIEVED FROM RUBBLE

(01/19/2010 | 08:47 AM)

The body of a United Nations Filipino officer was recovered early Monday evening, buried beneath the rubble of a hotel in Haiti following a magnitude-7 earthquake that hit the Caribbean nation last week, the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday.

Jerome Yap, executive assistant to the deputy head of the UN mission in Haiti, was the first confirmed Filipino death in Haiti.
Interviewed on GMA News' Unang Balita, DFA spokesman Ed Malaya said the remains of Yap were retrieved at 6:15 p.m. on Monday, Philippine time.

Yap's body was recovered from the site of Christopher Hotel, a few hours after other remains were found, including those of mission head Hedi Annabi, deputy Luis Tacosta and Chinese Ambassador to Haiti Shulin Wang.

Five Filipinos remained missing — Petty Officer 3 Pearly Panangui, Sergeant Janice Arocena and Sergeant Eustacio Bermudez, all members of the RP peacekeeping force in Haiti; and Grace Fabian and Geraldine Lalican, who both worked at the Carribean Supermarket.

Malaya added that Philippine Ambassador to Havana Macarthur F. Corsino arrived in Haiti capital Port-Au-Prince on Monday to help in relief and search efforts for missing Filipinos.

- Carmela Lapeña/LBG/RSJ/NPA, GMANews.TV

nancyk58
19-01-2010, 09:55 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN HAITI ON 19 JANUARY 2010, PART II OF III

US MILITARY AIRDROPS SUPPLIES INTO HAITI

(01/19/2010 | 09:52 AM )

WASHINGTON— The US military has airdropped water and food into Haiti after earlier ruling out such a delivery method as too risky.

Maj. Tanya Bradsher, a spokeswoman for the US Southern Command, said an Air Force C-17 flying out of Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina, on Monday dropped 14,500 Meals Ready to Eat (abbreviation: MREs) and 15,000 liters of water into a secured area 5 miles (8 kilometers) northeast of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.

Military officials are considering whether the method was successful enough to be used throughout Haiti.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said last week that early airdrops were ruled out because they might do more harm than good, possibly triggering riots if there was no structure on the ground to distribute the supplies.
- AP


HELP STEPS UP... SO DOES SCALE OF HAITI TRAGEDY

(01/19/2010 | 10:47 AM)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – The staggering scope of Haiti's nightmare came into sharper focus Monday as authorities estimated 200,000 dead and 1.5 million homeless in the quake-ravaged heart of this tragic land, where injured survivors still died in the streets, doctors pleaded for help and looters slashed at one another in the rubble.

The world pledged more money, food, medicine and police. Some 2,000 US Marines steamed into nearby waters. And ex-president Bill Clinton, special UN envoy, flew in to offer support. Six days after the earthquake struck, search teams still pulled buried survivors from the ruins.

But hour by hour the unmet needs of hundreds of thousands grew.

Overwhelmed surgeons appealed for anesthetics, scalpels, saws for cutting off crushed limbs. Uncounted hundreds of survivors sought to cram onto buses headed out of town. In downtown streets, others begged for basics.

"Have we been abandoned? Where is the food?" shouted one man, Jean Michel Jeantet.

The U.N. World Food Program (WFP) said it expected to boost operations from feeding 67,000 people on Sunday to 97,000 on Monday. But it needs 100 million prepared meals over the next 30 days, and it appealed for more government donations.

"I know that aid cannot come soon enough," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in New York after returning from Haiti.

"Unplug the bottlenecks," he urged.

In one step to reassure frustrated aid groups, the US military agreed to give aid deliveries priority over military flights at the now-US-run airport here, the WFP announced in Rome. The Americans' handling of civilian flights had angered some humanitarian officials.

Looting and violence flared again Monday, as hundreds clambered over the broken walls of shops to grab anything they could — including toothpaste, now valuable for lining nostrils against the stench of Port-au-Prince's dead. Police fired into the air as young men fought each other over rum and beer with broken bottles and machetes.

Hard-pressed medical teams sometimes had to take time away from quake victims to deal with gunshot wounds, said Loris de Filippi of Doctors Without Borders. In the Montrissant neighborhood, Red Cross doctors working in shipping containers and saying they "cannot cope" lost 50 patients over two days, said international Red Cross spokesman Simon Schorno.

Amid the debris and the smoke of bodies being burned, dozens of international rescue teams dug on in search of buried survivors. And on Monday afternoon, some 140 hours after the quake, they pulled two Haitian women alive from a collapsed university building. At a destroyed downtown bank, another team believed it was just hours from saving a trapped employee.

The latest casualty report, from the European Commission citing Haitian government figures, doubled previous estimates of the dead from the magnitude-7.0 quake, to approximately 200,000, with some 70,000 bodies recovered and trucked off to mass graves.


If accurate, that would make Haiti's catastrophe about as deadly as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which killed an estimated 230,000 people in a dozen countries.


European Commission analysts estimate 250,000 were injured and 1.5 million were made homeless. Masses are living under plastic sheets in makeshift camps and in dust-covered automobiles, or had taken to the road seeking out relatives in the safer countryside.


On the capital's southern edge, hundreds of people struggled to get onto brightly painted "tap-tap" buses heading out of town.

"We've got no more food and no more house, so leaving is the only thing to do," said Livena Livel, 22, fleeing with her 1-year-old daughter and six other relatives to her father's house in Les Cayes, near Haiti's western tip.
"At least over there we can farm for food," she said.

She said she was spending her last cash on the "insanely expensive" bus fare, jacked up to the equivalent of $7.70, three days' pay for most Haitians, because gasoline prices had doubled.

The European Union and its individual governments boosted their aid pledges for Haiti to euro422 million ($606 million) in emergency and long-term aid, on top of at least $100 million pledged by the US.

A dirt-poor nation long at the bottom of the heap, Haiti will need years or decades of expanded aid to rebuild. After meeting with Haitian President Rene Preval and other international representatives in the neighboring Dominican Republic, Dominican President Leonel Fernandez said Haiti would need $10 billion over five years.

For the moment, however, front-line relief workers want simply to get food and water to the hungry and thirsty.

The UN humanitarian chief, John Holmes, said in New York not all 15 planned UN food distribution points were up and running yet. "That's a question of people, trucks, fuel, but the aid is scaling up very rapidly," he said.

The priorities are clearing roads, ensuring security at UN distribution points, getting this city's seaport working again and bringing in more trucks and helicopters, WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran said in Rome.

Evidence of the shortfall could be found at a makeshift camp of 50,000 displaced people spread over a hillside golf course overlooking the city. Leaders there said a US 82nd Airborne Division unit had been able to deliver food to only half the people.

The 1,700 US troops on the ground in Port-au-Prince were to be reinforced by 2,000 Marines expected Monday off Haiti's shores aboard three amphibious landing ships. Other US help was on the way, including two US civilian crane ships that could unload cargo at the quake-damaged port.

Getting clean water into people's hands was still a dire concern.
"People can survive a few days without food but we must try to avoid major outbreaks of waterborne disease," said Brian Feagans, a spokesman for the aid group CARE.

Clinton and accompanying daughter Chelsea pitched in, helping unload cases of bottled water from their plane to a UN truck.

Some aid groups and foreign officials have blamed the US military for slowing down aid deliveries, saying the American units that took charge of the small Port-au-Prince airport last week gave priority to US military flights.

Doctors Without Borders said Monday its specialists were 48 hours behind on performing surgery for critically injured patients because three cargo planes loaded with supplies were denied clearance and forced to land almost 200 miles away in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

The WFP's Sheeran said things would change. She announced an agreement with the US so that "we now have the coordination mechanism to prioritize the humanitarian flights coming in."

At the airport, a US military spokesman said the parking ramp designed for 16 large aircraft at times was holding 40. "That's why there was gridlock," said Navy Cmdr. Chris Lounderman. He said about 100 flights a day were now landing.

The US Air Force itself resorted to an air drop of aid Monday. A C-17 from Pope Air Force Base, N.C., parachuted pallets of food and water into an area outside Port-au-Prince secured by US forces. The Americans have been reluctant to use air drops for fear of drawing unruly crowds.

There remained a "huge demand for lifesaving surgery for those who suffered terrible injuries," Doctors Without Borders reported. The US-based Partners in Health, coordinating aid at Port-au-Prince's central hospital, reported "a desperate need for all the resources required to run a hospital," including surgical instruments, anesthesia gear, alcohol, sutures, and saws.

Clinton, visiting the hospital, reported its staff had to use vodka to sterilize equipment. "It's astonishing what the Haitians have been able to accomplish," he said.

More than 1,000 patients awaited surgery at the hospital, Partners in Health said. Right outside the US-run airport, one man died as Navy helicopters scrambled to evacuate patients to the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, the military reported.

Across the city, thousands of abandoned bodies had been picked up by government crews, but residents dragged still others to crossroads, hoping municipal garbage trucks or aid groups would deal with them.

Looting and violence added to the casualties. Riot police opened fire — mostly in the air — to break up a mob of several hundred fighting over rum bottles in a burning shop. One teenage boy was hit in the thigh by a shotgun blast. "Friends! Save me! Save me!" he cried, curled up in a pool of blood, one foot almost severed. A medical aid truck happened by and picked him up.

The ranks of Haitian police and UN peacekeepers trying to restore order in this stricken city had themselves been decimated in the quake, which destroyed the UN headquarters.

In New York on Monday, U.N. chief Ban asked for 1,500 more UN police and 2,000 more peacekeepers to join the 9,000 or so U.N. security personnel in Haiti. Alain Le Roy, the UN peacekeeping chief, said a "tremendous" number of requests had come in to escort humanitarian convoys. Haitian police had returned to the streets in only "limited numbers," he said.

The Security Council approved the reinforcements on Tuesday.

- AP

nancyk58
19-01-2010, 10:53 PM
Updates of the situation in HAITI on 19 January 2010, Part III of III

Body of RP peacekeeper in Haiti recovered - AFP

(01/19/2010 | 11:40 AM)

The body of a Filipino United Nations peacekeeper was retrieved from the rubble of the collapsed Christopher Hotel, bringing to two the number of Philippine fatalities following the deadly earthquake that rocked the impoverished Caribbean island nation of Haiti.

At a press conference in Camp Aguinaldo, military information chief Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner Jr. said the body of Petty Officer 3 Pearly Panangui was pulled out at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday from the second floor of the hotel, which houses the United Nations Peacekeeping headquarters in Haiti.

In a prepared prayer, Brawner, on behalf of the Philippine military, paid tribute to Panangui and to all servicemen performing their duties outside the Philippines.

"They have shown a culture of peace, heroism, and dedication, and commitment to serve even outside of their office especially at this crucial time," he said. "They may be gone but they will forever be in our hearts."

At the time of the killer quake, a total of 462 Filipinos were in Haiti - 290 civilians and 172 military and police peacekeepers.

The announcement came hours after the first Filipino casualty was reported by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The body of Jerome Yap, executive assistant to the deputy head of the UN mission in Haiti, was found at 6:15 p.m. Monday, Philippine time.

Yap's body was recovered from the site of the collapsed hotel, a few hours after other remains were found, including those of mission head Hedi Annabi, deputy Luis Tacosta and Chinese Ambassador to Haiti Shulin Wang.

Yap's sibling based in New York is already coordinating with the UN regarding the arrangements for the transport of his remains.

Yap's family in Pampanga has already been informed and would be left to decide on whether to bring his remains back to the Philippines.

With the retrieval of the remains of the two Filipinos, four Filipinos, who are believed trapped in a number of establishments in Haiti, remain missing.

They are Sergeant Janice Arocena and Sergeant Eustacio Bermudez, both members of the RP peacekeeping force in Haiti; and Grace Fabian and Geraldine Lalican, who both worked at the Caribbean Supermarket.

- Mark Merueñas/RSJ, GMANews.TV


HAITI CHAOS HAMPERS AID DELIVERY; DEATH TOLL RISES

(01/19/2010 | 04:58 PM GMA News.TV)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Relief workers say pockets of violence in Haiti's devastated capital are hindering a slow increase in much-needed aid delivery, and some residents have banded together to protect the few possessions they have left.

As thousands of others head to the countryside, people in one hillside Port-au-Prince district blocked off access to their street with cars and asked local young men to patrol for looters.
"We never count on the government here," said Tatony Vieux, 29. "Never."

A week after the magnitude-7.0 quake struck, Tuesday dawned with new potential for reinforcements to aid in security and disaster relief. The United Nations Security Council was expected to approve additional peacekeeping forces. Some 2,000 US Marines who arrived in the region a day earlier were parked offshore on ships.

But the scope of catastrophe had widened dramatically. The latest casualty report, from the European Commission citing Haitian government figures, doubled previous estimates of the dead to approximately 200,000, with some 70,000 bodies recovered and trucked off to mass graves.

The port remains blocked. Distribution of food, water and supplies from the city's lone airport to the needy are increasing but still remained a work in progress, frustrating many survivors who sleep in the streets and outdoor camps of tens of thousands. European Commission analysts estimate 250,000 were injured and 1.5 million were made homeless.

"I simply don't understand what is taking the foreigners so long," said Raymond Saintfort, a pharmacist who brought two suitcases of aspirin and antiseptics to the ruins of a nursing home where dozens of residents suffered.

The UN humanitarian chief, John Holmes, said not all 15 planned UN food distribution points were up and running yet. The UN World Food Program said it expected to boost operations to feeding 97,000 on Monday. But it needs 100 million prepared meals over the next 30 days, and it appealed for more government donations.

In one step to reassure frustrated aid groups, the US military agreed to give aid deliveries priority over military flights at the now-US-run airport here, according to the WFP. The Americans' handling of civilian flights had angered some humanitarian officials.

At the airport, US Navy Cmdr. Chris Lounderman said about 100 flights a day were now landing.

Still, the US military resorted to an air drop from C-17 transport planes Monday, parachuting pallets of supplies to a secured area outside the city rather than landing and unloading at the airport.

Meanwhile, rescuers continued finding survivors.

International rescue teams working together pulled two Haitian women from a collapsed university building, using machinery commonly nicknamed "jaws of life" to cut away debris and allow rescuers to pull them out on stretchers. A sister of one of the survivors shouted praises to God when the women emerged.

In the city's Bourdon area, a large team of French, Dominican and Panamanian rescuers using high-tech detection equipment said they heard heartbeats underneath the rubble of a bank building and worked into the night to try and rescue a survivor. The husband of a missing woman watched from a crowd of onlookers. "I'm going to be here until I find my wife, I'll keep it up until I find her, dead or alive," said Witchar Longfosse.

Elsewhere, overwhelmed surgeons appealed for anesthetics, scalpels, and saws for cutting off crushed limbs. Former US President Bill Clinton, visiting one hospital, reported its staff had to use vodka to sterilize equipment. "It's astonishing what the Haitians have been able to accomplish," he said.

Front-line relief workers made some headway. By 7 a.m. Monday, an Israeli military field hospital had treated 196 people. "We understand it's a drop in a big sea," said facility spokesman Avi Berman.

Violence added to complications in places. Medical relief workers said they were treating gunshot wounds in addition to broken bones and other quake-related injuries. Nighttime was especially perilous and locals were forming night brigades and machete-armed mobs to fight bandits across the capital.

"It gets too dangerous," said Remi Rollin, an armed private security guard hired by a shopkeeper to ward off looters. "After sunset, police shoot on sight."

In the sprawling Cite Soleil slum, gangsters are reassuming control after escaping from the city's notorious main penitentiary and police urge citizens to take justice into their own hands.
"If you don't kill the criminals, they will all come back," a Haitian police officer shouted over a loudspeaker.

Alain Le Roy, the UN peacekeeping chief, cited the often unruly crowds at points where food and water is being distributed and said Haitian police had returned to the streets in only "limited numbers."

A Security Council vote was expected to add 1,500 more UN police and 2,000 more peacekeepers to join the 9,000 or so UN security personnel in Haiti.. LATEST NEWS: APPROVED.

Thousands are streaming out of Port-au-Prince, crowding aboard buses headed toward countryside villages. Charlemagne Ulrick planned to stay behind after putting his three children on a truck for an all-day journey to Haiti's northwestern peninsula. "They have to go and save themselves," said Ulrick, a dentist. "I don't know when they're coming back."

US and Haitian officials also warned any efforts of Haitians to reach the United States by boat would be thwarted. Haiti's ambassador in Washington, Raymond Joseph, recorded a message in Creole to his countrymen, urging them not to leave.

"If you think you will reach the US and all the doors will be wide open to you, that's not at all the case," Joseph said, according to a transcript on America.gov, a State Department Web site. "And they will intercept you right on the water and send you back home where you came from."

- AP

nancyk58
20-01-2010, 04:26 PM
UPDATES OF THE SITUATION IN HAITI ON 20 JANUARY 2010

Danish Text-TV and Swedish Text-TV (SVT Text):
Haiti's embassador to the USA criticises the Americans for airdropping food supplies from helicopters to the Haitians in a secured area North-East of Port-au-Prince. "The strongest / fittest benefit from the airdrop of food supplies from helicopters. Haiti needs stable aid. It should be possible to find areas where it is safe for the helicopters to land so that food and water can be distributed to the needy Haitians." The US military considers airdrop of food supplies from helicopters across Haiti.

News from TV2 News (Danish TV channel), Danish text-TV, Swedish Text-TV aka. SVT Text and German Text-TV (ARDtext + ZDFtext):
25 year old woman rescued - she was lying under the rubble of a supermarket.

69-year-old woman rescued out of rubble of Haiti's Catholic church. "I'm alright. Only problem is that my feet hurt", she told the media.

A three-week-old baby girl dug free in the rubble of a collapsed house in the town of Jacmel. It took rescuers 5 hours to reach her and get her out. According to her uncle, the baby is 23 days old. She is relatively healthy/sound and in a good condition all things considered. The baby has been taken to an American field hospital.


SVT text:
121 rescued from rubble since the devastating quake on 12 January 2010.

LATEST NEWS FROM TV2 News, Danish and British TEXT-TV as well as German text-TV (ARDtext and ZDFtext):
NEW STRONG AFTERSHOCK rattles / rocked Haiti.

ZDFtext + ARDtext:
The epicentre of the new quake taking place at 6.03 (local time?) was 60 km West-Southwest of Port-au-prince in a depth of less than 10 km! (ARDtext cites USGS for a dept of 22 km). People panicked / ran - screaming - out of the buildings and into the streets. Fear of new dead and wounded Haitians.

ARDtext:
According to the Haitian government: The 7.0 quake on 12 January 2010 probably killed 200,000 and wounded 250,000, while 1.5 mio Haitians were made homeless.

TV2 News (seen around 15.20 Danish time):
TV2 reporter Allan Silberbrandt was in the area and said that the new magnitude 6.1 quake / strong aftershock felt like a gigantic hand shaking the house he was in."

The official death toll in Haiti is 75,000. 47 UN employees are killed and 500 missing.

ZDFtext:
Around 17,860 Euro collected for victims of Haitian earthquake in a direct ZDF broadcast on 19 January 2010. ZDF and "Bild hilft e.V" organized the collection for the earthquake victims in Haiti. Slogan: "Wir wollen helfen - ein Herz für Kinder" = We want to help - one heart for children.

ARDtext:
More aid from Germany so that Germany is donating 10 million EURO in total. Germany already pledged 7.5 million and is now donating 2, 5 million to the World Food Program, WFP. And the Pariser Club considers / agrees on total debt relief.

Mr. Ladekarl, Secretary General of Red Cross, Denmark has returned to Denmark after reaching Haiti last Saturday (via the Dominican Republic). He talked of "increasing despair in Haiti. The wounded are suffering, because the unattended wounds are festering and gangrene set in. Haitians are fleeing out of the capital / Port-au-Prince"