Ahad, 10 November 2013

The Star Online: World Updates

Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: World Updates

Philippines storm kills estimated 10,000, destruction hampers rescue efforts


TACLOBAN, Philippines (Reuters) - Rescue workers struggled to reach ravaged towns and villages in the central Philippines on Monday while soldiers tried to quell looting in the chaotic aftermath of a powerful typhoon that killed an estimated 10,000 people and displaced more than 600,000.

The United Nations said some survivors had no food, water or medicine, and that local officials had reported a mass grave of 300-500 bodies in the devastated city of Tacloban. Relief operations were hampered because roads, airports and bridges had been destroyed or were covered in wreckage, it said.

Threatening to worsen the crisis in the impoverished area, a tropical depression carrying heavy rain was forecast to arrive in the region early on Tuesday.

President Benigno Aquino, facing one of the biggest challenges of his three-year rule, deployed soldiers to Tacloban to restore order and said he might impose martial law or a state of emergency.

But three days after it was hit by one of the strongest typhoons on record, the city of 220,000 residents was still relying almost entirely for supplies and evacuation on just three military transport planes flying from nearby Cebu city.

"I lost my house, I lost everything. I want to get out. My food supply will run out in two days," said Maria Elnos, a nurse at Tacloban's one main hospital, who was among hundreds pleading unsuccessfully to get on a military C-130 plane late on Sunday.

Super typhoon Haiyan is estimated to have destroyed about 70 to 80 percent of structures in its path as it tore into the coastal provinces of Leyte and Samar on Friday. Most of the damage and deaths were caused by huge waves that inundated towns and swept away coastal villages in scenes that officials likened to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.


The Philippines government and disaster agency have not confirmed the latest estimate of the number of deaths from the storm, whose sustained winds reached 195 miles per hour (313 km per hour) with gusts of up to 235 mph (378 kph).

Police chief superintendent Elmer Soria, quoting local officials, said the estimated death toll so far was 10,000. That could climb once rescuers reach remote villages along the coast, such as Guiuan, a town in eastern Samar province with a population of 40,000 that was largely destroyed.

Images from an armed forces flight over the town showed apocalyptic scenes, with survivors wandering dazed among the shells of shattered buildings and splintered trees. No relief supplies have reached the remote town.

"The only reason why we have no reports of casualties up to now is that communications systems ... are down," said Colonel John Sanchez, posting on the Armed Forces Facebook page.

Terminal buildings at the Tacloban airport were largely destroyed although the runway was still operational.

About 300 people died in Samar province, said an official from the provincial disaster agency.

Baco, a city of 35,000 in Oriental Mindoro province, was 80 percent under water, the U.N. said.

Nearly 620,000 people were displaced and 9.5 million "affected" across nine regions, the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement.

Across Tacloban, men, women and children walked carefully over the remains of wooden houses, searching for missing loved ones and belongings. Not one building seems to have escaped damage in the coastal city, about 580 km (360 miles) southeast of Manila.

Witnesses and officials described chaotic scenes. The city and nearby villages were flooded, leaving floating bodies and roads choked with debris from fallen trees, tangled power lines and flattened homes.

Survivors queued in lines, waiting for handouts of rice and water. Some sat and stared, covering their faces with rags to keep out the smell of the dead from one of the worst disasters to hit the typhoon-prone Southeast Asian nation.

One woman, eight months pregnant, described through tears how her 11 family members had vanished, including two daughters. "I can't think right now," she said. "I am overwhelmed."


About 90 U.S. Marines and sailors headed to the Philippines in a first wave of promised military assistance for relief efforts, U.S. officials said. President Barack Obama said the United States was ready to provide additional aid.

U.S. aid groups also launched a multimillion-dollar relief campaign. One group, World Vision, said a shipment of blankets and plastic tarpaulins would arrive from Germany on Monday as a first step in its plan to help 400,000 people.

An official of World Vision based in Cebu Province said there were early reports that as much as 90 percent of northern Cebu had been destroyed.

An aid team from Oxfam reported "utter destruction" in the northern-most tip of Cebu, the charity said.

The United Nations children's agency, UNICEF, said it was rushing emergency supplies to the Philippines.


Aquino said the government had deployed 300 soldiers and police to restore order in Tacloban.

Looters rampaged through several stores in the city, witnesses said. A TV station said ATM machines were broken open.

Mobs attacked trucks loaded with food, tents and water on Tanauan bridge in Leyte, said Philippines Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon.

Aquino has shown exasperation at conflicting reports on damage and deaths. One TV network quoted him as telling the head of the disaster agency that he was running out of patience.

"How can you beat that typhoon?" said defence chief Voltaire Gazmin, when asked whether the government had been ill-prepared.

"It's the strongest on Earth. We've done everything we can, we had lots of preparation. It's a lesson for us."

The U.N.'s OCHA said aerial surveys showed significant damage to coastal areas with heavy ships thrown ashore, houses destroyed and vast tracts of agricultural land "decimated".

Thirteen people were killed and dozens hurt during heavy winds and storms in Vietnam as Haiyan approached the coast, state media reported, even though it had weakened substantially after hitting the Philippines.

Vietnam authorities have moved 883,000 people in 11 central provinces to safe zones, according to the government's website. A further 150,000 people were moved to safe areas in northern provinces, authorities said. ($1 = 43.1900 Philippine pesos)

(Additional reporting by Rosemarie Francisco and Karen Lema in Manila, Ho Binh Minh and Hanoi and Phil Stewart and Charles Abbott in Washington. Writing by Stuart Grudgings. Editing by Dean Yates)

U.S. Filipinos pray, seek word from loved ones in wake of deadly typhoon


(Reuters) - Filipinos across the United States sought word from loved ones in their Pacific island homeland and prayed for missing and displaced family on Sunday in the aftermath of a typhoon that devastated the central Philippines and killed at least 10,000 people.

In the San Francisco suburb of Pinole, about 150 Filipino parishioners prayed during mass at Saint Joseph Catholic Church for relatives and friends unaccounted for from typhoon Haiyan, which left more than 600,000 people homeless in the Southeast Asian archipelago.

Churchgoers lamented that the storm struck less than a month after a massive earthquake caused severe damage to parts of the central Philippines, flattening homes and businesses and leaving 222 people dead.

"This is like a double whammy," said Eddie Castanas, 32, a church vicar whose parents and sisters lost houses in the town of Calape, in the central province of Bohol, from the quake and whose fate after the typhoon remains unclear.

Castanas said it took two weeks to make contact with his family after the earthquake, and he is hopeful that they survived this calamity as well.

"I know my people are a very determined people," he said. "I just have to hold on to hope."

In the New York City borough of Queens, televisions in restaurants, bakeries and other shops along a 15-block thoroughfare dubbed Little Manila were tuned to news from the Philippines, with residents commiserating over frantic efforts to get in touch with missing loved ones.

Asuncion Hipe, a nursing assistant, said she had been unable to reach her three sisters and a nephew in the Philippines' remote Samar province, where the storm made its initial landfall and authorities said at least 300 people were dead.

"I keep on calling them and nobody answers me. It doesn't go through; it says 'out of coverage area,'" she said. "I don't care about the property. I just want them to be alive."

Even for many of those who had been able to reach family in their homeland, emotions ran high.

Angelina Flores, who was sending money to family in Cebu province, which was directly in the storm's path, said her uncle and other family were without water and power and in desperate need of supplies.

"My house, my brother's house, is gone," she said.

In Los Angeles, about 50 people attended services and a lunch on Sunday at the Filipino Christian Church that raised $200 for storm victims.

Marcelle Gossett, who immigrated to the United States 11 years ago, had tears in her eyes and placed her hands together in prayer as she recounted the plight of her two sons, their wives, and her 14 grandchildren, all of whom live in Cebu City.

Gossett said her sons told her by phone that they were without electricity and water and were low on food.

"Trees are falling down from the backyard onto the house," she said. "I told them to go to the rescue, but they're stuck and can't leave the house. And the rescues are already full."

Pastor Jeffrey Ilagan, 30, five months into a planned three-year stay in the United States, said his wife and three young children in Baguio City in the northern Philippines had weathered the storm after a harrowing night of strong winds beating against their windows.

"Being away from my family is very horrible," he said.

Ilagan said he advised his wife to keep the children home from school and indoors until authorities were able to clear much of the debris littering the area and restore power.

"If electrical wires fall, people will be electrocuted," he said.

Satellite likely incinerated after re-entering Earth's atmosphere -officials


ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - A large science satellite that mapped Earth's gravity likely re-entered the atmosphere where most of it incinerated on Sunday, about three weeks after running out of fuel and beginning to lose altitude, officials said.

Ground tracking stations' last contact with Europe's Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer, or GOCE, was at 5:42 p.m. (2242 BST) as it passed 75 miles (121 km) above Antarctica, Heiner Klinkrad, head of the European Space Agency's space debris office, wrote in a status report posted on the European Space Agency's website.

The official designation of space is the Karman line, 62 miles (100 km) above Earth.

About 25 percent of the car-sized satellite was expected to have survived re-entry, with debris most likely falling into the ocean, European Space Agency officials said.

"By the time you read this, the spacecraft's amazing flight will, most likely, have come to an end," space agency spokesman Daniel Scuka wrote in an update posted around 6:45 p.m.

There was no immediate word on where and when any debris may have landed.

GOCE was launched in 2009 to map variations in Earth's gravity. Scientists assembled the data into the first detailed global maps of the boundary between the planet's crust and mantle, among other projects.

The satellite ran out of fuel on October 21 and had been steadily losing altitude since, tugged by Earth's gravity.

The 1.2-ton (1,100-kg) GOCE satellite is small in comparison to other spacecraft that recently crashed back into the atmosphere.

In January 2012, Russia's failed 14-ton (12,700-kg) Phobos-Grunt Mars probe returned. In 2011, NASA's 6.5-ton (5,900-kg) Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite and Germany's 2.4-ton (2,177-kg) X-ray ROSAT telescope re-entered the atmosphere.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

0 ulasan:

Catat Ulasan


The Star Online

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved