India ramps up relief efforts after Cyclone Fani hits eastern coast

Robie de Guzman   •   May 3, 2019   •   1524

Tropical Cyclone Fani lashed coastal areas of eastern India on May 3, 2019. | Courtesy: Reuters

Relief efforts gathered pace on Friday (May 3) as a powerful cyclone lashed coastal areas of eastern India with torrential rain and winds gusting up to 200 kilometres per hour (124 mph).

Tropical Cyclone Fani, the strongest to hit India in five years, spent days building up power in the northern reaches of the Bay of Bengal before it struck the coast of the state of Odisha at around 8 a.m. (0230 GMT), the state-run India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

Howling winds and driving rain impacted visibility in Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha state, leaving broken branches and felled trees strewn across the city’s streets.

Odisha had evacuated more than a million people from the most vulnerable communities along the low-lying coast, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on Twitter.

Local authorities in the eastern seaport town of Paradeep said it was providing around 2,000 with hot meals across eight cyclone centres.

India’s cyclone season can last from April to December, when severe storms batter coastal cities and cause widespread deaths and damage to crops and property in both

India and neighbouring Bangladesh, but recent technological advances have helped meteorologists predict weather patterns more accurately and prepare. (REUTERS)

At least P4-B needed for relief ops, rehab works in Mindanao quake-hit areas – NDRRMC

Robie de Guzman   •   November 7, 2019

Soldiers and rescue workers inspect a damaged hotel in the aftermath of a 6.5 magnitude earthquake, in Kidapawan city, Cotabato province, Philippines, 31 October 2019. EPA-EFE / CERILO EBRANO

MANILA, Philippines – The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Thursday said it needs at least P4-billion for the initial rehabilitation and reconstruction works in areas heavily-hit by recent earthquakes in Mindanao.

NDRRMC executive director Ricardo Jalad said they have already presented a recommendation to the President during a Cabinet meeting in Malacañang on Wednesday night.

The recommendation includes the sustainment of relief operations and fund requirements for reconstruction and rehabilitation works in quake-stricken municipalities.

Part of the fund will also be used to help local government units whose calamity funds have already been used up.

“Kasama na ‘yung mga initially identified reconstruction projects by DPWH. Not all of the amount of P4 billion is needed immediately,” Jalad told reporters in a briefing.

The NDRRMC chief, however, clarified that the said amount is still tentative as the exact amount for the necessary works will still be determined in the agency’s post-disaster assessment.

Jalad added that relief operations in evacuation centers by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) are still ongoing.

Other government agencies, including the Philippine Navy, also sent additional assets such as mobile kitchens, water treatment, and cargo trucks, to help in relief efforts.

Jalad also said they are now coordinating with concerned agencies regarding proposals on housing projects and relocation for families who lost their homes due to recent earthquakes.

Residents from identified danger zones as recommended by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) and Mines and Geosciences Bureau will be given priority in these projects, he added.   

“‘Yung project proposals sinisimulan pa lang… We should see the implementation of the project the soonest,” Jalad said.

Three strong earthquakes jolted parts of Mindanao last month. A magnitude 6.3 quake struck on Oct. 16, magnitude 6.6 on Oct. 29 and magnitude 6.5 on Oct. 31.

The epicenters of these tremors were traced in Tulunan town in Cotabato.

The NDRRMC said the number of fatalities from these powerful temblors has climbed to 28 while more than 400 people were injured. The quakes affected thousands of families and destroyed many structures. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

UNTV Cup: PNP faces Malacañang in must- win game on Sunday

UNTV News   •   October 19, 2019

Facing elimination in the League of Public Servants, PO3 Anton Tolentino must-take charge to win the remaining 3 games of PNP Responders. 

Former UNTV Cup Season 5 champion PNP Responders must win against the multi-season finalist Malacañang-PSC Kamao on Sunday (October 20) at Pasig City Sports Center to keep their bid for the next round in the league of public servants.

As a winless team in Group B, the Responders share the bottom two spot with the GSIS Furies.

After the first-round elimination, only the top four from each group will advance to the next round. The lowest two teams in each bracket will go on vacation early.

Tough as it may seem, they cannot afford to lose their three remaining games. But what they will be facing are the unbeaten Malacañang-PSC which flashes solid offense and defense prowess in all of its 3 games, the GSIS Furies and the reinforced two-time champion Judiciary Magis.

The Responders will basically still rely on Ollan Omiping, Anton Tolentino with the support from Richard Villanueva and rookie Mariano Flormata Jr.

While the Raffy Gonzales-coached Malacañang-PSC Kamao will be led by Eric dela Cuesta, the Javier brothers, Visnu and Narayan, Myk Jimenez, Ian Garrido with solid supporting cast: Joseph Besa, Michael Ignario and rookies Joseph Roque, Jeff Punzalan.

The PNP- Malacañang-PSC bout will take place at 5:00 pm, Sunday.

An explosive 2nd game is also expected as the multi-season champion AFP Cavaliers will take on the revitalized Department of Agriculture Food Masters.

At the helm of the Food Masters team is PBA Legend Rodney Santos who takes pride of hard-fought victories in their first two encounters against PITC Global Traders and Ombudsman Graft Busters.

In the other games, rookie team SSS Kabalikat will take on sophomore UNTV Cup team PITC Global Traders at 2pm.

SSS Kabalikat, being win-less also, need to win all their remaining games to prevent early eviction.

UNTV Cup can be seen live at Pasig City Sports Center for free or via Facebook and YouTube accounts and of course via UNTV channel and UNTV website.

Team Standings

GROUP A
AFP Cavaliers 3-0
Agriculture Food Masters 2-0
Ombudsman Graftbusters 1-2
PITC Global Traders 1-2
PhilHealth Plus 1-2
SSS Kabalikat 0-2

GROUP B
Malacañan PSC Kamao 3-0
DENR Warriors 2-0
NHA Builders 2-1
Judiciary Magis 1-2
GSIS Furies 0-3
PNP Responders 0-2  

Indian president arrives in Manila for state visit

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 18, 2019

Indian President Ram Nath Kovind (R) arrives at Manila International Airport in Manila, Philippines, 17 October 2019. The Indian head of state is in Manila on an official visit to mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of India-Philippines bilateral relations. EPA-EFE/STR

Indian President Ram Nath Kovind arrived in the Philippines on Thursday evening for a state visit from October 17 to 21.

Kovind will visit Rizal park on Friday (October 18) for a wreath-laying ceremony and will formally meet President Rodrigo Duterte later in the afternoon for a welcome ceremony at Malacañan Palace.

The two leaders are expected to hold an expanded bilateral meeting and will witness the exchange of agreements between the two governments.

On Saturday (October 19), the Indian Chief Executive will meet with liver transplant patients as well as the beneficiaries of the Mahaveer Philippines Foundation, an organization that helps amputees.

Kovind will also attend the Philippine-India Business Conclave and the 4th Association of Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN) Business Summit

On the last day of his visit, the Indian President will meet with the Indian Community in Taguig City.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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