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Kuwait gov’t questions PH Embassy’s rescue efforts for distressed OFWs

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, April 23rd, 2018

 Philippines Embassy in Kuwait

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano has confirmed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kuwait recently summoned Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Pedro Villa.

The Kuwaiti government, according to Cayetano, wanted to make sure that the efforts of the Philippine diplomatic staff to rescue distressed Filipino workers in the Gulf state are in accordance with the Kuwaiti law and that the Philippines is not abusing its labor system.

Cayetano said there is an urgent need to rescue all distressed OFWs in Kuwait due to incidents of serious abuses and threats. He made sure his department is moving in coordination with the Kuwaiti authorities.

“Kasi these are cases na may grave danger at pwedeng life or death ang pinag-uusapan sa OFW… kapag hinintay mo ang normal process, may katagalan,” Cayetano explained.

(There are cases that involve grave danger and potentially life threatening for the OFW…if you wait for the normal process, it will take time.)

Nevertheless, the secretary believes the misunderstanding between the two countries will soon be settled.

We will do our best to clarify all of these and to assure our friendship with the Kuwait government and that our people there are safe. In the same manner that we’re assuring them na ang (that their) national state nila dito sa Pilipinas (in the Philippines) will be kept safe and will be protected,” he said.

Cayetano also stressed the importance of listening to the concerns of the Kuwaiti government before signing the bilateral agreement between the Philippines and Kuwait and also before lifting the total ban on employment of OFWs in the Gulf state.

Cayetano will meet with Ambassador Villa to further verify the situation of OFWs in Kuwait in connection with the issue. – Asher Cadapan Jr. | UNTV News & Rescue

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Thai artists honor cave boys rescue mission with painting

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

 

Artists working on Thai rescue painting (Image grabbed from Reuters video)

 

Thailand’s top artists worked on a painting on Monday (July 17) to honor the historic rescue mission that saved 12 Thai boys and soccer coach who was trapped in a flooded cave. It also honors former Navy SEAL Samarn Kunun, who died on the rescue mission.

The painting is 13 meters long and is showcased in front of Art Bridge Chiang Rai. It will later be installed at a museum at Tham Luang Khun Nam Nang Non Park.

The design includes all volunteers who participated in the rescue mission, and portrays the dark times when the boys were yet to be found, then moves on to a brighter section representing the time after the boys were located.

The boys and their coach had planned to explore the cavern for about an hour after soccer practice on June 23. But a rainy season downpour flooded the tunnels, trapping them.

Two British divers found them on July 2 squatting on a mound in a flooded chamber several kilometers inside the complex. Rescuers then had to work out how to get them out through the tunnels, some of which were full of fast-flowing floodwater.

The boys will be discharged from hospital on Wednesday (July 18) and hold a news conference the same day to satisfy huge media interest in their story, a government official said. -Reuters

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Thailand’s cave boys to be discharged from hospital on Thursday

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, July 16th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: A screen grab shows boys rescued from the Thai cave wearing mask and resting in a hospital in Chiang Rai, Thailand from a July 11, 2018 handout video. Government Public Relations Department (PRD) and Government Spokesman Bureau/Handout via REUTERS TV

Twelve Thai boys and their soccer coach rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand are recovering well from their ordeal and will be discharged from hospital this week, health minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn said on Saturday (July 14).

The last of the 12-member “Wild Boars” soccer team and their coach were brought out of the Tham Luang cave, near the border with Myanmar, on Tuesday (July 10) night, safely ending a perilous rescue and evoking international relief and joy. The boys and their coach have been in the hospital since then.

In a video played at a news conference on Saturday, they appeared well, sitting up in bed, and thanking their rescuers.

The boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach had planned to explore the cavern complex for about an hour after soccer practice on June 23. But a rainy season downpour flooded the tunnels, trapping them.

All 13 were brought to safety over the course of a three-day rescue, organized by Thai Navy SEALs and an international team of cave-diving experts. -Reuters

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Death toll from torrential rains in western Japan reaches 200, dozens still missing

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, July 13th, 2018

A rescuer in the search for missing people, excavators working (Image grabbed from CCTV video via Reuters)

The death toll from the torrential rains that have battered western Japan reached 200, authorities said Thursday, as search and rescue missions continue to find dozens still missing in the wake of flooding and landslides.

More than 70,000 personnel are involved in the ongoing search and rescue missions for the 60 or more people still unaccounted for in the areas affected by the deluge.

These include the hardest-hit regions of Hiroshima, Okayama and Ehime prefectures.

For days now, Masumi Fujita, a survivor in Hiroshima, has done little but worrying about his girlfriend. She was at home on Friday night when torrential rains started pounding Western Japan. The last time they spoke was on the phone on his way home, but he has not been able to hear from her since.

“She’s missing because of a series of unfortunate events. Now that I think about it, I could have intervened in one of those events. There’s a chance I could have prevented the tragedy,” said Fujita.

Fujita’s girlfriend could be one of the few still missing from their village in Hiroshima. Three days of heavy downpour set off landslides in different parts of the prefecture, killing scores. Search and rescue workers have been digging through rubble, looking for survivors or bodies.

Over 70 people have been confirmed dead in Hiroshima alone. Search teams are taking advantage of the improved weather, clearing the worst-hit communities of boulders that the rains have sent crashing down and debris from the destroyed homes.

“I walked up from the bottom of the hill towards where my house was, and when I looked up where my house was supposed to be, the only thing I saw was the foundation,” said Fujita.

As the search efforts continue, the Japanese government has earmarked more than 630 million U.S. dollars for reconstruction.

Fujita said he hoped to rebuild the life that he had shared with his girlfriend, so he is holding on to what little hope there is of finding her alive.— Reuters

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