- China says people sympathetic about Philippines, online criticism unrepresentative Reuters
- On idyllic Philippine island, typhoon hints at tourism paradise lost Reuters
- Desperate Philippine typhoon survivors loot, dig up water pipes Reuters
- Philippine typhoon death toll to rise as rescuers reach remote areas Reuters
- Philippine president puts typhoon death toll at 2,000 to 2,500 Reuters
TACLOBAN, Philippines (Reuters) – Philippine President Benigno Aquino was under growing pressure on Thursday to speed up the distribution of food, water and medicine to desperate survivors of a super typhoon as a U.S. aircraft carrier „strike group” arrived to get supplies moving.While international relief efforts have picked up, many petrol station owners whose businesses were spared have refused to reopen, leaving little fuel for trucks needed to move supplies and medical teams around the devastated areas nearly a week after Typhoon Haiyan struck.”There are still bodies on the road,” said Alfred Romualdez, mayor of Tacloban, a city of 220,000 people reduced to rubble in worst-hit Leyte province. „It’s scary. There is a request from a community to come and collect bodies. They say it’s five or 10. When we get there, it’s 40.”The scarcity of trucks presents grim options. „The choice is to use the same truck either to distribute food or collect bodies,” he added.Outside Taclaban, burials began for about 300 bodies in a mass grave on Thursday. A larger grave will be dug for 1,000, city administrator Tecson John Lim told Reuters.The city government remains paralyzed, with just 70 workers compared to 2,500 normally, he added. Many were killed, injured, lost family or were simply too overcome with grief to work.The government was distributing 50,000 „food packs” containing 6 kg (13 lb) of rice and canned goods each day, but that covers just 3 percent of the 1.73 million families affected by the typhoon.The nuclear-powered USS George Washington aircraft carrier and four accompanying ships arrived off wind-swept eastern Samar province, carrying 5,000 crew and more than 80 aircraft, after what strike force commander Rear Admiral Mark Montgomery called a „high-speed transit” from Hong Kong.”One of the best capabilities the strike group brings is our 21 helicopters,” Montgomery said in a statement. „These helicopters represent a good deal of lift to move emergency supplies around.”Japan was also planning to send up to 1,000 troops as well as naval vessels and aircraft, in what could be Tokyo’s biggest postwar military deployment.AQUINO IN SPOTLIGHT-Aquino has been on the defensive over his handling of the storm given warnings of its projected strength and the risk of a storm surge, and now the pace of relief efforts.View gallery.”Victims queue for food and water in the aftermath of super typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban city, central …He has said the death toll might have been higher had it not been for the evacuation of people and the readying of relief supplies, but survivors from worst-affected areas say they had little warning of a tsunami-like wall of water.The Philippines formally asked Washington for help on Saturday, a day after the storm slammed into cities and towns in the central Philippines, the U.S. State Department said.Aquino has also stoked debate over the extent of the casualties, citing a much lower death toll than the 10,000 estimated by local authorities. Official confirmed deaths stood at 2,357 on Thursday, a figure aid workers expect to rise.City administrator Lim, who on Sunday estimated 10,000 likely died in Tacloban alone, said Aquino may be deliberately downplaying casualties. „Of course he doesn’t want to create too much panic. Perhaps he is grappling with whether he wants to reduce the panic so that life goes on,” he said.The preliminary number of missing as of Thursday, according to the Red Cross, remained at 22,000. It has cautioned that that number could include people who have since been located.Tacloban’s main convention centre, the Astrodome, has become temporary home for hundreds of people living in abject squalor. Families cooked meals amid the stench of garbage and urine. Debris was strewn along rows of seats rising from dark pools of stagnant water.”We went into the Astrodome and asked who is in charge and just got blank stares,” said Joe Lowry, a spokesman for the International Organisation for Migration, which is setting up camps for the displaced.Survivors formed long queues under searing sunshine, and then torrential rain, to charge mobile phones from the only power source available: a city hall generator. Others started to repair motorbikes and homes. A rescue worker cleared debris near a wall with the spray-painted words „We need food”.More the 544,600 people have been displaced and nearly 12 percent of the population affected, the United Nations said. But many areas still have not received aid.”It’s true, there are still areas that we have not been able to get to where people are in desperate need,” U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos told reporters in Manila. „I very much hope that in the next 48 hours, that will change significantly.”Yes, I do feel that we have let people down because we have not been able to get in more quickly.”‘NEEDS ARE IMMENSE’-Anger and frustration have been boiling over as essential supplies fail to reach many of those in need. Food and other goods have stacked up at the airport in Tacloban, for instance.Some areas have appeared to teeter near anarchy amid widespread looting of shops and warehouses for food and water.Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) described a bleak situation in Guiuan, home to 45,000 people.”People are living out in the open … The needs are immense and there are a lot of surrounding villages that are not yet covered by any aid organizations,” Alexis Moens, MSF’s assessment team leader, said in a statement.Lim said 90 percent of Tacloban had been destroyed by the typhoon and the wall of seawater it shoved ashore. Only 20 percent of residents were getting aid while houses were being looted because warehouses were empty, he added.There were also not enough flights from Tacloban airport to cope with the exodus from the stricken city.As darkness fell on Wednesday, Philippine Special Forces held back hundreds of people, many of whom had walked for hours to reach the airport and then waited for days with little or no food or water.When asked how she and her four children endured three days of waiting in searing heat and torrential downpours, Marivic Badilla, 41, held up a small battered umbrella. „We have been sheltering under this,” she said, tears streaming down her face.Many people complained that military families were given priority to board the C-130 cargo planes.”If you have a friend or relative in the military, you get priority,” said Violeta Duzar, 57, who had waited at the airport since Sunday with eight family members, including children.None of the aid passing through the airport had been distributed to the needy crowd at its gates.The overall financial cost of the destruction was hard to assess. Initial estimates varied widely, with a report from German-based CEDIM Forensic Disaster Analysis putting the total at $8 billion to $19 billion.(Additional reporting by Rosemarie Francisco and Eric dela Cruz in Manila, Phil Stewart in Washington and Greg Torode in Hong Kong. Writing by Jason Szep. Editing by Dean Yates and Nick Macfie)
Indonesian volcano erupts, forcing evacuation of hundreds 1 hour ago Mount Sinabung spews pyroclastic smoke as seen from Tigapancur village in Karo district on November 14, 2013 in Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia. Up to 4,300 residents have been evacuated from five villages in North Sumatra due to the volcanic eruptions of Mount Sinabung. The volcano has been erupting for several days, spewing ash and lava 2.5 miles into the sky. (Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)
Saturn, Earth Shine in Amazing New Photo by NASA Probe A NASA spacecraft has revealed an unprecedented view of Saturn from space, showing the entire gas giant backlit by the sun with several of its moons and all but one of its rings, as Earth, Venus and Mars all appear as pinpricks light in the background.Related Stories
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The spectacular image, unveiled Tuesday (Nov. 12), is actually a mosaic of 141 wide-angle images from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft taken in natural color, which mimics how human eyes might see the ringed planet. Stretching 404,880 miles (651,591 kilometers) across, the panorama captures all of Saturn’s rings up to the ethereal E ring, the second outermost one.The pictures that make up the mosaic were snapped on July 19, 2013 — the same day that Cassini took advantage of a rare opportunity to photograph Earth without interference from the sun, which was totally eclipsed by Saturn at the time. From its far-flung perch millions of miles away, Cassini captured amazing portraits of Earth as a pale blue dot as thousands of people on the ground waved in honor of the global picture day. [Wave at Saturn: Images from NASA’s Cosmic Photo Bomb by Cassini Probe]”In this one magnificent view, Cassini has delivered to us a universe of marvels,” Carolyn Porco, who leads Cassini’s imaging team at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo., said of the new image in a statement from NASA. „And it did so on a day people all over the world, in unison, smiled in celebration at the sheer joy of being alive on a pale blue dot.”Earth can be spotted as a blue dot to the lower right of Saturn, while Venus shines to the upper left of the gas giant. Mars, visible as a faint red dot, sits above and to the left of Venus.Beyond inspiring wonder, this new view of Saturn also promises to help scientists study the planet’s rings, which are best observed when light shines behind them, Cassini researchers say.“This mosaic provides a remarkable amount of high-quality data on Saturn’s diffuse rings, revealing all sorts of intriguing structures we are currently trying to understand,” Matt Hedman, a Cassini participating scientist at the University of Idaho in Moscow, said in a statement.For example, the photos could shed light on the E-ring, whose icy particles are supplied by geysers erupting from the south pole of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Hedman explained that photos suggest there are disturbances in the E ring from diverse sources, including sunlight and the gravity of Enceladus (which is also one of seven moons visible in the image).NASA also revealed a new photo collage based on the Saturn mosaic made up of about 1,600 images submitted by the public as part of the Cassini mission’s „Wave at Saturn” campaign.The Cassini mission launched in 1997 and arrived in orbit around Saturn in July 2004. The probe’s mission is expected to continue until 2017, after which it will burn up in Saturn’s atmosphere.Follow Megan Gannon on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @SPACEdotcom, Facebook or Google+. Originally published on SPACE.com.By by Megan Gannon, News Editor November 12, 2013 5:05 PMView gallery Saturn eclipses the Sun, as seen from the Cassini–Huygens space probe. The Cassini spacecraft’s onboard cameras acquired a panoramic mosaic of Saturn that allows scientists to see details in the rings as they are backlit by the sun. This image spans about 404,880 miles (651,591 kilometers) across.credit: NASA cassini space probe
Comet ISON Observing Tips: Choosing the Right Binoculars or TelescopeBy by Mike Wall, Senior Writer 16 hours agoView galleryIn the early morning of Oct. 25, 2013, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., used …With excitement about the upcoming solar flyby of Comet ISON now approaching a fever pitch, I recently thought about a similar scenario that took place back in 1985 with the approach of Halley’s Comet. One Sunday in the magazine supplement of my local newspaper, an ad caught my eye for a department store telescope, complete with a king-size image of a comet hovering over the instrument. The ad explained that Halley’s Comet was coming but was not expected to get very bright.”So,” the ad continued, „If you don’t want to miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime spectacle, you are going to have to ‘trap it.'” And what better way to do so than with the telescope pictured in the ad, offering up to 500 times magnification power and claiming to be a „wonderful scientific learning tool.” [Photos of Halley’s Comet through History]Recalling this ad, I said to myself: „The only thing that this telescope is going to ‘trap’ will be unsuspecting people who won’t see a thing through it. Those poor souls will fail because they didn’t know where to look, or because they didn’t learn how to use their new instrument properly. They’re probably going to get very frustrated, and that ‘wonderful scientific learning tool’ is ultimately going to end up in the back of a closet or up in the attic.”So if you’re among those who are thinking about buying a telescope simply to get a view of Comet ISON — which is visible in binoculars now but could put on an even better show in December if it survives its Nov. 28 solar encounter, which will bring the icy wanderer within just 730,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) of the sun’s surface — take a few deep breaths and read what I have to say:First: The most important requirements for successful comet viewing are complete darkness and a clear, unobstructed horizon. Darkness is absolutely essential if you plan to get a good view of the tail. You will need the kind of dark sky that you would find out in the open countryside, where you can look up and see a starry sky. View gallery.”Comet ISON shines in this five-minute exposure taken at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center on Nov. …Obviously, you won’t find that kind of sky from a large metropolitan area or its immediate suburbs, but suitable spots exist within a 90-minute drive of nearly every residence in the U.S. or southern Canada. Even if Comet ISON fizzles out, you will still be rewarded for your trouble with a striking view that cannot be duplicated in city skies even with the aid of binoculars or telescopes.Having a dark sky to work with will be a big plus, because no optical instrument can improve the contrast between the comet’s tail and the bright background sky that is masking it. [See amazing photos of Comet ISON by stargazers]Second: The best all-around instrument is a pair of binoculars. Neophytes in astronomy will likely find binoculars’ wider range of field better suited to comet-watching than a telescope. They are also much easier to handle than a telescope, and — best of all — they will show you all that is to be seen in the tail. The standard 7-power binocular gives you all the magnification needed — you really don’t need much on an object that stretches across one-sixth of the sky! Take note of the size of the lenses; 7 x 50 „night glasses” (the second number gives the diameter in millimeters of the larger objective lenses) can provide you with nearly twice the brightness of 7 x 35 binoculars. If you do decide to purchase binoculars specifically to view Comet ISON, be sure to go with a reputable brand. You might seek advice at your local planetarium, or maybe there’s a local astronomy club whose members might be able to offer some assistance. Another possibility is scanning the pages of popular magazines like Astronomy and Sky & Telescope, where you are likely to find such reputable instruments…Third: A telescope’s main value is in magnifying the head of the comet. An eyepiece magnifying 30 to 100 power will provide you with very satisfactory results — even more so than with higher powers. Incidentally, steer clear of ads that boast about super-high magnification. Instead, you should judge a telescope based on the size of the objective lens or mirror. The bigger the aperture, the more light the telescope will collect, providing you with a better and brighter view. My own personal rule is 25 power per inch of aperture. So, for instance, if you own a 6-inch (15 centimeters) reflecting telescope, the most pleasing view will be at 150 power. Yes, a 6-inch scope is also capable of 300 power, but that’s the maximum for an instrument of that size, and it’s rare that atmospheric conditions will allow you to „push the magnification envelope,” so to speak.Besides, if you are hoping to see the whole comet from head to tail, a high-powered image can actually end up being a bit disappointing. It’s sort of like viewing a super close-up of the Statue of Liberty’s right nostril. Always remember: if the telescope that you’re checking out is advertising its power and not its aperture, it’s not worth purchasing. So unless you already own a quality telescope with a steady, first class mount, you would do better investing your hard-earned money in good binoculars instead. Good luck, and good viewing! Editor’s note: If you snap a photo of Comet ISON or any other amazing night sky view and you’d like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at firstname.lastname@example.org.Joe Rao serves as an instructor and guest lecturer at New York’s Hayden Planetarium. He writes about astronomy for Natural History magazine, the Farmer’s Almanac and other publications, and he is also an on-camera meteorologist for News 12 Westchester, N.Y. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook or Google+. Originally published on SPACE.com.
- Fukushima plant readies for dangerous fuel rod removal AFP
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- Removal of Fukushima’s spent fuel on target: U.S. Energy Secretary Reuters
- Japan OKs fuel removal from pool at nuke plant Associated Press
- Tokyo Electric aims for July restart of nuclear plant: media Reuters
TOKYO (Reuters) – Three of the spent fuel assemblies due to be carefully plucked from the crippled Japanese nuclear plant at Fukushima in a hazardous year-long operation were damaged even before the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that knocked out the facility.The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co, or Tepco, said the damaged assemblies – 4.5 meter high racks containing 50-70 thin rods of highly irradiated used fuel – can’t be removed from Fukushima’s Reactor No. 4 using the large cask assigned to taking out more than 1,500 of the assemblies.One of the assemblies was damaged as far back as 1982, when it was mishandled during a transfer, and is bent out of shape, Tepco said in a brief note at the bottom of an 11-page information sheet in August.In a statement from April 2010, Tepco said it found two other spent fuel racks in the reactor’s cooling pool had what appeared to be wire trapped in them. Rods in those assemblies have pin-hole cracks and are leaking low-level radioactive gases, Tepco spokesman Yoshikazu Nagai told Reuters on Thursday.The existence of the damaged racks, reported in a Fukushima regional newspaper on Wednesday, came to light as Tepco prepares to begin decommissioning the plant by removing all the spent fuel assemblies from Reactor No. 4.View gallery.”Lake Barrett (R), a member of Tokyo Electric Power Co’s (TEPCO) outside reform committee and indepen …”The three fuel assemblies … cannot be transported by cask,” Tepco spokeswoman Mayumi Yoshida said in an emailed response to queries on Thursday, referring to the large steel chamber that will be used to shift the fuel assemblies from the pool high up in the damaged reactor building to safe storage.”We are currently reviewing how to transport these fuel assemblies to the common spent fuel pool,” she said.Tepco is due within days to begin removing 400 tones of the dangerous spent fuel in a hugely delicate and unprecedented operation fraught with risk.Having to deal with the damaged assemblies is likely to make that task more difficult and could jeopardize a 12-month timeframe to complete the removal that many have already called ambitious.
RISKY, COMPLEX OPERATIONView gallery.”Members wearing protective suits and masks, including Lake Barrett, a member of Tokyo Electric Power …Three reactors suffered core meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant north of Tokyo after the March 2011 disaster that triggered explosions and forced the evacuation of 160,000 people from nearby towns and villages.Tepco, which has floundered in trying to bring the plant under control in the two and a half years since the disaster, is now moving to full decommissioning at the six-reactor facility.The most urgent task is to remove the fuel assemblies from the unstable Reactor No. 4, which due to their height – about 18 meters above ground level – are more vulnerable to any new earthquake. The operation is seen as a test of Tepco’s ability to move ahead with decommissioning the whole facility – a task likely to take decades and cost tens of billions of dollars.Lake Barrett, a former U.S. nuclear regulator who is advising Tepco, visited the Fukushima site on Wednesday and endorsed preparations for the removal of the assemblies.”While removal of the fuel is usually a routine procedure in operating a power plant, the damage to the reactor building has made the job more complex,” he said, adding he was „genuinely impressed by the thoroughness of the effort and Tepco’s contingency planning.”Tepco has said the assembly removal process will begin around mid-November, but has not given an exact date, citing what it says are security reasons.The assemblies must first be lifted from their storage frames in the pool and individually placed in a steel cask – kept all the while under water to prevent overheating. The cask, weighing around 90 tones when filled, will then be hoisted by crane from the pool, lowered to ground level and transported by trailer to a common storage pool about 100 meters away.(Additional reporting by James Topham; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)
India camel breeders count losses at one of world’s largest fairsBy Charlotte Turner 7 hours agoView gallery Pushkar (India) (AFP) – As dusk falls on the desert town of Pushkar in northern India, turbaned herdsmen huddle around fires and lament the downfall of one of the world’s largest livestock fairs.Like many traders, Jojawa trekked hundreds of kilometres to reach the decades-old cattle and camel fair, a journey that took him seven days from his village in the desert state of Rajasthan.But the way things are going, he expects to go home with his pockets half-empty and some of the 25 camels that he hoped to sell still in tow.”This year there are fewer buyers and fewer camels,” says Jojawa who has been coming to the annual fair for 35 years.”If it goes on like this, in another 4 to 5 years, I’ll be finished,” adds Jojawa who uses one name.Official figures for the five-dayfair, which finishes this week and has long been a major tourist attraction, show the number of camels on sale has fallen to 4,739, a sharp drop from the 8,000 recorded in 2011, and a fraction of those from previous decades.”I see more cameras than camels these days,” says Ilse Koehler-Rollefson, a German academic turned activist with the non-profit organisation Lokhit Pashu Palak Sansthan (LPPS), which works to support Rajasthan’s traditional Raika pastoralists.She says the Pushkar fair is the only time of year when camel breeders earn a cash income. Camels are normally sold for around 15,000 rupees, or $230 each and used on farms or as transport.View gallery.”Camels for sale are seen at the annual fair grounds in Pushkar, on November 9, 2013 (AFP Photo/Sajja …But as sales decline, breeding is becoming a less viable way to earn a living, and as a result she sees the traditional values that underpin the market „rapidly disintegrating”.Among the region’s most prominent camel herders, the Raika believe the Hindu god Lord Shiva handed them the responsibility to rear camels.The semi-nomadic herdsmen consider their relationship with the animals as sacred and they are unique among camel herders worldwide for not slaughtering the camels they rear. But all that is changing.”In the past 10 to 15 years, this taboo against the slaughter of camels has totally disintegrated and now we’re at a stage here where in Pushkar most of the camels are actually sold for meat,” Koehler-Rollefson says.Traditionally it was also taboo to sell female camels, considered the life-blood of a herd, but these days even they are sold for slaughter, she says.”It’s a sell-out. Once the females are gone that’s pretty much the end, you’re out of the business, you’re not going to be back next year,” she adds.As modernisation has swept across India, thanks to an economic boom, the country’s camel population has plummeted by 50 percent over the last three decades.View gallery.”Traders gather around a fire before dawn at the camel fair grounds in Pushkar, on November 10, 2013 …In 1982, there were more than one million camels nationwide, but numbers dropped to just over 500,000 by 2007, according to the most recent survey by the ministry of agriculture.Of these, more than 80 percent live in Rajasthan, where camels have traditionally been used as work animals on farms or as transport for carrying freight.But as vehicles and agricultural machinery become ever more accessible and affordable, sons from breeding families see no value in camels. Like tens of thousands of other young Indians, many are seeking a more lucrative income away from the land in India’s sprawling cities.The herders who are left are mostly from the older generation, men like Jojawa for whom life has changed little and is only becoming harder.Most complain about the reduction in grazing areas for feeding their stock as development encroaches on common land and national parks and forests become out of bounds.Breeding becomes riskier as a poorer diet makes camels more susceptible to illness and miscarriages are more likely, says Koehler-Rollefson.A government-backed programme in the city of Bikaner in northern Rajasthan is trying to create more resilient animals through enhanced nutrition and cross-breeding.But herdsmen like Nimaram say that programme is only benefiting herders in the large, arid region of the Thar desert, and has had no impact on his community further south.”Our children want to continue rearing camels, but only if it is profitable,” says Nimaram, who also only uses one name.He wants the government to offer loans to help them invest in camel milk dairies, an industry that has already taken off in the Middle East.The Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the global market for camel milk is worth $10 billion, but India’s share is currently just 0.1 percent.Camel milk is a rich source of insulin and is touted as a dietary treatment for diabetes, a potentially huge market in India which has the highest number of diabetics in the world. But the country’s small-scale camel milk producers lack the infrastructure to transport refrigerated milk and make it a viable business.Nimaram spends 10 months of the year out grazing with his animals and he hopes that in the future his children can work alongside camels too.But he knows the prospects for that aren’t very promising. When he was a child his family owned 500 camels, now they are down to just 50.His biggest fear is that one day there will be so few camels left in Rajasthan that his grandchildren „will only get to see them in pictures or in books.”
Domed refuge now cauldron of misery for survivorsBy KRISTEN GELINEAU 35 minutes agoView gallery TACLOBAN, Philippines (AP) — Close your eyes and hold your breath, and you could imagine you are in a normal sports stadium. You hear a ball bouncing and the children’s cheers echoing under the cavernous dome.Open your eyes and you see rain-soaked trash littering almost every inch of the ground and exhausted refugees sprawled across seats. A sign taped on the wall next to a small, dank room by the stairwell tells people not to defecate or urinate there. It is clear from the stench that many have ignored this advice.For the thousands of people jamming the Tacloban City Astrodome, the great hall with a solid roof was a heaven-sent refuge when Typhoon Haiyan rammed the eastern Philippines last week. Evacuated from their homes along the coast in time, they had a place to hide from the furious winds and gigantic water surge. But along with shelter, their constant companion now is misery and hunger.It’s been six days since the typhoon struck but no aid has arrived at the astrodome. Not a single relief worker is in sight.”What can we do? There’s nothing we can do!” says Corazon Cecleno, a volunteer with the village council who had handed out food stamps to the occupants — stamps for food that has yet to arrive. „We really want to know why the distribution of help is so slow.”The people staying here find water where they can — from a broken water pipe on the side of the road, from a tarp in a former office building nearby. The water tastes bad — salty — but there is nothing else available and they are desperate.View gallery.”A survivor walks outside the Tacloban City Convention Center known as the Astrodome Thursday, Nov. 1 …Thousands are squatting here: inside the stadium, in the ruined shops and restaurants that line it, and under tarpaulins on the grass outside.Maria Consuelo Martinez, 38, is nine months pregnant and jammed in an abandoned restaurant at the dome along with five families. Her naked 2-year-old son, Mark, sits next to her on a piece of plywood. She has only one outfit for him, and it is drying after a wash. Her 5-year-old daughter, Maria, stares vacantly. Sodden laundry hangs from ropes crisscrossing the room. Flies are everywhere and the tiled floor is slick with filth.Her husband wanders around, begging for food. Some friends found sacks of ocean-soaked rice at a warehouse and gave the family one. They are drying the grains in the sun on a blue tarp, hoping it will be edible, knowing it will be salty. They have a bottle of well water to cook and wash with, but it tastes like the ocean and they aren’t convinced it’s safe. They drink it anyway.”We have no choice,” says Moses Rosilio, a neighbor who is squatting in the restaurant with Martinez.Her baby is due by the end of the month. She has no idea where she’ll deliver.View gallery.”A typhoon survivor sits inside the Tacloban City Convention Center known as the Astrodome Thursday, …”I’m feeling nervous,” she says. „There are no clothes for my baby. … I don’t know, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll give birth here.”In the wreckage of a discotheque next door, facing the street in front of the stadium, a few men have built a small fire to cook noodles. The pot will need to feed a dozen people today.Nearby, Vicky Arcales, 38, uses a hand-crank charger for her mobile phone. She shakes her arm in exhaustion; she’s been at it for three hours. She knows she won’t get a signal anyway, but charges it nonetheless. Just in case.Behind her, a family has crafted a makeshift baby cot out of a pink-and-white-striped sheet, strung up by cords. It cradles a month-old boy in a shirt, but no diaper; they have none, and no other clothes. Nor do they have food for his mother, who is starving.The baby stares up at visitors and urinates, the urine seeping through the sheet onto the floor below. A few feet away, a 1-year-old girl wails, her face covered in a red rash. There is no medicine for her.View gallery.”A typhoon survivor dries rice outside the Tacloban City Convention Center known as the Astrodome Thu …Inside the dome, Erlinda Rosales lies on a steel barrier propped atop the railing and stadium seats, next to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. This is their makeshift bed. They are cooking a little nearby on a small burner borrowed from a friend.Rosales, 72, is one of the lucky ones: Her family has finally received the first supply of relief food. But it was only because her granddaughter has walked every day to their village council to see if the supplies are there. On Thursday’s walk, the food was finally available. They got 3 kilograms (7 pounds) of rice and three cans of sardines.”I wonder when they will bring food here,” she says.Daniel Legaspi has less than Rosales, but more than some other people. The 16-year-old holds up a packet of squeezy cheese, powdered biscuits and cream.”We don’t have bread, but we have the fillings,” he says with a laugh.
Typhoon-struck Philippine city begins mass burialBy OLIVER TEVES and KRISTEN GELINEAU 3 hours agoView gallery TACLOBAN, Philippines (AP) — Workers in this typhoon-shattered city buried 100 of its thousands of dead in a hillside mass burial Thursday as desperately needed aid began to reach some of the half-million people displaced by the disaster.Related Stories
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Dozens more bodies were lined up in bags outside Tacloban City Hall waiting to be taken to burial sites. Six days after Typhoon Haiyan struck the central Philippines, many of the dead were still lying along roads as survivors searched for bodies buried under the rubble.Philippine soldiers on trucks distributed rice and water as chainsaw-wielding teams cut debris from blocked roads. Thousands more swarmed the city’s damaged airport, desperate to leave or to get treatment at a makeshift medical center.The USS George Washington aircraft carrier arrived in the Philippine Sea near the Gulf of Leyte Thursday, and will set up a position off the coast of Samar Island to assess the damage and provide medical and water supplies, the 7th Fleet said in a statement.The carrier and its strike group together bring 21 helicopters to the area, which can help reach the most inaccessible areas.Authorities say 2,357 people have been confirmed dead in the disaster, but that figure is expected to rise, perhaps significantly, when information is collected from other areas of the disaster zone.View gallery.”Victims queue for food and water in the aftermath of super typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban city, central …In the city’s first mass burial, 100 bodies in leaking black bags were lowered into graves without any prayers being said.John Cajipe, 31, and three teenage boys who work at the local cemetery placed the first body in the grave’s right hand corner. Sweat rolled down their faces in the blistering sun as they carried the body.The second body followed two minutes later, carefully placed alongside the first. And so on, until scores of bodies — all unidentifed — filled the grave.”I hope this is the last time I see something like this,” said Mayor Alfred Romualdez. „When I look at this it just reminds me of what has happened from the day the storm hit until today.”Officials said efforts had been made to identify the bodies so families have a chance of finding out what happened to their loved ones in the days and weeks to come. It was not immediately clear whether this included DNA testing.Camera Catches Power of Typhoon HaiyanPlay video.”In addition to the USS George Washington, about a half dozen other U.S. ships — including a destroyer and two huge supply vessels — are already in the area, along with two P-3 aircraft that are being used to survey the damage from the sky so that planners can assess where aid is most needed, the 7th Fleet said.”We are operating 24-7,” said Capt. Cassandra Gesecki, a spokeswoman for the Marines, who have set up an operations hub near Manila’s international airport. „We are inundated with flights.”Valerie Amos, the U.N. humanitarian chief who toured Tacloban on Wednesday, said some 11.5 million people have been affected by the typhoon, which includes people who lost their loved ones, were injured, and suffered damage to their homes, business or livelihoods.”The situation is dismal … tens of thousands of people are living in the open … exposed to rain and wind,” she told reporters in Manila on Thursday.Aid has been slow to reach the 545,000 people displaced by the storm that tore across several islands in eastern Philippines last Friday. Most of the casualties occurred in Leyte province, its capital Tacloban, and Samar island. Many bodies are still lying along the roads in the city and others are buried under debris.Photos Show Depth of Disaster in PhilippinesPlay video.”She said the immediate priority for humanitarian agencies over the next few days is to transport and distribute high energy biscuits and other food, tarpaulins, tents, clean drinking water and basic sanitation services.”I think we are all extremely distressed that this is Day 6 and we have not managed to reach everyone,” she said.The first nighttime flights — of C-130 transport planes — arrived since the typhoon struck, suggesting air control systems are now in place for a 24-7 operation — a prerequisite for the massive relief operation needed.Tacloban city administrator Tecson Lim said 70 percent of the city’s 220,000 people are in need of emergency assistance, and that only 70 of the city’s 2,700 employees have been showing up for work.He also stuck to an earlier estimate that 10,000 people had died in Tacloban even though President Benigno Aquino III has said the final death toll would top 2,500.Typhoon Survivor: ‘There Is No Hope’Play video.”While there is no shortage of aid material — both domestic and international — much of it is stuck in Manila and the nearby airport of Cebu because of the extensive damage that Tacloban airport suffered. Some of it, including food, water and medical supplies from the U.S., Malaysia and Singapore, had reached Tacloban and sat on pallets along the tarmac.Amos said because of a lack of fuel in Tacloban, the few trucks on ground are unable to move the aid material from the airport to the city. The weather also remains a challenge, with frequent downpours. The good news is that the debris on the road from the airport to the city has been pushed to one side, she said.On Wednesday, the U.N.’s World Food Program distributed rice and other items to nearly 50,000 people in the Tacloban area. Nearly 10 tons of high energy biscuits were also delivered to the city on Wednesday, with another 25 tons on the way.Philippine Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla said it may take six weeks before the first typhoon-hit towns get their electric power back. He said that in Tacloban, order needed to be restored „because if there’s no peace and order, it’s hard to reinstall the power posts.”He said army troops had fired shots Wednesday to drive away a group of armed men who approached a power transmission sub-station in Leyte province. The unidentified men fired back then fled. Nobody was hurt.__AP writers Todd Pitman in Tacloban and Chris Brummitt, Vijay Joshi and Teresa Cerojano in Manila contributed to this report.
Typhoon survivors desperate for escape or assistance
ReplayPlay VideoTacloban city devastated by Typhoon HaiyanPlay VideoTyphoon Haiyan Levels Large Parts of Tacloban CityPlay VideoAftershock victims hospitalisedPlay VideoTyphoon causes extensive damagePlay VideoIncredible Footage of Super TyphoonPlay VideoSome 10,000 deaths reportedPhilippine rescuers struggle Play video .Typhoon causes extensive damage Play video .Philippines typhoon death toll could reach 10,000, … Play video .Philippines clean-up begins after Typhoon’s devast … Play video .Super Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the central Philippines … Play video .2 hrs 13 mins ago 0:46 Reuters Videos Tacloban City is still reeling after a massive typhoon swept through the central Philippines. Julie Noce reports.
Clinic in typhoon-hit city overrun with patientsBy KRISTEN GELINEAU and JIM GOMEZ 12 hours agoView gallery TACLOBAN, Philippines (AP) — A run-down, single-story building with filthy floors at Tacloban’s ruined airport has become the area’s main medical center for victims of last week’s powerful typhoon. It has little medicine, virtually no facilities and very few doctors.Related Stories
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What it is not short of are patients.Hundreds of injured people, pregnant women, children and the elderly have poured into the squat, white building behind the control tower since Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the eastern Philippines on Friday, killing thousands. Doctors who have been dealing with cuts, fractures and pregnancy’ complications said Wednesday they soon expect to be treating more serious problems such as pneumonia, dehydration, diarrhea and infections.The medical woes add to the daunting tasks for authorities, including dealing with looters and clearing the bottlenecks holding up thousands of tons of aid material from coming in.”The priority has got to be, let’s get the food in, let’s get the water in. We got a lot more come in today, But even that won’t be enough, We really need to scale up operation in an ongoing basis,” U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos told reporters after touring Talcoban, the capital of Leyte province. Her office has released $25 million in emergency relief fund, accounting for a chunk of the millions of dollars pledged by countries around the world.The World Food Program distributed rice and other items to nearly 50,000 people in the Tacloban area Wednesday, U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said.View gallery.”A mother breastfeeds her baby inside a chapel which was turned into a makeshift hospital after Super …While the cogs of what promises to be a massive international aid effort are beginning to turn, they are not quick enough for the 600,000 people displaced, many of them homeless, hungry and thirsty.With the Tacloban airport battered and roads made impassable by debris, very little aid has arrived in the city. Most of it is stuck in Manila and the nearby airport of Cebu, a 45-minute flight away.Many among the desperate residents have resorted to raiding for food. Mobs overran a rice warehouse on Leyte, collapsing a wall that killed eight people. Thousands of sacks of the grain were carted off. Also Wednesday, security forces exchanged gunfire with an armed gang.Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez urged residents to flee the city because local authorities were having trouble providing food and water and maintaining order, The New York Times reported. He said the city desperately needed trucks to distribute relief shipments accumulating at the airport as well as equipment to pull decaying corpses from the rubble.Despite those incidents, police said the situation was improving.Typhoon Survivor: ‘There Is No Hope’Play video.”„We have restored order,” said Carmelo Espina Valmoria, director of the Philippine National Police special action force. „There has been looting for the last three days, but the situation has stabilized.”With the local police force unable to operate — most were victims — the government rushed thousands of soldiers and 600 policemen from other parts of the country. The security forces, including army engineers, are helping clear roads and remove the dead, many of them on roadsides. A 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew was in place.”There’s a lot of dead bodies outside. There’s no water, no food,” said Dr. Victoriano Sambale, one of the dozen medical staff tending to thousands of people at the airport clinic. Until Wednesday, there was no anesthetic, so open wounds had to be stitched without it.”Patients had to endure the pain,” Sambale said. Suddenly he is summoned — another pregnant woman had shown up.Clutching her swollen belly, 26-year-old Reve Rose was writhing in agony while rolling on her side on a wooden bench as her nervous husband looked on. Her first child was not due until around Christmas but she feared she is in labor already. Sambale felt her belly and tried to calm her down, certain it was just a panic attack.Typhoon Aid Operation Speeds UpPlay video.”„I am nervous, sad,” she said. „The house is lost. Everything is gone.”The air inside the clinic was fetid. Babies screamed and despondent elderly patients sat in chairs, eating dry crackers. One woman nursed her newborn, signing a lullaby. Intravenous drip bags hung from nails driven into the walls and doorjambs.Thelma Superable, 74, was vomited and needed emergency dialysis. She, her 51-year-old son, Danny Superable, and his young son have made their way to the clinic from their home, 37 kilometers (20 miles) away, by walking and hitching rides. By the time they reached the clinic, they were down to one bottle — with an inch of water left in it. „I am trembling because I am hungry,” Danny Superable said. „It’s survival of the fittest.”Since the storm, people have broken into homes, malls and garages, where they have stripped the shelves of food, water and other goods. Authorities have struggled to stop the looting. There have been unconfirmed reports of armed gangs of robbers operating in a systematic manner.The death toll rose to 2,344, according a national tally kept by the disaster agency. That figure is expected to rise, perhaps significantly, when accurate information is collected from the whole disaster zone, which spreads over a wide swath of the eastern and central Philippines but appears to be concentrated on two main islands — Leyte and Samar.The congressman for Eastern Samar province, a coastal region that bore the full force of the storm, said 211 people had been killed there and 45 were missing.”The situation there was horrible,” Ben Evardone told a local TV station. „Some communities disappeared, entire villages were wiped out. They were shouting ‘food, food, food!’ when they saw me.”The government says planes, ships and trucks were all on their way, loaded with generators, water purifying kits and emergency lights — vital equipment to sustain a major relief mission. Airports were reopening in the region, and the U.S. military said it was installing equipment to allow the damaged Tacloban airport to operate 24-7.A Norwegian ship carrying supplies left from Manila, while an Australian air force transport plane carrying a medical team took off from Canberra. British and U.S. navy vessels are also en route.U.S. Brig Gen. Paul Kennedy promised a response akin to the widely praised U.S. military one after the 2004 Asian tsunami, when fleets of helicopters dropped water and food to hundreds of isolated communities.”You are not just going to see Marines and a few planes and some helicopters,” Kennedy said. „You will see the entire Pacific Command respond to this crisis.”___Associated Press writers Oliver Teves, Chris Brummitt and Teresa Cerojano in Manila contributed to this report.
Rice, water distributed in typhoon-struck cityBy OLIVER TEVES and KRISTEN GELINEAU 10 hours agoPhotos Show Depth of Disaster in PhilippinesTyphoon Survivor: ‘There Is No Hope’ Play video .Raw: Typhoon Survivors Desperate to Leave Play video .Raw: Philippines Survivors Struggle Play video .Typhoon Aid Operation Speeds Up Play video .TACLOBAN, Philippines (AP) — Soldiers sat atop trucks distributing rice and water on Thursday in this typhoon-devastated city and chainsaw-wielding teams cut debris from blocked roads, small signs that a promised aid effort is beginning to pick up pace even as thousands flocked the airport, desperate to leave.Related Stories
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The first C-130 transport planes arrived at 3 a.m. at Tacloban airport, the first nighttime flight since the typhoon struck on Friday, suggesting air control systems are now in place for a 24-7 operation — a prerequisite for the massive relief operation needed.Food, water and medical supplies from the U.S., Malaysia and Singapore sat on pallets along the tarmac.The U.N.’s World Food Program distributed rice and other items to nearly 50,000 people in the Tacloban area Wednesday. Nearly 10 tons of high energy biscuits were also delivered to the city on Wednesday, with another 25 metric tons on the way.Military officials were among the thousands waiting outside the airport trying to get their families out.”My family has nothing to eat, and we have no place to stay,” said Sgt. William Escala. We cannot bear the stench. The kids are getting sick.”Typhoon Survivor: ‘There Is No Hope’Play video.”Hundreds of injured people, pregnant women, children and the elderly have poured into a makeshift medical center at the ruined airport. The run-down, single-story building with filthy floors has little medicine, virtually no facilities and very few doctors.Doctors who have been dealing with cuts, fractures and pregnancy’ complications said Wednesday they soon expect to be treating more serious problems such as pneumonia, dehydration, diarrhea and infections.The medical woes add to the daunting tasks for authorities, including dealing with looters and clearing the bottlenecks holding up thousands of tons of aid material from coming in.While the cogs of what promises to be a massive international aid effort are beginning to turn, it is still not quick enough for the 600,000 people displaced, many of them homeless, hungry and thirsty, their livelihoods destroyed.Much of the aid — and the staff needed to distribute it — is stuck in Manila and the nearby airport of Cebu, a 45-minute flight away.Raw: Typhoon Survivors Desperate to LeavePlay video.”„The priority has got to be, let’s get the food in, let’s get the water in. We got a lot more come in today, But even that won’t be enough, We really need to scale up operation in an ongoing basis,” U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos told reporters after touring Talcoban, the capital of Leyte province. Her office has released $25 million in emergency relief fund, accounting for a chunk of the millions of dollars pledged by countries around the world.Some among the desperate residents have resorted to raiding for food. Mobs overran a rice warehouse on Leyte, collapsing a wall that killed eight people. Thousands of sacks of the grain were carted off. But police say the situation is improving on the ground.Philippine Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla said it may take six weeks before the first typhoon-hit towns get their electric power back. He said that in Tacloban, order needed to be restored „because if there’s no peace and order, it’s hard to reinstall the power posts.”He said army troops had fired shots Wednesday to drive away a group of armed men who approached a power transmission sub-station in Leyte province. The unidentified men fired back then fled. Nobody was hurt.The death toll rose to 2,357, according a national tally kept by the disaster agency. That figure is expected to rise, perhaps significantly, when accurate information is collected from the whole disaster zone, which spreads over a wide swath of the eastern and central Philippines but appears to be concentrated on two main islands — Leyte and Samar.Gegham Petrosyan, from International Committee of the Red Cross, said destruction along the south cost of Samar island had been „massive.””People are desperate for life-saving aid,” Petrosyan said. „However, logistical and security constraints continue to hamper the distribution of desperately needed relief.”__AP writers Chris Brummitt and Teresa Cerojano in Manila contributed to this report.
More Heat Waves, Drought, Sea Level Rise In Store For Southeast U.S.: Report By Terrell Johnson Published: Nov 14, 2013, 9:20 AM EST weather.com
- Average sea level rise along the coast of between 1 and 5 feet by the end of this century.
- Higher average annual temperatures through the 21st century, as the region’s interior warms by as much as 9 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Fewer cold days, as the freeze-free season lengthens by up to a month.
- More 95-degree and above days every year, as heat waves increase by between 97 percent and 234 percent through the end of the century.
- Sharply increased stress on the region’s water supplies, as annual precipitation is expected to drop by as much as 12 percent in Louisiana and Arkansas by the end of the century.
Particularly vulnerable is one of the region’s biggest industries: agriculture.”Climate change is projected to damage most agriculture in the Southeastern U.S., harming productivity while requiring more water for irrigation,” said Dr. Keith Ingram, the director of the Southeast Climate Consortium and a professor at the University of Florida’s department of agriculture and biological engineering.Higher temperatures during the winter months will make it more difficult to farm crops like blueberries, peaches, and others that have a „chilling requirement,” he added. „Increasing summer heat stress is also projected to reduce crop productivity … and force some dairy and livestock production northward.”It is urgent that policymakers across the Southeast begin using the report’s findings in planning the region’s future, said Dr. Kirstin Dow, a geography professor at the University of South Carolina and another of more than 100 researchers and editors who contributed to the report.“I try not to panic anyone, but this is a project that needs more attention soon, and it’s serious,” she said in an interview with weather.com.”I don’t want to be an alarmist, I don’t want to be a fear-monger,” she added. „But I also think that the implications here are very, very significant to our way of life, and it needs to be factored into decision-making.”Read the full report at the Southeast Climate Consortium.MORE: Landmark Report Reveals A Rapidly Changing Planet1 / 8What The IPCC Reports SaySince the release of its first assessment report in 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has reported growing confidence in the warming of the climate system and in its causes, noting in 2007 that it is ‘very likely’ due to human activities. (NASA/Kathryn Hansen)
Winter Weather Live Updates: Next Storm Targets Rockies, Northwest Published: Nov 14, 2013, 6:57 AM EST weather.comNew System Moves Across NorthwestNew System Moves Across NorthwestNew Shot of Arctic Cold ComingSave Money This WinterA weak upper-level disturbance will bring light snow over the mountains of the Pacific Northwest and parts of the Rockies through early Friday.Then, a stronger storm will pivot southward into the Pacific Northwest Friday, then spread into the Rockies and parts of the Upper Midwest into upcoming weekend and early next week. At this time, the heaviest total snowfall will occur in the Cascades, northern and central Rockies, with only light accumulations possible in parts of the northern Plains. Watch the video clip above for the latest on this upcoming storm. (MORE: Expert Analysis | Winter Storm Alerts)