YOLANDA DEATH TOLL CLIMBS TO 6,166

JANUARY 3 -The death toll from Super Typhoon "Yolanda" climbed to 6,166 after the counting hit lull in the previous days, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said. The agency said in its Friday situational report that 28,626 people were also injured and 1,785 were still missing after the monster typhoon slammed into the Visayas on Nov. 8, 2013. More than 16 million people were affected in nine regions including over four million who were displaced from their homes. On Thursday, Malacañang said the government is trying to speed up the burial of some 1,400 fatalities of the disaster.

ALSO: No end to ‘Yolanda’ victims’ woes Rains test resilience of evacuees–UN

January 5 -Rains that have been hitting parts of the Visayas since the end of December are “testing the resilience of communities” ravaged by Supertyphoon “Yolanda,” underscoring the need to boost early recovery programs in the disaster zone ahead of the onset of the wet season, according to the United Nations humanitarian office. In its latest situation report released on Jan. 2, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) also said the United Nations and its partner agencies were focusing on providing shelter and reestablishing livelihood for the typhoon survivors. “Rainfall has displaced 54 families in Capiz province in Western Visayas and resulted in mudslides in Tacloban City. This reinforces the need for partners to bolster programs and support early recovery in advance of the upcoming rainy season,” the report said.

ALSO: Over P377 million raised in US Northeast for 'Yolanda' victims

The Filipino communities in the US Northeast along with various groups and individuals have donated about $8.5 million or over P377 million for the reconstruction and recovery efforts in areas hit by Super Typhoon "Yolanda." Several organizations initiated fundraisers benefitting Philippine and international foundations that are helping the typhoon victims. Philippine Consulate General Mario de Leon thanked all the donors for their generosity and hoped that they will continue to assist the typhoon-devastated areas through projects that will help in the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts. “I am overwhelmed by the continued support we are getting from the community groups, private companies, faith-based groups, schools and individuals within the US Northeast for the typhoon victims in the Philippines. So far, we have already monitored donations worth at least $8.5 million coming from our region," he said.

ALSO: New Year revelry injuries rise to 933 - DOH

Jan 3 -The number of firework-related injuries breached the 900 mark on Friday while the Department of Health (DOH) also recorded more victims of stray bullets. Health Assistant Sec. Eric Tayag said in his Twitter account that there were 914 firework injuries, two firecracker ingestion and 17 stray bullet cases until 6 a.m. today. Of the 914 injuries, 354 were caused by the illegal firecracker piccolo. The number of stray bullet injuries has almost doubled since Thursday's count. The Philippine National Police has a higher figure of 28. One of these victims was the three-month-old infant who was killed by a stray bullet in Ilocos Sur. The DOH's count so far, which started on Dec. 21, 2013, is higher than the total number of firework-related injuries recorded in the same period in the previous New Year revelries.


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YOLANDA DEATH TOLL CLIMBS TO 6,166


Typhoon survivors light candles for their still-missing relatives at a mass grave in the outskirts of Tacloban city, Leyte province in central Philippines,Tuesday Dec. 31, 2013. Hundreds more of still unidentified typhoon victims lay unburied Tuesday close to two months following the super typhoon Haiyan which ravaged the city and other provinces in central Philippines. AP

MANILA, JANUARY 6, 2014 (PHILSTAR)  By Louis Bacani - The death toll from Super Typhoon "Yolanda" climbed to 6,166 after the counting hit lull in the previous days, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said.

The agency said in its Friday situational report that 28,626 people were also injured and 1,785 were still missing after the monster typhoon slammed into the Visayas on Nov. 8, 2013.

More than 16 million people were affected in nine regions including over four million who were displaced from their homes.

On Thursday, Malacañang said the government is trying to speed up the burial of some 1,400 fatalities of the disaster.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Sec. Sonny Coloma said the Departments of Health (DOH) and Public Works and Highways (DPWH) sent more equipment while the National Bureau of Investigation redeployed its forensic team on the ground.

Quoting a report from rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson, he said the DOH has sent 1,500 body bags and protective kits for personnel handling the remains while the DPWH sent additional backhoes and payloaders.

"Ginagawa na po ito sa pamamagitan ng puspusang pagtutulungan ng DOH, NBI, DPWH at kanilang pakikipag-ugnayan sa Tacloban City government," Coloma said.

He added that the agencies are considering other suggestions to speed up the burial, including modifying the procedure used by the NBI to identify the remains.

FROM THE INQUIRER

No end to ‘Yolanda’ victims’ woes Rains test resilience of evacuees–UN By Tarra Quismundo Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:15 am | Sunday, January 5th, 2014


http://globalnation.inquirer.net/files/2014/01/MacArthur-Landing-Memorial-Park-Palo-Leyte.jpg
SIGNS OF LIFE: The figures of the famous MacArthur Landing Memorial Park in Palo town, Leyte province, seem to come alive along with the trees and grass, which have started to turn green almost two months after the devastation caused by Supertyphoon “Yolanda.” NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

Rains that have been hitting parts of the Visayas since the end of December are “testing the resilience of communities” ravaged by Supertyphoon “Yolanda,” underscoring the need to boost early recovery programs in the disaster zone ahead of the onset of the wet season, according to the United Nations humanitarian office.

In its latest situation report released on Jan. 2, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) also said the United Nations and its partner agencies were focusing on providing shelter and reestablishing livelihood for the typhoon survivors.

“Rainfall has displaced 54 families in Capiz province in Western Visayas and resulted in mudslides in Tacloban City. This reinforces the need for partners to bolster programs and support early recovery in advance of the upcoming rainy season,” the report said.

Mudslides that the rains had triggered blocked major roads in Tacloban “for a few hours” on Thursday, it said.

It also cited possible health risks that debris and improperly managed waste might pose on residents “as the rains increase in the coming weeks.”

“The recent rains emphasize the importance of strong engagement to promote a smooth transition to early recovery, particularly in shelter and debris clearance programs. Concurrently, humanitarian partners are actively trying to encourage private companies to become involved in waste recycling and mobilizing trucks and heavy equipment,” the report said.

Ocha said efforts were now focused on providing short-to medium-term shelter for some 4.1 million displaced people across the Visayas.

Humanitarian workers are currently identifying sites for the construction of bunkhouses and selecting beneficiaries, it said.

UN partner agencies are also “raising awareness” on land use and housing, particularly areas already designated as “no-build zones,” the report said.

Cash-for-work programs are also going on, with some 290 activities either on the pipeline, being carried out or completed.

Efforts are also under way to process felled coconut trees, which may degrade or rot “in the next two months,” the report said.

Fresh supplies

A shipment of more than 500 chain saws is coming this month for distribution to villagers in worst-hit areas to process lumber out of trees felled by the typhoon, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Expected to arrive at the relief hub in Cebu province between Sunday and Jan. 14 are 38 12-meter containers loaded with shelter materials, clothing and chain saws for distribution in the worst-hit communities.

Bernard Kerblat, the UNHCR representative in the Philippines, said the second phase of the response would begin this month with the distribution of relief supplies by sea.

The first phase was rapid distribution of aid by air during the early part of the emergency.

Kerblat said the fresh shipments included 30,000 pieces of plastic sheeting and as many blankets, 1,500 mattresses and bed sheets from the Swedish home furnishing company Ikea and clothing for 800,000 people from the Japanese clothing company Uniqlo.

“We will not be able to serve the entire population [so] we will concentrate on the most vulnerable ones,” Kerblat said.

“It’s a small initiative. It’s a drop of water. But all the drops of water pulled together make a river,” he said.

The fresh supplies are arriving just as the UNHCR has completed serving more than 300,000 of the worst-affected people in Eastern Visayas, 100 percent of its initial target for distribution of emergency aid, including shelter materials, solar lanterns and cooking utensils.

Plight of widowers

Kerblat said the additional supplies would be distributed on a “needs basis” and to get priority would be the most vulnerable, including people with disabilities, the elderly, women and children, indigenous people and another sector who should be given more attention: widowers grappling with guilt over the loss of their wives and children.

“In certain communities [that were] totally destroyed, we should also not forget not only the women and children who have survived this mayhem, but also the men who have also survived this mayhem and a lot of them are widowers [and] are also among the vulnerable,” Kerblat said.

He said “very few people” noticed the plight of these widowers who were “overwhelmed” survivors of the deadly typhoon.

“A lot of these men, having lost their wives, having lost their children, all of a sudden find themselves [alone, feeling] guilty of being alive,” Kerblat said.

“They may also be providers to one or two children who may have escaped the destruction. And they are overwhelmed with the desire to go back to their traditional activities like fishing, to rebuild the house,” he added.

Kerblat said the United Nations and its partner agencies and organizations were looking for ways to deal with the situation of those men, particularly through providing them with livelihood “as early as possible.”

Greater support

Ocha called for greater private sector support for the shelter and camp management sectors, saying in a Dec. 31 report that assistance there was “lagging well behind overall funding levels.”

The United Nations said donations from around the world—foreign governments, multilateral institutions, international organizations, companies and private citizens—now amounted to $608 million, more than half of which ($328 million) was contributed to the world body’s flash appeal for its Strategic Response Plan.

The plan is “closely aligned” with the Philippine government’s Recovery Assistance on Yolanda (RAY) program, the country’s long-term rehabilitation plan for typhoon-ravaged provinces.

Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) was the worst disaster to hit the Philippines in 2013, killing more than 6,100 people with nearly 1,800 still missing.

The disaster affected 14 million people, 4.1 million of whom lost their homes.

Over P377 million raised in US Northeast for 'Yolanda' victims By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated January 3, 2014 - 10:59am 1 3 googleplus0 0


AP File photo

MANILA, Philippines - The Filipino communities in the US Northeast along with various groups and individuals have donated about $8.5 million or over P377 million for the reconstruction and recovery efforts in areas hit by Super Typhoon "Yolanda."

Several organizations initiated fundraisers benefitting Philippine and international foundations that are helping the typhoon victims.

Philippine Consulate General Mario de Leon thanked all the donors for their generosity and hoped that they will continue to assist the typhoon-devastated areas through projects that will help in the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts.

“I am overwhelmed by the continued support we are getting from the community groups, private companies, faith-based groups, schools and individuals within the US Northeast for the typhoon victims in the Philippines. So far, we have already monitored donations worth at least $8.5 million coming from our region," he said.

De Leon also welcomed the recent launching of the Philippine Government’s Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda (RAY), a strategic plan to guide the recovery and reconstruction of the economy, lives, and livelihoods of people and communities in the areas affected by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

The plan, which was presented on December 18 in Manila to various donors and partners, aims to restore the economic and social conditions of the affected areas and place them in a higher level of disaster resilience.

According to the RAY, the Philippines will need a total of $8.17 billion for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the devastated areas.

“I encourage our community to re-focus their future socio-economic and charitable projects and even their medical missions to the typhoon-devastated places to support the Government’s reconstruction plan," de Leon said.

He added that those who want to help can also support projects that will have more concrete and lasting impact, such as the “Build-A-Shelter Project” of the Friends of FilCom and the Philippine Jesuit Foundation.

Some of the groups and organizations in in the US Northeast that raised donations:

Philippine-American Association of Connecticut - $28,000.
Filipino Executive Council of Greater Philadelphia’s fund -$23,000
Filipino Community Development Center in Toms River, New Jersey - $35,000
Massachusetts-based Philippine-American Mainstream Advocacy of Nonpartisan Associations, Inc. - $2,200 Pilipino-American Association of New England, Inc. - $2,500,
Friends of the Philippine Mission to the United Nations - $10,000
Philippine American Friendship Committee - $6,800
Here Lies Love - $100,000
Filipino American Association of Fair Lawn, Inc. - $18,000 in Philadelphia
Police Asian American Advisory Committee - $1,660
Filipino–American Council - $25,000
Suffolk County - 10 pallets of meals ready to eat and 10 pallets of bottled water Nassau County - 528 cases of MREs
United Nations International School in New York student groups - $20,000
Yuichi Shikanai Japanese School in New Jersey students - $511

New Year revelry injuries rise to 933 - DOH By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated January 3, 2014 - 12:02pm 2 65 googleplus0 0


A man waits for his drug prescription after being treated for his hand injury following the raucous celebration to welcome the New Year Wednesday Jan. 1, 2014, in Manila, Philippines. Traditionally, Filipinos welcome the New Year with fireworks and firecrackers and making the loudest noise possible, including indiscriminate firing of their guns which sometimes result in injuries and deaths. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines - The number of firework-related injuries breached the 900 mark on Friday while the Department of Health (DOH) also recorded more victims of stray bullets.

Health Assistant Sec. Eric Tayag said in his Twitter account that there were 914 firework injuries, two firecracker ingestion and 17 stray bullet cases until 6 a.m. today.

Of the 914 injuries, 354 were caused by the illegal firecracker piccolo.

The number of stray bullet injuries has almost doubled since Thursday's count. The Philippine National Police has a higher figure of 28.

One of these victims was the three-month-old infant who was killed by a stray bullet in Ilocos Sur.

The DOH's count so far, which started on Dec. 21, 2013, is higher than the total number of firework-related injuries recorded in the same period in the previous New Year revelries.

Tayag said in 2012, there were 892 firework injuries, two firecracker ingestion and 25 stray bullet cases.

On Wednesday, the DOH admitted that the number of injuries are increasing but are "milder" this year.

Fewer by-standers and children less than 10 years old were also affected.

In the agency's count on Wednesday, Metro Manila had the most number of injuries followed by the Calabarzon and Ilocos regions.

Malacañang on Thursday urged private and public stakeholders to meet immediately and agree on safe alternatives to fireworks.

"We can ill afford to wait for another New Year’s Day celebration marred by similar injuries or deaths. Hence, we call on all stakeholders to reach a common stand on safer alternatives for celebrating New Year’s Day through local ordinances or enactment or amendment of existing national laws," said Presidential Communications Operations Office Sec. Sonny Coloma.

The Palace official also admitted that there is a need for a stricter gun regulation in the country.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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