Rappler Newscast | November 14, 2013


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Isolated areas in Guiuan go for days without food. Cabinet men address charges of slow & inefficient relief operations. Saño: Help for vulnerable countries

Today on Rappler.

  • On day 6, some survivors of Typhoon Haiyan are still waiting for aid. In Guiuan Islands, four barangays have gone without food for days.
  • The government responds to criticism relief operations are slow and inefficient.
  • Climate change commissioner Naderev Saño says vulnerable countries should benefit from the Green climate fund.


The farthest islands in Guiuan, Eastern Samar are without food for at least 4 days.
With all their boats damaged by Super Typhoon Yolanda, locals are still totally cut off from Guiuan town proper and much needed aid.
Annaliza Gonzales-Kwan, sister of Mayor Christopher Gonzales, says of the 19 island barangays in Guiuan, four isolated barangays received no relief goods.
These are Homonhon, Manicani, Suluan and Calicoan.
The mayor requests a helicopter to deliver food to these areas.
The island barangays have not benefited from the two waves of food distribution.
As of November 13, about 390 bags of relief goods arrive — not enough to feed survivors.
Based on the 2010 census, the estimated population of the entire town of Guiuan is about 47,000.
The super typhoon first hit land in Guiuan on Friday.
Gonzales-Kwan says that despite being the first-hit, the town is the last to receive goods.
She says goods pass by Leyte and other parts of Samar before getting to Guiuan. By that time, there aren’t many relief goods left to distribute.
Social welfare secretary Dinky Soliman says 16,000 food packs are on its way to Guiuan.
There is still no power, no communication.
With no evacuation centers, survivors build makeshift roofs over concrete walls still standing.
Looting is a problem.
Gonzales-Kwan says people stab or punch security guards who don’t let them inside the stores.
Before the military arrived on November 12, it was mob rule.
An 8 am to 5 pm curfew is now being imposed.
Gonzales-Kwan describes Yolanda’s arrival like “an atomic bomb that dropped on us.”
As of November 13, at least 85 casualties are reported, with 25 missing and 960 injured.

Residents of Eastern Samar are used to typhoons.
But few seemed to understand exactly what a storm surge could do.
Paterno Esmaquel reports.

No one imagined this calm shore could turn so deadly.
Thirty-year-old Maricel Jerusalem remembers the wall of water that almost killed her baby, barely two weeks old.
For more than an hour, Maricel swam with her child through waves deep as a two-storey building, what officials call a storm surge.
At one point, she thought her baby stopped breathing.

MARICEL JERUSALEM, HERNANI RESIDENT: Tapos nung ano na, nung ‘yung mata ng anak ko nakikita kong tumitirik na, nung ganunin ko po siya hindi na po siya kumurap. Tapos sinipsip ko na lang po ang bibig niya at saka ilong. Umiyak. Kaso lang mahirap na po talaga ang pinagdaanan namin kasi hindi ko na po inasahan na mabubuhay pa ang anak ko. (When I saw my child’s eyes dilating, I tried to open it but my baby was no longer blinking. I tried breathing air into her. She cried. What we went through was really hard, I really didn’t expect that my child would live through it.)

Like Maricel, hundreds were unprepared.
No one understood what a storm surge is.
Like a mini tsunami that keeps coming, a storm surge is caused by tides whipped inland by strong winds.
Eastern Samar suffered some of the worst storm surges of Yolanda.
Project Noah actually predicted the storm surges three days before the cyclone.
But even the governor of Eastern Samar didn’t know what a storm surge is.

CONRADO NICART JR, GOVERNOR, EASTERN SAMAR: [Q: Kayo po ba naintindihan nyo ang storm surge? (Do you know what a storm surge is?)] Hindi nga eh, ngayon ko lang naano yung term na yon, na-encounter. Kasi usually, noong araw, tidal wave, tsunami. Yung storm surge, ngayon lang yan naano. So yung mga tao, hindi naintindihan yon. Kaya ano lang sila, panatag lang sila sa lugar nila. Sana ang ginamit nila, kahit tidal wave, kahit tsunami. Marami yon. Sarili yan mag-aalisan. Magvo- volunteer pa yung mga tao. (No. It’s my first time to encounter that term. Before it was just called tidal wave or tsunami. It’s the first time we’ve heard of a storm surge. The people did not understand what it is which is why I think they were very calm. I hope they just said there would be a tidal wave or tsunami. People would’ve voluntarily evacuated.)

Nicart says Eastern Samar did its best to prepare for Yolanda.
Eastern Samar had rescuers and rescue boats on standby before Yolanda struck.
Up to 47,000 Eastern Samar residents evacuated their homes.
Still, government data show at least 172 of the 2,357 killed came from Eastern Samar.
Nicart says government could only do so much.

CONRADO NICART JR, GOVERNOR, EASTERN SAMAR: Eh ako, hindi ako magyayabang. Talagang hindi mo mahahandaan yan nang sapat. At saka hindi inaasahan na ang tubig dagat ang aano sa mga bayan-bayan. Usually, yung mga bagyo dito sa amin, more on ulan. So ang pinaghahandaan, ‘yung mga ilog, ‘yung mga nakatira sa tabing ilog at saka ‘yung mga nakatira sa mga bukid bukid. ‘Yun ang pinaaalis. Yung sa tabing dagat, hindi inaasahan yon. (There’s really no way of preparing enough for it. Nobody expected the sea water to surge through the towns. Usually, typhoons here just bring rain. Those who live near rivers and ricefields, they’re the ones who are asked to evacuated. Those living near the shoreline, that’s unexpected.)

Another problem: reaching the survivors.
The lack of cellphone signals paralyzed the provincial capitol.
Damaged roads prevented officials from reaching affected areas.
It took two days just to assess the damage in Guiuan, ground zero for Yolanda, the first place it hit land.
Yolanda exposed the weaknesses in disaster preparedness.
People need to understand the danger.  It begins with getting the right information.
Paterno Esmaquel, Rappler, Eastern Samar.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin says relief goods will reach 40 towns in Leyte by Thursday.
The province, which has 40 municipalities and three cities, is the worst hit by Typhoon Yolanda.
In this province alone, at least 1,785 people are killed.
In the aftermath of the typhoon, rampant looting became a problem as survivors scour for food and supplies.
Additional police and military were deployed after local officials asked for help restoring peace and order.
Gazmin says the Army has 1,200 troops in the city while the police brought in about 800.
He adds the military is “in full control of the security problem in Tacloban.”

United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos says aid must reach survivors faster.
There’s growing criticism that help is taking too long to arrive in many areas devastated by the typhoon.
Bodies still litter the streets of Tacloban, while others lie in body bags, waiting for mass burials.
Thousands of desperate survivors fight to get flights out of a city where clean drinking water is running out.  Many have no shelter.
Amos says, “The situation is dismal. People are extremely desperate for help.”
Malacanang responds to criticism of slow relief operations, citing challenges in distribution.
On Wednesday, Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras admits the government needs help, but also defends its efforts to speed up distribution of aid.

RENE ALMENDRAS, PHILIPPINE CABINET SECRETARY: There are places which are very remote, which we need to know of so that we can reach them. It’s not within the national government’s control how effectively we can hit the ground.

To speed up relief operations, distribution centers are set up in Ormoc City and Tacloban City in Leyte and in Guiuan in Eastern Samar.

A day after CNN called out the Philippine government for its slow relief effort, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas tells the network, “no response will be good enough.”
In an interview with CNN’s Andrew Stevens in Tacloban City, Roxas addresses criticism that the government response was ineffective and inefficient.
Roxas says the “entire force of the government” is looking after the survivors.
Stevens says the government knew beforehand that the biggest storm was coming, but based on his own assessments, the relief effort “did not happen quickly enough.”
Roxas says local governments are the first responders, but the force of the typhoon crippled even the response capabilities of local officials.
At one point, Stevens comments, “Surely, you need to override bureaucracy in this situation.”
In a separate segment on CNN, Anderson Cooper and Paula Hancocks discuss Roxas’ reported reaction to a supposed tweet from Cooper.
Hancocks says Roxas was “upset” by a tweet Cooper supposedly posted that there seemed to be no government presence in Tacloban.
Cooper says he meant there was no organized, large-scale efforts seen in the affected areas.
Earlier in her radio program, Roxas’ wife, ABS-CBN anchor Korina Sanchez, said Cooper didn’t know what he was saying.

Because of delays in delivering aid, some people ask: why not airdrop relief goods?
Philippine Air Force Spokesperson Colonel Miguel Okol tells Rappler the risks outweigh the benefits.
He says it might even complicate the security situation and cause chaos as people scramble to receive supplies.
In the aftermath of the super typhoon, widespread looting became a problem in Tacloban City and other areas.
Locals report house break-ins and robberies.
Survivors still need more food and supplies like rice, mineral water, canned goods, noodles, and biscuits.
They also need clothes, blankets, toiletries, and medicines.
Rappler is compiling and updating a list of relief efforts here and abroad.
Overseas, Filipino communities across the globe are also organizing fundraisers and other relief initiatives to help survivors.
Take a look at Rappler’s list to see how you can help.
Every little action counts.

Typhoon Yolanda left along its path thousands of bodies on the streets.
Survivors ask the Department of Health or DOH to collect the dead, they say, to prevent the spread of disease.
DOH Undersecretary Ted Herbosa says until the bodies are identified, burial must wait.
Herbosa says, “There is no closure. We have to assist so [survivors] can find their relatives.”
Clearing of the bodies started Thursday.
As of Wednesday, at least 200 DOH personnel are deployed to Tacloban City, the base of health operations in Eastern Visayas.
No outbreaks have been reported yet in areas affected by the typhoon.
The DOH says risks are high for the outbreak of diarrhea, respiratory illnesses, leptospirosis, and influenza.
The United Nations for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs also says survivors will need psychosocial support.

The scale of destruction of super typhoon Yolanda shows the urgent need for world leaders to address climate change.
Three days after the typhoon hit the Philippines, climate change commissioner Naderev Saño spoke at the UN Climate Change Conference in Poland, urging an end to what he calls the climate change “madness.”

NADEREV SAÑO, CLIMATE CHANGE COMMISSIONER: We believe that climate change would be aggravating all these extreme events and increasing the potential for more intense typhoons. And the world has not been doing what it can to address the climate crisis, it is the 19th conference of the parties here in Warsaw and we refuse to accept we’ll have more of these meetings without making any tangible and ambitious way of once and for all as a global community, address this global problem.

Naderev wants to push for a meaningful outcome from the Warsaw conference.
He says there will be talks on climate change finance, a mechanism for providing vulnerable countries with resources to protect its people from the disastrous effects of climate change.

NADEREV SAÑO, CLIMATE CHANGE COMMISSIONER: The world had established the Green Climate Fund, it’s supposed to be the biggest fund in the world that aims to provide resources for vulnerable countries, but this fund is empty for the 4th year in the row so what we want to see here in Warsaw is for countries to put money on the table and to put money where their mouths are.

Naderev’s brother AG, a mural artist, volunteered to help in Tacloban City.
In the aftermath of Yolanda, AG describes the state of the city as “anarchy and chaos” — with rampant looting, and debris and bodies on the streets.
AG volunteered to help clear the streets of corpses.

AG SAÑO, MURAL ARTIST: I volunteered for the retrieval, but after three days I couldn’t…sorry to say I couldn’t take it anymore. I was seeing dead bodies and during the 3rd day that was when I found out the friend I went to see in Tacloban was killed along with his dad, his wife and his little baby. So every time I see a body of a dead kid, it would break my heart and really wish that it wasn’t the kid of my friend.

As aid begins to reach survivors, AG praises the tireless volunteers helping out at the disaster zones and encourages more people to help.
But he says people should find a way to help from their homes.

AG SAÑO, MURAL ARTIST: It’s really hard to work when you’re in shock. I’d like to commend the people that contribute, people who have been volunteering, working tirelessly with the operations…There are a lot more barangays and outskirts that have not been reached. The government must at least do something or devise a plan.

Some 300 Filipinos set up camps outside the Philippine consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for weeks, waiting for documents and help to leave the country as a crackdown on illegal migrants intensifies.
After the amnesty on illegal migrants ended on November 4, authorities rounded up undocumented foreigners and held them in special centers until their deportation papers are sorted.
About 4 million were able to find employers to sponsor them.
There are around one million Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia.
Expatriates account for a full nine million of the oil-rich kingdom’s population of 27 million.

At number 5, Australia’s new conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott moves to abolish a carbon tax designed to fight climate change.
The carbon tax charged the country’s biggest polluters for their emissions at a fixed price.
Abbott says the cost of the levy was passed on to consumers, resulting in higher utility bills and day-to-day costs.
The new government favors a “direct action” plan that includes an incentive fund to pay companies to increase their energy efficiency.

At number 6, Anthropologists are on the trail of folk tale “Little Red Riding Hood” to look for clues on ancient human migration patterns.
Researchers create an “evolutionary tree” that shows where and when variations of the folk tale emerged across the world.
Anthropologists look at variables like the main character’s gender, whether the villain was a wolf or tiger, what tricks were used, and whether the story ends happily or not.
Scores are given to variables based on whether they have shared origins.

And at number 7, For the very first time, NASA releases an image that captures not only Saturn – with its moons and rings – but also Earth.
The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft gets a snapshot of the two planets on July 19, when Saturn blocked the sun.
It’s a rare treat because with the sun so close to Earth, targeting an image of it would damage the sensors of the spacecraft.
NASA’s photo shows 4 planets: Saturn, Earth, Venus and Mars — the first image that all 4 planets are visible.

Red riding hood cartoon image via Shutterstock

Red riding hood watercolor image via Shutterstock

– Rappler.com

Newscast Production Staff

DIRECTOR Rupert Ambil
  Dindin Reyes
HEAD WRITER / PROMPTER Katerina Francisco
  Exxon Ruebe
  Jom Tolentino
  Adrian Portugal
  Francis Lopez
  Naoki Mengua
GRAPHICS Jessica Lazaro
  Matthew Hebrona
3D GRAPHICS Sten Bautista

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