Up to 1,000 feared dead after landslide buries Mexico town

September 28, 2010


Up to 1,000 people might have perished after a rain-soaked mountainside gave way and buried hundreds of homes in southwestern Mexico, the local governor said Tuesday.

Oaxaca Gov. Ulises Ruiz told the Televisa television network that the 4 a.m. landslide wiped-out at least 300 homes in the town of Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec, population 9,000.

“There could be between 500, 600 people, maybe 1,000” dead, the governor told Televisa.

“We haven’t reached the location yet,” Ruiz said, adding that rescue teams were being dispatched to the area.

“There has been lots of rain, rivers have overflowed and we’re having a hard time reaching the area because there are landslides on the roads,” he added.

Heavy rain in the mountains of Oaxaca state loosened the soil around the town, about four hours’ drive from the capital of Oaxaca, a city famous for its colonial buildings and nearby archeological sites.
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Learning from ‘Ondoy’ the Smart way

September 26, 2010


One year after typhoon “Ondoy” put to test the company’s ability to provide timely response and service assistance in the event of a disaster, Smart Communications Inc. has applied the lessons learned from the experience to further strengthen its disaster response program.

At the heart of this commitment to continuously improve to be prepared for even the worst scenario is knowing the importance of keeping communication lines working during times of calamities.

Debbie Hu, Smart’s access and transport operations and maintenance head, explains that family members need to contact loved ones to ask for help or to assure them of their well-being, while government agencies, rescue and relief workers need to coordinate response efforts.

“Network engineers are trained to respond to natural calamities such as typhoons. Even before a typhoon hits the country, engineers are dispatched to crucial areas to bring spare parts, generator sets or alternative communications equipment just in case a base station breaks down,” she says.

According to Ronald Miranda, senior supervisor of the Regional Command Center, Smart’s preparations cover all stages. Read the rest of this entry »


“Felaket Kuyusu” Tamamen Kapatıldı

September 26, 2010


Meksika Körfezi’nde, tarihin en büyük çevre felaketlerinden birine yol açan petrol kuyusu sonunda “tamamen” kapatıldı.

5 aydır petrol sızıntısı yaşanan 1500 metre derinlikteki kuyuya son kez çimento pompalandı. Basınç testlerinin ardından da, kuyunun artık “fiilen ölü” olduğu açıklandı.

Deniz tabanındaki petrol kuyusundan sızan milyonlarca varil ham petrol hem doğal hayatı hem de Amerika Birleşik Devletleri kıyılarında ekonomiyi vurdu.

Amerikan yönetimi ve kamuoyunun yoğun baskısı altında kalan BP, sızıntıyı önlemek için büyük çaba harcadı. Şirketi derinden sarsan bir dizi başarısızlığın ardından şirket, sonunda kuyuyu kapatmayı başardı.

1500 metre derinlikteki kuyunun girişine son kez çimento pompalandı ve basınç testleri sızıntının tamamıyla durduğunu ortaya koydu.

İngiliz BP şirketi temizlik çalışmaları için 8 milyar dolar öderken, Körfez’deki Amerikalılara ödenmek üzere 20 milyarlık fon oluşturmak zorunda kaldı.

Kuyunun tamamen kapatıldığı haberi Washington’da memnuniyet yarattı.

Başkan Obama, gelişmeyi önemli bir dönemeç olarak nitelese de, bölgede yaşamın normale dönmesinin kolay olmayacağını açıkladı.

Meksika Körfezi’nde meydana gelen bu petrol felaketi ise Amerika Birleşik Devletleri tarihine "en büyük çevre felaketi" olarak geçti.


Hurricane Karl takes aim at Mexican Gulf coast

September 17, 2010


Karl strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday and was expected to gain more power before hitting Mexico’s coast near a port and an oil hub Friday.

Karl’s maximum sustained winds reached 100 mph (160 kph), making it a Category 2 storm, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. There was a possibility it could become a major hurricane with winds of 110 mph (175 kph) or higher before making landfall, the center said.

The Mexican government issued a hurricane warning for a 186-mile (300-kilometer) stretch of coast in Veracruz state, stretching northward from the city of the same name. On its predicted path, Karl could make landfall between the port of Veracruz and the oil hub of Poza Rica.

Authorities in Veracruz state — whose southern half has suffered severe flooding over the past few weeks — braced for a hit on its northern coast, preparing sleeping mats, bottled water and other supplies for anyone taking refuge in shelters. Workers in Veracruz city cut dangerous tree limbs that could become flying debris.

In the beach town of Tecolutla, just south of Poza Rica, fishermen and operators of small tour boats began pulling their craft out of the water. Read the rest of this entry »


Bm; Pakistan’daki Felaketin Altında BM’nin Tek Başına Kalkması Mümkün Değil

September 17, 2010


Birleşmiş Milletler (BM) Genel Sekreteri Ban Ki-moon, İnsani İlişkilerden Sorumlu yardımcısı olarak atadığı Valerie Amos, Pakistan’daki sel felaketinin boyutunu, ”Birleşmiş Milletler olarak bugüne kadar karşılaştığımız en büyük felaket” diye tarif etti.

New York’taki BM Genel Merkezi’nde gazetecilerin karşısına çıkan Amos, dünya ülkelerini Pakistan’daki sel felaketi için daha cömert olmaya davet etti. Felaketten etkilenen insan sayısının 20 milyon olduğunu ve ülkenin 5’te birinin sular altında kaldığını anımsatan Amos, ”Bölgeden (Pakistan) üç gün önce New York’a geldim. Felaketzedelere hiç vakit kaybetmeden insani yardım ulaştırmak durumundayız. Salgın hastalıklar insan hayatını bölgede ciddi tehdit ediyor” dedi.

Sel felaketi nedeniyle hala milyonlarca insanın gıda, ilaç ve temiz su gibi temel insani ihtiyaçlarının karşılanamadığını aktaran Amos, ”Bu felaketin boyutu ve etkilediği kişi sayısı göz önüne alındığında Birleşmiş Milletler’in tek başına bunun altından kalkması mümkün değil” diye konuştu. Felaketzedelere yardımın Pakistan hükümetinin öncülüğünde yürütüldüğünü belirten Valerie Amos, kendilerinin de uluslar arası NGO ile işbirliği yapmaya hazır olduklarını vurguladı.

Pakistan’daki sel felekatinin yaralarının sarılmasının kısa sürede olmasının mümkün olamadığını aktaran Amso, ”Bu uzun soluklu ve sabır isteyen bir uğraş ile mümkün olacaktır. Hayatımda gördüğüm en büyük felaketin yaralarını sarmak birkaç hafta ya da ay ile mümkün değil. O nedenle dünya ülkeleri Pakistan’a yardım etmeye devam etmeleri gerekiyor” dedi.
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New York Assesses Violent Storm’s Toll

September 17, 2010


New York City struggled to recover Friday from a fierce storm that roared through Thursday night, throwing down trees like sticks, crippling debris-strewn neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, disrupting commuter rail service and killing at least one person.

Long Island Rail Road officials said that crews were working through the night to remove debris from tracks, and they hoped to have most service restored for the morning rush hour Friday, but warned of scattered delays, and they said service would continue to be suspended on the Port Washington line. City officials said they would focus Friday on cleaning up the debris from the storm — particularly downed tree limbs in many parts of the city – but they cautioned they were still trying to determine the scope of the task.

The storm and its aftereffects bore many of the hallmarks of a tornado, with the tops of countless trees sheared off and roofs blown off houses, and National Weather Service officials said they would work Friday to determine whether it should be classified as one.

The fast-moving storm, with winds estimated at 60 to 80 miles an hour, caused widespread damage. There were numerous reports of small fires, power failures and damage to homes, stores and vehicles.

Robert Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association, a community group in Middle Village, Queens, somberly looked over the damage as he walked through the neighborhood.

“It almost brought me to tears,” Mr. Holden said. “Every block, two, three trees are down into houses, smashed into cars. There’s gridlock. There’s debris everywhere.”

The winds ripped some trees out of sidewalks and blew them 30 to 40 feet, he said, knocking out electricity as they landed on power lines. Read the rest of this entry »


San Bruno Gas Explosion and Disaster Preparedness

September 13, 2010


On September 9th a gas line explosion left a crater almost 170 feet long in a quiet San Bruno neighborhood. The explosion destroyed 38 homes, killed seven and injured dozens of residents. Several people are still missing.

This is a severe reminder for Bay Area residents to be prepared in the event of an unforeseen disaster. On this 9th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, history has told us that disastrous events will challenge our ability to stay calm and survive.

We spoke to a police sergeant in San Mateo County about Thursday’s incident. San Bruno Police and Fire Departments responded quickly and put out a call for “Mutual Aid” to other first responders in San Mateo County. Mutual Aid is an agreement between the various emergency responders in a county to take action and assist the city or department in need. The city of Oakland did a similar call for the ensuing riots that took place after the Oscar Grant murder trial verdict.

While city services will be quick to respond in a disaster, here is what you can do now to help yourself:

Be prepared to take care of yourself and family members (pets too!) before help can arrive to you. It is commonly recommended that you have enough clean drinking water and food for at least 72 hours. Being without basic city services such as power and water is a likely scenario in aftermath of a large disaster.
Have a family plan that includes a place to meet.
Designate another family member outside the immediate area (or state) to be a point of contact for all family members to check in and get updates. Read the rest of this entry »