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Cablegate: Update On Typhoon Damage and U.S. Disaster Assistance To

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OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
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O 060852Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5383
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHOVQHS/COMSEVENTHFLT IMMEDIATE
INFO RHHMUNA/USPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA IMMEDIATE 2297
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0321
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE
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RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 002125

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

BANGKOK FOR USAID /OFDA REGIONAL ADVISOR A. DWYER
USAID FOR DCHA/OFDA R. THAYER
USAID W/ FOR ANE/AA AND DCHA/FPP
GENEVA FOR N. KYLOH
USUN FOR OFDA REP
BRUSSELS FOR P. BROWN
ROME FOR USAID/OHA H. SPANOS
SECDEF FOR SOLIC
JOINT STAFF WASHDC FOR J3/J4/J5
PACOM FOR J3/J4/J5
NSC FOR P. MARCHAM

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID SOCI PREL KPAO SENV EAGR RP
SUBJECT: UPDATE ON TYPHOON DAMAGE AND U.S. DISASTER ASSISTANCE TO
PHILIPPINES

REFTELS: A) 2098 B) Manila 2089 C) Manila 2070 D) Manila 2056 E)
Manila 2049 F) Manila 2046 G) Manila 2112

1. (SBU) United States-sponsored disaster assistance to the
Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Ondoy/Ketsana continued in full
force October 6. The Government of the Philippines' figures show
295 dead, 39 missing, and nearly 350,000 people still in evacuation
centers. Government damage estimates range up to $200 million in
infrastructure and crops destroyed. Several areas of Metro Manila
remain submerged by floodwaters.

------------------------
U.S. Military Assistance
------------------------

2. (SBU) A Medical Community Action Program (MEDCAP) run by the
United States Third Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF) today
treated approximately 1,600 displaced people in the Ultra Sports
Stadium in Pasig City, Metro Manila. U.S. military engineers used
newly-arrived heavy equipment, redirected from the Talon Vision/
Philippines Bilateral Exercise (PHIBLEX), nearly doubling their
efforts to clear roads and waterways. As a result, several main
roads have been opened and some areas that were still submerged
after 10 days were drained after refuse and mud were removed. U.S.
Marine Sea Stallion 46E helicopters delivered relief supplies
collected by the ABS-CBN television network to isolated refugees in
Talim Island, and U.S. military trucks delivered two truckloads of
ABS-CBN relief goods to the Laguna area just south of Metro Manila.


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USAID ASSISTANCE
----------------

3. (SBU) USAID continues to support the efforts of the Philippine
National Red Cross (PNRC). Today, collapsible water containers,
plastic sheeting and hygiene kits were distributed to 600 families
in Laguna. Another 1,200 families at a Laguna school also received
USAID relief goods. USAID educators provided counseling on hygiene
and health to displaced persons during the MEDCAP at Ultra Stadium.
USAID/Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) advisors continue
to work closely with Philippine government officials to improve
coordination and ensure effective use of relief supplies.

4. (SBU) The Ambassador helped distribute USAID relief supplies
today in Laguna, and attended the MEDCAP in Ultra Stadium. The
Ambassador reissued a disaster declaration, reconfirming that the
conditions calling for U.S. assistance are still in effect, which
allows for a continued flow of funds in the new fiscal year.

--------------------------------------------- ----
MEDIA COVERAGE OF THE U.S. CONTRIBUTION CONTINUES
--------------------------------------------- ----

5. (U) Major media outlets continue positive coverage of USG
efforts, with five major newspapers carrying photos this morning of
the Marines' Sea Stallion helicopters surveying damage and ferrying
relief over hard-hit Marikina City and other areas. Three major
national newspapers quoted Department Spokesman Ian Kelley on
ongoing USG assistance to the Philippines. The same newspapers also
reported on the arrival of more US troops on October 4 from Okinawa
to help with recovery operations. The October 5 broadcast of "Prime
News" on ANC, a leading local cable news channel that is also
broadcast widely in the U.S., continued its coverage of USG
assistance to victims of the typhoon. The broadcast includde
footage of the Philippine Armed Forces and U.S. troops working
together to deliver relief supplies collected and donated by ANC's
parent, the ABS-CBN network. The report also included parts of the
"Mornings@ANC" interview broadcast live earlier the same day with

MANILA 00002125 002 OF 002


Ambassador Kenney, a USAID officer, and American and Filipino
military medical officers.

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Next Steps
----------

7. (U) The Embassy interagency team will continue its efforts, in
coordination with Philippine authorities, to relieve those affected
by tropical storm Ondoy (international name Ketsana). Typhoon
Pepeng (Parma), which passed through Northern Luzon last weekend, is
stalled and drifting back towards the northeast coast of Luzon. It
may move back onshore in the next few days, bringing heavy rains and
winds.

Kenney

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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