Posts tagged philipines
Posts tagged philipines
Mid-term elections have the Philippines’ southern island of Mindanao on high alert amid fears of violence.
Blocked roads and severed communications in the southern Philippines frustrated rescuers on Wednesday as teams searched for hundreds of people missing after the strongest typhoon this year killed at least 283 people.
Typhoon Bopha, with central winds of 120 kph (75 mph) and gusts of up to 150 kph (93 mph), battered beach resorts and dive spots on Palawan island on Wednesday but it was weakening as it moved west.
Hardest hit was the southern island of Mindanao, where Bopha made landfall on Tuesday. It triggered landslides and floods along the coast and in farming and mining towns inland.
Interior Minister Manuel Roxas said 300 people were missing.
“Entire families were washed away,” Roxas, who inspected the disaster zone, told reporters.
Philippines ramps up flood relief efforts
Efforts are under way in the Philippines to help hundreds of thousands of people affected by deadly floods that have paralysed the capital, Manila, and nearby areas.
Officials appealed to volunteers to help distribute supplies to more than 300,000 people at emergency shelters.
At least 19 people have died after a month’s worth of rain fell over two days, causing landslides and floods.
A state of calamity has been declared in parts of Manila and other areas.
More than two million people across 30 cities in 16 provinces have been affected by the floods, according to a report from the government’s disaster management agency.
“Of the above total affected, 119,751 families/580,079 persons are currently served inside and outside evacuation centres,” it said.
More than 300,000 people were being housed in 630 evacuation centres, while other displaced people were with friends and relatives.
Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman was quoted by Agence France Presse news agency as saying that more volunteers were needed.
“We have the food but we need to pack them, deliver and distribute them in this massive operation,” she said.
“Most local government units do a community kitchen, but the volume of evacuees is so big that they have been overwhelmed. We are also appealing for more medicines, blankets, mats and, more importantly, dry clothes.”
President Benigno Aquino has ordered the country’s trade department to make sure that prices of basic goods remain unchanged in affected areas, local media report.
Manila, Philippines: Child labourers work in the charcoal dump in the Port area district
Photograph: Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images
24 hours in Pictures 9 July 2012
Manila says nearly 100 vessels have entered disputed South China Sea region, renewing tensions between the countries
China denies it has increased its presence in the waters around the Scarborough shoal. The countries are in talks to defuse the two-month standoff.
The South China Sea has seen growing friction between China and its neighbours in recent years, with experts blaming valuable natural resources and the depletion of fisheries as well as long-term sovereignty disputes. They fear it is becoming harder to contain the conflict, which has also become conflated with Sino-US competition in south-east Asia.
Manila’s foreign affairs spokesman, Raul Hernandez, said there were 96 Chinese vessels at the shoal on Tuesday, including four government ships as well as fishing boats and dinghies, while the Philippines had only two vessels in the area.
He added that despite a seasonal fishing ban imposed by both countries, Chinese ships had been seen fishing and collecting protected corals. “It is regrettable that these actions occurred at a time when China has been articulating for a de-escalation of tensions and while the two sides have been discussing how to defuse the situation in the area,” Hernandez added.
On Monday Manila handed the Chinese ambassador a note protesting at the presence of 77 vessels, demanding their immediate withdrawal, he added.
But China’s foreign ministry spokesman, Hong Lei, said only around 20 fishing vessels were working in waters near the shoal, a similar number as previous years. “Their fishing activities are in line with Chinese law and the fishing ban,” he told a daily news briefing. “The Filipino side recently carried out some provocations in the area and China took actions in response.”
Stephanie Kleine-Ahbrandt, North Asia director for the International Crisis group, said it had appeared the current crisis was easing. “The mutual fishing bans were promising … the bananas are flowing again,” she said.
This month China impounded banana imports from the Philippines, saying stricter checks were necessary. Kleine-Ahbrandt said: “The skirmishes that have taken place there are getting harder and harder to de-escalate because of the factors such as military build-up in the region. We see this as turning into a spiralling security dilemma.”
She said internal jostling for power in China appeared to have contributed to the latest tensions, but added: “China is not alone at all in raising the stakes in the South China Sea. Vietnam and the Philippines continue to have worrying risk factors, including nationalist sentiment but also their economic situations.”
Pictured: China-Philippines dispute: A Filipino fisherman sits on the hull of his boat in Zambales after returning from Scarborough shoal in the South China Sea. Photograph: Reuters
(CNN) — Scores of people in the Philippine capital held a demonstration Friday to protest China’s increasingly bellicose rhetoric about a monthlong naval standoff between Beijing and Manila over a disputed lagoon in the South China Sea.
Gathered in front of the Chinese Embassy in Manila, the demonstrators waved Philippine flags and held up banners displaying slogans like “Stop China’s aggression now.”
The protest follows a string of signals from China this week suggesting that the Asian economic and military giant is losing patience with its smaller neighbor’s insistence that it has sovereignty over the contested area, the Scarborough Shoal.
China suspends Philippines travel
The PLA Daily, the official Chinese military newspaper, has warned that the country’s armed forces would not allow anyone to challenge China’s sovereignty over the tiny island outcrop, which Beijing calls Huangyan Island and Manila calls Panatag Shoal.
“We want to say that anyone’s attempt to take away China’s sovereignty over Huangyan Island will not be allowed by the Chinese government, people and armed forces,” the newspaper said, according to Xinhua, the state-run news agency.
The planned protests in the Philippines prompted China to advise its citizens there to remain indoors, state media reported.
“The Philippines has been repeatedly making strong-worded remarks over the Huangyan Island,” said Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Hong Lei.
“China hopes the Philippines will not take any actions to magnify the dispute in a way that may affect the relationship between the two countries.”
Chinese travel agencies have suspended tours to the Philippines, according to state media, and China’s Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying said earlier this week that she was not optimistic about the situation in the South China Sea after meeting Philippine officials.
Raul Hernandez, a spokesman for the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, said that officials “are endeavoring to undertake a new diplomatic initiative, which we hope will help defuse the situation.”
Manila, Philippines: protesters hold onto each other as they are hit by water cannon from anti-riot police who tried to prevent them from entering the gates leading to the Malacañang presidential palace. The violence erupted during a recent demolition of a flea market in Parañaque city where at least one person died and several others were injured as authorities tried to break the barricade of illegal settlers in the area.
Photograph: Aaron Favila/AP
Student protesters cover themselves from water cannon fired at them by the police as they tried to march to Malacanang Palace in Manila on December 6, 2011, to camp out. Philippine riot police fired water cannon to break up a protest December 6, by around 500 college students inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States, organisers said.
[Credit : Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty]