Sep 232014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/10/06MANILA4162.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA4162 2006-10-02 10:09 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO6342
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #4162 2751009
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 021009Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3214
INFO RUEHZS/ASEAN COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/USPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS MANILA 004162

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/EX AND EAP/MTS
STATE PASS USAID

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID SOCI EAGR SENV RP
SUBJECT: RESPONSE TO DEVASTATION OF TYPHOON MILENYO

REF: A) Manila 4139, B) Manila 4144, C) Manila 4149

¶1. Summary: Manila continues to recover from its worst typhoon in
eleven years, while reports of devastation from outlying provinces
of Southern Luzon continue to pour in. Four days after the typhoon,
electricity and water is off in large parts of Manila, including
Mission employee neighborhoods. Damage to U.S. facilities would
have been much greater had not Mission staff performed heroically,
some working through the night even as their families suffered from
the effects of the storm. All Mission staff are safe and accounted
for, but a current Philippine death toll of nearly 80 is expected to
rise. The Ambassador’s release of $100,000 in disaster assistance
funds to the Philippine Red Cross has received positive media
attention. End Summary.

¶2. On September 28, Typhoon Milenyo raked 17 provinces in the
Philippines, affecting millions of people. The reported death toll
is 76, but that number may still climb. Most deaths are related to
floods and falling power lines, billboards, and trees. According to
the National Disaster Coordination Council, the initial property
damage estimate is $21 million and includes destroyed or damaged
homes, school structures, and crops. However, this number may rise
as more information becomes available. Winds of up to 130 mph, flood
waters, and falling debris caused an additional $6 million in damage
to bridges, roads, electric posts, and antennas.

—————————
Status of Embassy Community
—————————

¶3. As the typhoon suddenly intensified south of Manila, Embassy
officials notified all Mission staff at 4:30 am via text messages of
Embassy closure on September 28, requesting emergency personnel only
to report to work. The Embassy, Philippine Government offices, and
schools remained closed on September 29. Post management reacted
rapidly to ensure generator power to the Seafront compound, offer
Seafront amenities (refrigeration, laundry facilities, showers) to
Embassy families living in 60 affected homes, and secure hotel space
for staff without electricity and/or water. Twelve Embassy families
remained in hotels as of October 2.

¶4. Damage to Embassy facilities would have been much worse had not
personnel worked to mitigate damage throughout the storm by moving
fallen trees and limbs, temporarily repairing roofs, cutting off
power to downed lines, and switching on generators. Local employees
in GSO, telephone operators, contract and procurement (due to end of
fiscal year) and other sections and agencies worked through the
night and the weekend to repair damage and respond to reports for
assistance that prevented more destruction. No incidents of
break-ins or looting have affected USG-leased or owned properties,
though they have been reported elsewhere in affected areas.

—————————
Status of American Citizens
—————————

¶5. No U.S. residents in the Philippines reported injuries resulting
from the typhoon. Peace Corps verified that no volunteers were
harmed; Public Affairs likewise determined that all Americans in the
Philippines participating in State Department public diplomacy
programs were well and accounted for. ACS received numerous calls
from citizens checking on relatives. AmCits in Philippine prisons
complained of the lack of power and the increased price of bottled
water. The Veterans’ Clinic was closed September 28 and 29 and
re-opened October 2.

—————————————–
U.S. Government Assistance to Philippines
—————————————–

¶6. The Ambassador exercised her disaster assistance authority to
provide $50,000 to the Philippines Red Cross and USAID released an
additional $50,000 to the Red Cross on September 30 for families
affected by the typhoon. This $100,000 supports organization’s
immediate needs for water, hygiene supplies, food, and blankets in
affected communities. The National Disaster Coordinating Council
has not requested further aid so far, but assessments continue,
particularly in outlying regions.

KENNEY

   

 

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