Sep 232014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/09/09MANILA2070.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MANILA2070
2009-09-30 09:48
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO7781
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #2070/01 2730948
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 300948Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5317
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHOVQHS/COMSEVENTHFLT IMMEDIATE
INFO RHHMUNA/USPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA IMMEDIATE 2289
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0313
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE
RUEHRO/USMISSION UN ROME IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 002070

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: STILL IN SHOCK FROM TROPICAL STORM ONDOY MANILA BRACES FOR NEW TYPHOONS

REFTELS: A) Manila 2056 B) Manila 2049 C) Manila 2046

¶1. (U) Casualties from tropical storm Ondoy (international name
Ketsana) reached 246 dead, and 42 missing as of Wednesday, September
¶30. While major thoroughfares are now passable and the Manila
international airport has reopened, all Manila public schools and
the primary hospital in hard hit nearby Rizal province remain
closed. The Philippines’ National Disaster Coordinating Council
(NDCC) reports 2.3 million persons affected by flooding, nearly
400,000 staying in 561 evacuation centers and roughly 350,000
additional displaced persons staying with private host families.
The NDCC estimates damages to date at almost 4.8 billion pesos ($100
million).

—————
U.S. Assistance
—————

¶2. (SBU) Under the Ambassador’s authority, USAID’S Office of U.S.
Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) has released $100,000 to the
Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC). An OFDA humanitarian supplies
flight (Aleutian -70) is tentatively scheduled to arrive on Friday,
October 2, with non-food relief items (water containers, hygiene
kits and tarpaulins). These items (value estimated at about
$390,000) will be sufficient to assist 20,000 people. Also, two
USAID/OFDA regional advisors are in Manila to assist with
coordination among the Government of the Philippines, NGOs, UN
agencies, and the US military. They will also assess the need for
additional resources. We have directed various USAID bilateral
health programs to support local government health officials in
assessing and addressing disaster-related health care needs.
Ambassador and USAID personnel visited a 4,000-person evacuation
center to assist Red Cross personnel in distributing relief
supplies.

———————————-
U.S., International Firms Help Out
———————————-

¶3. (SBU) U.S. and international firms were both victims of the
typhoon – e.g., over 10 percent of Ford Philippines’ employees
suffered heavy flood damage – as well as important relief donors.
Ford, IBM, General Electric, Falcon Waterfree, McDonald’s and Kraft
were among the firms that provided relief funds or supplies to both
their employees and disaster relief organizations. The Amcham
Foundation of the Philippines has organized a relief drive, and DHL
Express has agreed to assist the NDCC in the distribution of relief
supplies.

——————————
Embassy Chancery at Full Power
——————————

¶4. (SBU) The entire Embassy compound has been reconnected to the
commercial power grid, and laboratory tests to confirm the safety of
drinking water from the repaired water treatment plant are due
today. All offices have been cleaned and disinfected, and
telephone, non-classified and classified communications systems have
been restored. The U.S. Embassy Filipino Employees Association
(USEFEA), supported by Embassy Management, is raising funds to
assist flood-affected locally employed staff.

¶5. (SBU) The Consular Section has received inquiries on behalf of 69
American citizens believed to be stranded in various flood-stricken
areas. Staff has located and confirmed the well-being of 44 of
these individuals, while 25 Americans remain unaccounted for. Staff
has provided information on the missing Americans to the relevant
local authorities and continues to follow up with them for
information. American Citizens Services is checking casualty lists

MANILA 00002070 002 OF 002

received from NDCC against U.S. passport records, but the lists do
not contain enough information to conclusively identify American
citizens.

¶6. (U) Post will hold an Emergency Action Committee meeting October
1 to prepare for three storms possibly heading toward the Manila
area. A warden message will also be sent out.

————————–
Media Reports U.S. Efforts
————————–

¶7. (U) Major national and local print and electronic media
prominently reported USG rescue and relief assistance. The broadly
circulated national daily Manila Bulletin featured U.S. military
rescue operations on the front page of its September 28 issue, while
numerous other publications, TV and radio stations described the
deployment of U.S. troops, helicopters, rubber boats and heavy
equipment in rescue and relief operations. During an appearance on
the Philippines’ top TV news magazine program, Unang Hirit, the
Ambassador described USG relief efforts and the USG’s desire to work
together with the Philippines to improve disaster preparedness.

———-
Next Steps
———-

¶8. (SBU) U.S. Department of Defense equipment and personnel
participating in Talon Vision/PHIBLEX (Philippines Bilateral
Exercise) are augmenting ongoing Philippine relief efforts. The
U.S. Marine Corps’s trucks, engineer equipment and a 26-person
medical team will provide a major boost to the city’s struggling
relief efforts.

——-
Comment
——-

¶9. (SBU) U.S. private sector and USG relief efforts will greatly add
to the Philippine government’s energetic but insufficient efforts to
manage this large-scale disaster. With Typhoon Pepeng
(International Name Parma) expected in Philippine territory the
afternoon of September 30, and a southwest monsoon expected to dump
additional rain on Manila later this week, the arrival of U.S.
relief supplies is well-timed.

Kenney

   

 

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