Sep 232014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/05/09MANILA1054.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MANILA1054
2009-05-17 22:56
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO6404
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #1054 1372256
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 172256Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4130
INFO RHHMUNA/USPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS MANILA 001054

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID SOCI EAGR SENV RP
SUBJECT: Typhoon Season gets an Early Start

¶1. Summary. Two typhoons have already raked the Philippines and
killed 74 people. Typhoon Dante (international name Kujira) swept
through on May 3, killed 24 people, and damaged about $26 million
worth of property and infrastructure. Typhoon Emong (international
name Chan-Hom) hit landfall May 7, resulting in 50 fatalities and
$14 million in damage. The Philippines has not requested U.S.
assistance for either event, but is bracing itself for a
longer-than-normal season, since the first damaging typhoon usually
does not hit until June. End summary.

¶2. The Philippines averages 20 typhoons from June to November each
year. Typhoons are the country’s most frequent type of disaster,
bringing strong winds, flash floods, and mudslides that cause
injuries, death, and destruction to property, infrastructure, and
agriculture. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and
Astronomical Services Administration tracks storm activity, rates
storm strength from 1-4, and warns the public of impending storms.
Post works closely with the Philippine National Disaster
Coordinating Council and non-governmental organizations in the event
of a disaster. Only in cases of extraordinary damage and suffering
does the Ambassador initiate her Disaster Assistance Fund. In such
cases in the past the United States Agency for International
Development (USAID) has provided additional support through its
Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. The U.S. military has also
sometimes been in a position to provide valuable and highly valued
assistance help.

Typhoon Dante’s Early Entrance
——————————

¶3. The typhoon season started early this year when Typhoon Dante’s
winds of between 130 and 160 miles per hour took lives and damaged
property on May 3. Twenty four people died due to resulting
landslides, drowning, electrocutions, or hypothermia. Eight people
were injured and one person remains missing. Around 45,000 families
were affected in five provinces of Bicol, and nearly 10,000 families
sought shelter in 175 evacuation centers. The Philippine government
estimated 1.228 billion pesos ($26 million) in damages to
agriculture, infrastructure, school property, and homes.

Typhoon Emong Follows on Dante’s Heels
————————————–

¶4. Typhoon Emong caused more deaths, but less property damage in
the more sparsely populated northeastern provinces in the
Philippines after its May 7 entry. The death toll reached 47 with 15
people still missing, in addition to 42 injuries. The typhoon
caused an estimated 30 million pesos ($637,000) in infrastructure
damage and 604 million pesos ($13 million) in other losses. Over
6,000 homes were destroyed. The Philippine government was able to
adequately respond to both typhoons and did not request humanitarian
assistance for response efforts.

Filipinos Brace Themselves
————————–

¶5. March through May are usually the hot dry summer months in the
Philippines. Some Filipinos believe that these two early storms are
a harbinger of an unusually long and destructive typhoon season.

MEMMOTT

   

 

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