Oct 292014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/10/09MANILA2155.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MANILA2155
2009-10-13 08:40
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO8272
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #2155/01 2860840
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 130840Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5421
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHOVQHS/COMSEVENTHFLT IMMEDIATE
INFO RHHMUNA/USPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA IMMEDIATE 2306
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0330
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 002155

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: U.S. MILITARY RELIEF EFFORT ENDS AS FLOODS RECEDE IN CENTRAL LUZON

REFTELS: A) Manila 2149 B) Manila 2140

¶1. (SBU) Summary. Typhoon Pepeng (international name Parma) has
claimed over 300 lives and forced more than 80,000 into evacuation
centers across Luzon island, according to the Philippines National
Disaster Coordinating Council. The U.S. military repeated its
highly successful Typhoon Ondoy rescue and relief operation in
flood-ravaged central Luzon. U.S. military relief efforts then
ended October 13, as floodwaters begin to recede and Philippine
government agencies assumed remaining relief and reconstruction
responsibilities. USAID, in conjunction with other international
relief agencies, continues to provide food, water, and hygiene
supplies to hundreds of thousands of disaster victims. Local as
well as U.S media coverage of the disaster and relief efforts was
extensive. End Summary.

—————————————
Flood Waters Receding Under Sunny Skies
—————————————

¶2. (SBU) Floods and landslides from Typhoon Pepeng (international
name Parma) have claimed over 300 lives and forced more than 80,000
into evacuation centers in central and northern Luzon according to
the Philippines National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC).
While the rains have stopped and floodwaters have receded in many
areas, some towns and villages remain under water. Also, landslides
have closed the road links to the city of Baguio, and it remains
inaccessible to large relief vehicles.

———————————-
U.S. Military to the Rescue, Again
———————————-

¶3. (SBU) The U.S. military repeated its highly successful Typhoon
Ondoy rescue and relief operation in flood-ravaged central Luzon,
rescuing survivors, providing medical care, and ferrying desperately
needed relief supplies to hard-to-reach areas (reftel B). Working
together with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), 31st Marine
Expeditionary Unit personnel saw to the medical needs of over 1,500
flood victims. C-130 transport aircraft delivered over 5,000 packs
of relief items, along with large amounts of clothing, and thousands
of blankets, sleeping pads and water jugs to Tuguegarao city in
northern Luzon. Another C-130 flight transported 29,000 pounds of
relief goods to the remote Batanes islands, bringing back four
individuals in need of medical care on the return flight. U.S.
Marine helicopters airlifted over 3,000 sacks of relief supplies to
isolated Baguio City, while Marine Civil Engineering units cleared
roads in stricken areas. As of Monday October 13 post concurs with
the recommendation that relief and recovery efforts revert fully to
the AFP.

————————–
USAID Assistance Continues
————————–

¶4. (SBU) USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA)
has committed nearly $4 million in emergency assistance to
humanitarian organizations working to provide support in the wake of
Ondoy and Pepeng. Thus far, OFDA has provided grants to the
Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), the American Red Cross, and
the International Organization for Migration (IOM), with additional
grants to be awarded this week.
¶5. (SBU) In addition, USAID/OFDA is making available non-food items
shipped from its warehouses in Dubai. The first shipment, which
arrived on October 2, went to the Philippine National Red Cross
(PNRC), and was valued at $400,000, which included water containers,
hygiene kits and tarpaulins. A second shipment arrived October 13.
It is valued at $250,000, and includes 20,000 water containers,
20,000 hygiene kits and 50,000 bars of soap. IOM will immediately

MANILA 00002155 002 OF 002

distribute these items to approximately 20,000 affected families
(approximately 100,000 people). Through USAID’s Food for Peace
Program, 720 metric tons of vegetable oil worth $1.2 million will be
shipped this week for the World Food Program to distribute. This
oil, sufficient to meet the cooking needs of some 330,000 people for
one month, brings the total value of USAID’s emergency relief
contributions to nearly $6 million.
¶6. (SBU) The on-site OFDA military liaison was able to accompany the
U.S. military in conducting assessments of the damage caused by
Typhoon Pepeng in northern and central Luzon over the weekend.
Relief organizations are reporting an increasing need for water,
sanitation supplies and non-food items due to increasing reports of
flood-borne illnesses. Sir John Holmes, the United Nations
Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs/Emergency Relief
Coordinator, is visiting the Philippines and will be meeting with
Philippine government officials and the donor community on October
13 to review the current situation, on-going needs and any remaining
gaps in assistance.
——————————————— –
Consular Section Support for American Citizens
——————————————— –
¶7. (SBU) There are no suspected or confirmed American citizens among
the casualty lists provided by the NDCC. The Consular section has
received welfare and whereabouts inquiries for 16 individuals as a
result of Typhoon Pepeng/Parma. Philippine officials in the
disaster-affected provinces have been extremely cooperative, going
the extra mile to locate and confirm the safety of Americans in
their areas.
——————————————— ——
Local and International Coverage of U.S. Assistance
——————————————— ———

¶8. (U) Both Philippine and U.S. media provided steady coverage of
the U.S. military and non-military relief efforts in central Luzon.
Virtually all major daily newspapers covered the additional $2
million in USAID/OFDA emergency humanitarian assistance that the
Embassy announced on October 9. From October 10 through today,
major national dailies and television networks reported U.S.
military helicopters delivering relief supplies. U.S. papers,
including the LA Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the
New York Times, also carried stories describing the central Luzon
flooding and U.S. relief efforts.

———-
Next Steps
———-

¶9. (SBU) As U.S. military units either redeploy to home bases or
prepare to participate in delayed and truncated Talon Vision/
Philippines Bilateral Exercises, they leave behind solid
humanitarian accomplishments and much good will. Post is extremely
grateful for their incredible assistance to the GRP. USAID
continues to carry on relief efforts in conjunction with other
international relief agencies.

Bassett

   

 

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