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Archive for October 30th, 2012

Election season dating

Posted by African Press International on October 30, 2012


mingle2.com

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Staying up-to-date on Hurricane Sandy

Posted by African Press International on October 30, 2012

This morning, the President convened a video-teleconference in the White House Situation Room with his team to receive the latest update on Hurricane Sandy, and federal efforts underway to support response activities in several states. Overnight, at the requests of the Governors, the President approved major disaster declarations for the states of New Jersey and New York, making additional federal support for state and local efforts available, as well as direct federal assistance to affected individuals in declared counties.
During the briefing the President expressed his concern for those affected by the storm, as well as the heroic first responders who are selflessly putting themselves in harm’s way to protect members of their communities.

President Barack Obama receives an update from officials via teleconference on the ongoing response to Hurricane Sandy, in the Situation Room of the White House, Oct. 30, 2012. Pictured, from left, are: John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; Tony Blinken, National Security Advisor to the Vice President; David Agnew, Director for Intergovernmental Affairs; Alyssa Mastromonaco, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations; and Chief of Staff Jack Lew. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama receives an update from officials via teleconference on the ongoing response to Hurricane Sandy, in the Situation Room of the White House, Oct. 30, 2012. Pictured, from left, are: John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; Tony Blinken, National Security Advisor to the Vice President; David Agnew, Director for Intergovernmental Affairs; Alyssa Mastromonaco, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations; and Chief of Staff Jack Lew. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Today’s Schedule
All times are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).
10:05 AM: The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
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Southeast Asia wasting food

Posted by African Press International on October 30, 2012

Crop losses to rise as population climbs

BANGKOK,  – Food losses in Asia due to disasters or poor storage, packing and delivery are set to worsen, and governments are ill-prepared to stem the wastage, according experts recently convened by the Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies in Singapore.
Possible solutions include redistributing edible wasted food to people; turning it into energy and agriculture inputs; and developing new technology to separate food waste from other rubbish. Policymakers need to take a “total supply chain approach” or else risk breaking Southeast Asia’s fragile food system, said the experts.
“It is likely that the region wastes approximately 33 percent of food, but accurate estimates are not available due to a dearth of quantitative information.”
Increasing urbanization means food will tend to travel farther, something that could exacerbate the food waste problem. Governments need to better fund the tracking of food waste (especially fish, vegetables and rice), they said.
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source http://www.irinnews.org

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Earthquake drill for 30,000 schools

Posted by African Press International on October 30, 2012

Millions of children will take part

DHAKA, – Millions of children across Bangladesh took part in a nationwide earthquake drill on 13-14 October.
Over 30,000 schools conducted the drills under the government’s Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (CDMP) funded by the UN Development Programme; to coincide with the International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction (13 October).
“This is to ensure discipline in case a major earthquake strikes,” Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, secretary of the Ministry of Education (MoE), told IRIN. “Discipline is important during any emergency.” The drills – the largest in the country’s history, and covering both primary and secondary schools – aim to better prepare students in the event of a real disaster.
The drills will prepare students to save themselves, as well as act as volunteers to help others in the event of an actual quake, Chowdhury said.
Of the schools carrying out the drills, 480 are in the capital, Dhaka, which is deemed ill-prepared for earthquakes due to lack of awareness and unplanned urbanization. Drills for schools in Dhaka was held on 14 October.
With a population of more than 15 million, Dhaka ranks among the 20 most vulnerable cities in terms of earthquakes in the world today, with a major fault line less than 60km from the city, says the World Bank.
A strong earthquake could take a major toll in densely populated, low-lying Bangladesh, which is prone to natural disasters, including cyclones, floods and landslides, say experts.
Bangladesh is surrounded by regions of high seismicity and is exposed to a high risk of a moderate-to-strong quake.
According to a seismic zoning map by the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, 43 percent of the country is rated high risk, 41 percent moderate risk and 16 percent low risk.
Almost 1,200 of Dhaka’s 2,700 schools are highly vulnerable to a moderate earthquake. Schools in cities like Chittagong and Sylhet and in the north are also vulnerable, according to a CDMP study.
MoE’s Chowdhury said the drills would create “a real time scenario” in schools from which the students could learn how to protect themselves in the event of a real earthquake. “This campaign… is going to have a major impact on our disaster preparedness.”
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source http://www.irinnews.org

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Mobile phone: Can it help in disaster preparedness

Posted by African Press International on October 30, 2012

About 83 million Filipinos own a mobile phone

MANILA,  – The Philippine government has launched a mobile phone application which can provide real-time information on rainfall and flooding to the general public.
The Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH), which aims to provide information about bad weather and thus mitigate disasters such as floods, typhoons and landslides, launched its website in July, and now a free mobile phone application has been added.
“When it comes to getting and accessing information, there is nothing more ubiquitous than the mobile phone,” Raymund Liboro, Department of Science and Technology project director for NOAH, told IRIN.
Using sensors, rain gauges, and weather monitoring systems installed by the government in various parts of the country, the application will provide information on rainfall probability over the next 1-4 hours in 200 sites, real-time information on water levels, and an overview of which areas are affected by rain and humidity.
“While this information is already available on the NOAH website, the mobile app accelerates the speed by which users can access this information,” Liboro said.
A 2011 World Bank study showed that 80 percent of Filipino households have a mobile phone, making the application convenient and accessible.
The NOAH mobile application will initially be available only for Android smartphones. However, its sharing options will allow users to share information across different social media.
“Users can access Tweets sent out by PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services) [the Philippines weather bureau] as text messages to any mobile phone,” Liboro explained.
Future enhancements include incorporating a flood forecasting system. “This will really help us give advance warning to residents of flood-prone areas [and] if there is a need to evacuate,” said Vic Malano, acting deputy administrator of PAGASA.
According to the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, the Philippines – with its typhoons, floods, droughts, volcanoes, earthquakes and landslides, and home to over 100 million people – is the most disaster prone country in the world.
In August, floods in Manila affected an estimated half a million people who had to be evacuated to temporary shelters.
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source http://www.irinnews.org

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