January 16, 2010 |
Reporting from Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, and Washington -- The leading edge of a massive relief effort gained a toehold around the Haitian capital Friday, with the U.S. military taking control of the airport and helicopters ferrying supplies from an aircraft carrier positioned off the coast. But deep within the city's neighborhoods, residents fended for themselves -- evacuating those who could go, caring for those who couldn't and putting to rest those who would move no more. Hundreds of doctors and aid workers and tons of supplies arrived at the airport, now teeming with traffic.
September 23, 2009 |
The state of Georgia faced continuing headaches and heartache Tuesday from a pernicious series of rainstorms that had claimed the lives of at least seven people and flooded more than 1,000 homes -- although weather forecasters said the worst of the deluge likely had passed. On Tuesday morning, Gov. Sonny Perdue formally asked President Obama for an emergency declaration that would make the hardest-hit areas eligible for federal disaster relief funds. A day earlier, Perdue had declared a state of emergency in 17 counties in the Atlanta area and north Georgia.
February 9, 2009 |
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied nearly 650,000 applications for housing aid after Hurricane Ike hit southeast Texas, finding that nearly 90% of all claimants were ineligible for FEMA help. Those rejected and their attorneys say the inspectors are unqualified or poorly trained, and the inspection system is flawed in ways that withhold help from deserving people. FEMA says the numbers reflect a misunderstanding of the agency's mission. The Houston Chronicle reported that FEMA has received more than 730,000 applications for help with home repairs, mobile homes or other housing services needed after Ike caused widespread damage in September.
September 24, 2008 |
Gulf Coast officials asked lawmakers for fast federal money for hurricane recovery -- and a minimum of red tape. Texas is looking at $11.4 billion in damage from Hurricane Ike, including $16 million in damage to Houston, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said. Devastation in Galveston is an additional $2 billion, that city's mayor said. Louisiana faces $1 billion in damage, Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu said. New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin said in prepared testimony that the $40-million cost of evacuating his city for Hurricane Gustav had led to hiring freezes and a halt of new expenditures until disaster costs could be reimbursed.
July 29, 2008 |
The top U.N. humanitarian affairs official said Monday that the world body had suffered significant losses while delivering cyclone aid to Myanmar because of a distorted official exchange rate. This month, the United Nations issued an appeal for more than $300 million in extra aid to cope with the effects of Cyclone Nargis, which left about 140,000 people dead or missing when it struck the Irrawaddy delta region in early May.
June 14, 2008 |
Myanmar is in urgent need of diesel fuel to make sure that machinery brought in to replace water buffaloes killed by Tropical Cyclone Nargis can be used to plant rice in the storm-devastated Irrawaddy delta, a senior U.N. official said. U.N. Undersecretary-General Noeleen Heyzer said it would be too late to start a rice crop after the normal planting season in June and July. Tens of millions of dollars have been donated to help victims of the May 2-3 cyclone, which killed more than 78,000 people, but the secretive regime has been reluctant to accept foreign relief experts in large numbers, and has restricted their movement.
June 10, 2008 |
U.N. helicopters loaded with relief supplies have reached several areas of Myanmar's Irrawaddy River delta that had been cut off from regular aid since a devastating cyclone five weeks ago, a World Food Program spokesman said Monday. Four of the five aircraft that arrived over the weekend shuttled emergency supplies such as rice and water purification systems to villages, said Paul Risley, the spokesman. More sites were expected to be reached today, he said.
May 24, 2008 |
Declaring a breakthrough for stalled cyclone relief efforts, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Myanmar's leader had agreed Friday to ease restrictions on foreign aid workers. Senior Gen. Than Shwe agreed to "allow all aid workers regardless of nationalities" so they could "reach all these areas where needy people are still awaiting our help," Ban said. Than Shwe also said the Yangon airport would be a hub for relief deliveries, Ban said. The United Nations chief said Than Shwe took "quite a flexible position on this matter" during their meeting in front of several generals in the military government's remote new capital, Naypyidaw.
May 24, 2008 |
China's central government Friday ordered its wealthier provinces and cities to give immediate financial and technical aid to communities devastated by last week's earthquake. The order, which pairs cities such as Shanghai and Beijing with less-developed areas in Sichuan province, highlights China's awareness of the enormous task ahead, of rebuilding entire towns and resettling about 5 million displaced people. Banks were ordered to forgive debts owed by earthquake victims.
May 23, 2008 |
Among the hundreds of cyclone survivors who staggered through the doors of a monastery here, staring straight ahead and too traumatized to even blink, was one village's last living man. The abbot was quick to care for the group, feeding refugees from rice stockpiled for students who, in better times, came to learn meditation and the wisdom of the Buddha. Within a few days, however, local officials barged into the monastery.