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Disaster Relief

January 23, 2010 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Scott Kraft and Mitchell Landsberg
The flow of supplies into Haiti by air and sea picked up Friday, and more shops reopened for business, but another sharp aftershock jangled nerves, giving an extra push to those considering leaving the shattered capital city. A man and an elderly woman were rescued a staggering 10 days after homes collapsed on them. An Israeli team pulled a 21-year-old man from what once was a three-story home, according to an Israel Defense Forces statement. And an 84-year-old woman was said by relatives to have been pulled from the wreckage of her house, according to doctors administering to her at the General Hospital, where she was in critical condition.
January 16, 2010 | By Tina Susman and Joe Mozingo and Julian E. Barnes
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 | Richard Fausset
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 | Times Wire Reports
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 | From Times staff and wire reports
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 | From Reuters
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 | From Times Wire Reports
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 | From the Associated Press
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 30, 2008 | From a Times Staff Writer
Tropical Cyclone Nargis didn't kill Ma Thein Hlaing. Neglect did. She was in the village monastery, reciting Buddha's canons day and night in the five-day ceremony of pahtan, as the storm gathered strength over the ocean close enough to see from her riverbank village. The cyclone struck like a ferocious beast clawing at its prey. Thein Hlaing, 56, cowered inside with 19 other worshipers who fought to hold on against a rising flood. The monastery began to break apart and a large stereo speaker toppled onto her, forcing her head under the surging seawater.
May 24, 2008 | David Pierson, Times Staff Writer
For years, the boxy office building housing the Chinese Consulate on Shatto Place in Koreatown maintained a low profile. Its only major brush with the news came nearly two decades ago after the Tiananmen crackdown prompted Chinese Americans to hold protests there. But after this month's deadly Sichuan earthquake, the consulate has emerged as an unlikely galvanizing force for Southern California's thriving ethnic Chinese community.
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