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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 18, 2008 |
Lisa Bialac-Jehle was just a few minutes from sleep Friday night when her phone rang. It was the American Red Cross, and they were calling about a fire. The caller told Bialac-Jehle, 52, a member of the organization's disaster action team, that she was needed immediately at Sylmar High School to help victims who had fled there. So she threw on some clothes, hopped in the car and sped up the 405.
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 30, 2008 |
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 |
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 24, 2008 |
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.
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.