Hawaii volcano forces series of evacuations on Big Island

admin   •   June 4, 2018   •   2743



Soldiers from the Hawaii National Guard monitor sulfur dioxide gas levels near a lava flow in Leilani Estates during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S., June 3, 2018. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

The Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii has forced series of evacuations on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Three people were airlifted to safety on Sunday morning (June 3) as lava from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano threatened an isolated area where they had become trapped, the National Guard said.

The two men and a woman became the latest in a series of evacuations on Hawaii’s Big Island forced by the volcano, which has been erupting since May 3.

On Saturday, National Guard troops, police and firefighters ushered evacuees from homes on the eastern tip of the island, hours before lava cut off road access to the area, officials said.

Authorities since Wednesday had been urging residents of the area to leave before lava spewing from a volcanic fissure at the eastern foot of Kilauea reached the area.

The final phase of the evacuation was carried out late on Friday and early on Saturday by fire and police department personnel, with help from the Hawaii National Guard and public works teams, county civil defense spokeswoman Janet Snyder told Reuters by email. — Reuters

Cimatu to establish base in Qatar for immediate evacuation of Filipinos in Iraq

Marje Pelayo   •   January 7, 2020

DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu

MANILA, Philippines – Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu is setting up plans for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Middle East in response to the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The President has ordered Cimatu to oversee the situations in the Middle East amid the ongoing conflict between the United States and Iran following the killing of Iran’s top military commander Qasem Soleimani.

“I will do my best to do another mission for our country,” Cimatu assured.

Cimatu served as Special Envoy to the Middle East during the Iraq war in 2003.

He said he will immediately fly to the Middle East once his documents are settled.

He plans to stay in Qatar where he can lay the plans for the repatriation of OFWs in Iraq.

“I plan to go to Qatar, establish our base there and from there we’ll see kung would be able to go inside Iraq,” he said.

Cimatu will recommend raising Alert Level 4 in Iraq to pave way for forced or mandatory evacuation.

Iraq hosts a number of US Military bases thus it is highly susceptible to attack by Iranian forces.

“We have to move out immediately the Filipinos out of Iraq,” Cimatu said.

“Because I believe that this could be the target, initially the US facilities inside Baghdad. Almost the same area where the Iranian general was killed,” he added.

The official targets to repatriate first Filipinos working and living near US facilities in Iraq before they move to other gulf countries with US military bases such as Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait.

“The best way for the moment is for them to leave Iraq immediately,” he said.

Secretary Cimatu also confirmed that Philippine representatives have also been deployed to Iran to assess the situation of Filipinos there.

Cimatu worries, however, how to deal with the situation of undocumented Filipinos.

Nevertheless, Cimatu calls on the relatives of undocumented Filipinos in the Middle East to coordinate with authorities to locate their loved ones especially those within the possible target areas.

“Ang parents naman nila rito ang magsasabi that they are there, so ito yung mga sources namin kung saan talaga sila, (Their parents here can tell us if they are there so they will be our sources to identify their exact locations),” Cimatu concluded. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

Duterte orders AFP to prepare for evacuation of OFWs in the Middle East

Marje Pelayo   •   January 7, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has alerted the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the event that the tension between Iran and the United States of America escalates.

During the 45th meeting of the President’s Cabinet on Sunday (January 6), the President expressed grave concern over the condition and safety of overseas Filipino workers in the Middle East particularly in countries involved like Iran, Iraq and nearby Arab nations, according to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

“He stressed that it is the paramount duty of the government to give protection to the Filipinos whenever their lives are in peril and wherever they are,” Panelo quoted the President.

Thus, during the meeting, President Duterte ordered the military to prepare their air and naval assets for possible evacuation of Filipinos in the event hostilities erupt between the US and Iran.

Aside from creating a special working committee composed of members of his Cabinet, the President also directed all concerned government agencies to prepare for contingencies that will absorb displaced workers to government projects.

Meanwhile, the President also ordered Special Envoy to the Middle East Secretary Roy Cimatu to immediately fly to the Middle East to establish coordination with the host countries and lay the groundwork for the evacuation.

Likewise, Panelo said, President Duterte instructed Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers Abdullah Mamao to proceed to Iran and Iraq to deliver the President’s special messages to the Iranian and Iraqi Governments on the safety of the Filipinos working in their respective countries.

Martial law victims might receive more from the Marcoses’ wealth in Hawaii

Marje Pelayo   •   March 1, 2019

Martial law victim applying for compensation claims at the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board. (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines – Rights abuse victims during the Marcos regime were able to breathe a huge sigh of relief when President Rodrigo Duterte approved to extend the distribution of claims until the end of the year.

According to the group, Samahan ng mga Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensuon at Aresto (SELDA), around P234 million from the P10 billion total amount of reparation pay are yet to be claimed by around 170 recognized claimants.

“Ang mga grantee noon (ay) may mga kulang pa talagang mga documents daw so hinabol ng iba iyong mga kulang ng documents,” explained SELDA’s National Coordinator Danny dela Fuente.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is now planning the process and finalizing the timeline for the distribution of the remaining claims.

Apart from this, the rights group said the 7,500 Martial law victims who were among those who filed a class action lawsuit in Hawaii may still be able to receive an additional amount from so called ‘ill-gotten wealth’ of the Marcoses deposited in the island state.

SELDA noted that each recognized claimant might receive P75,000 each from the US$13.75 million dollar earned from the auctioned paintings of the Marcoses.

This would be possible if the court will rule in favor of their petition expected to be announced in March.

It can be noted that the complainants were given an initial amount when the Hawaii court ruled in their favor against the Marcoses in the Hawaii case.

“Ang tawag ngayon doon (ay) Marcos estate, iyong inihabla namin sa Hawaii. Nagkaroon nga ng favorable decision ang court of US federal district of Hawaii na kami ay ma-award ng $1.9B. Walang panggagalingan iyon kundi ang kanilang ill-gotten wealth,” dela Fuente concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)


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