World’s longest electric vehicle trip ends in New Zealand

Robie de Guzman   •   July 21, 2019   •   1377

Dutch adventurer Wiebe Wakker posing beside his vehicle the ‘Blue Bandit’, to celebrate the completion of his three-year drive across more than 30 countries in an electric vehicle. | Courtesy: Reuters

A Dutch sustainability advocate completed the longest ever journey in an electric vehicle in New Zealand on Friday (July 19) after a three-year drive that took him through more than 30 countries.

Wiebe Wakker set off from the Netherlands in March 2016 in his “Blue Bandit” to showcase the potential of sustainable transport, funded by donations from those following his trip on social media.

“So I wanted to do my bit to promote this technology and show that sustainability is a viable way of transport. So I wanted really to do something that really speaks to the imagination which is driving an electric car from Amsterdam to literally the other side of the world to show that it can be done,” he said.

The 101,000 kilometers (62,800 miles) trip took Wakker through Eastern Europe, Iran, India, Southeast Asia, before traveling around much of Australia and across to New Zealand.

Wakker gave regular updates on his blog and social media throughout the journey, detailing visiting Iran’s biggest car manufacturer in Tehran, a breakdown on the Indonesian island of Java and visits to Australia’s outback and world-famous Uluru.

The drive had relied on the support of strangers across the globe who offered the traveler food, a place to stay and the essential means to charge his car along the way. (REUTERS)

(Production: James Redmayne)

Lifesaver: How to treat fireworks-related burns and injuries

Robie de Guzman   •   December 31, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The government has been calling on the public to ditch fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices for safer noise-maker alternatives to avoid any injuries during the celebration of the holidays.

However, there are some people who just can’t help themselves from setting those firecrackers off so UNTV’s Lifesaver program has prepared first-aid tips on how to treat burns and injuries related to the use of fireworks.

Lifesaver program host, UNTV News and Rescue Manager Benedict Galazan, said there are different first aid treatments for different types of fireworks accidents.

He, however, stressed that these are only temporary measures as victims should be immediately rushed to the nearest hospital.

Here are the first-aid tips:

  • For first degree burns, the burned or injured area should be washed under cool running water for 10 to 15 minutes to ease the pain and remove traces of chemical powder.
  • Cover the burned area using a clean cloth and, if necessary, immediately bring the victim to the hospital.

First-degree burns are considered mild and result in pain and reddening of the skin.

  • For second degree burns, run cool water on the wound for 10 to 15 minutes to stop the bleeding and ease the pain.
  • Cover the wound with a clean cloth or plastic wrap then bring the victim to the nearest hospital.

Second-degree burns affect the epidermis and lower layer of the skin and may cause pain, redness, and blistering.

When blistering occurs, the swollen area of the skin should not be popped.

“‘Yung mga blister o paltos ay huwag puputukin. Kasi iyan po ang pinaka-defense mechanism ng katawan ‘yan na kapag may heat na naramdaman ang katawan, magpo-produce siya ng liquid para ‘yun din ang makatulong sa pagcool-down ng burn,” Galazan said.

  • For third-degree burns, run the wound on cool water for 10 to 15 minutes to stop the bleeding and ease the pain.
  • Carefully put pressure on the injured area to control the bleeding.
  • Do NOT apply toothpaste, cream or any oil-based ointment to the wound or burn.
  • Cover the injured area with a clean cloth or plastic wrap then bring the victim to the hospital.

Third-degree burns affect the dermis and deeper skin tissues and may result in white or blackened, charred skin that may be numb.

  • For injured fingers, hands and other limbs, Lifesaver advises to run the injured part under cool water. Do NOT use ice.
  • If the fingers are still intact, run it as well on cool water.
  • If some fingers or other body parts are dismembered or lost, apply pressure using a tourniquet or any device (bandage and stick, rope or belt) to a limb or extremity to limit – but not stop – the flow of blood.
  • Also, try to look for the dismembered finger, and wrap them in a clean cloth. Place them inside a sealed plastic bag and put it in ice.
  • Bring the victim and the dismembered body part to the nearest hospital.

Dismembered limbs need to be brought with the victim to the hospital as these may still be reattached through surgery.

  • For eye injuries, flush the affected eye with cool water to remove any traces of firecracker powder.
  • Do NOT scratch or touch the injured eye.
  • If it is bleeding, use gauze or a paper cup to cover and protect the injured eye. Be careful not to put pressure on the eye.
  • Bring the patient to the nearest hospital

For ingestion or firecracker or its powder, here are the first aid tips:

  • Let the patient drink raw egg whites. Health experts recommend six to eight egg whites to a child and eight to 12 to an adult.
  • The patient should not attempt to throw up the ingested firecracker to prevent further damage.
  • Bring the victim to the nearest hospital.

Remember, if the wound is larger than the size of the palm of the hand, immediately bring the victim to the nearest hospital or call emergency medical services such as 8-911-UNTV.

Watch the episode of Lifesaver below for more first aid tips on firecracker burns:

– RRD (Correspondent Harlene Delgado contributed to this report)

Official death toll rises to 17 in New Zealand’s Whakaari volcano eruption

UNTV News   •   December 23, 2019

An image provided by visitor Michael Schade shows White Island (Whakaari) volcano, as it erupts, in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, 09 December 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/MICHAEL SCHADE

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – The official death toll in New Zealand’s Whakaari volcano eruption this month rose to 17 after one of those injured died in a hospital, police said on Monday.

“Police can confirm a further person has died in Middlemore Hospital last night (Sunday) following the Whakaari/White Island eruption,” New Zealand Police deputy commissioner John Tims said in a statement.

“The death of this person brings the official number of deceased to 17; 16 of whom died in New Zealand and one in Australia,” the statement added.

The victim was one of 14 people who were admitted to hospitals in New Zealand, most of them in critical condition, while a dozen more were transferred to hospitals in Australia.

The toll does not include two people who are still missing in waters around the island, presumed dead. They are New Zealand tour guide Hayden Marshall-Inman, 40, and Australian Winona Langford, 17.

Last Wednesday, police said they were scaling back the search for Marshall-Inman and Langford.

Tims said in a statement that operations to locate the bodies would be handed to local authorities.

“It’s important to be clear – we haven’t given up,” Tims said underlining that the police would have a boat and helicopter deployed for several days from coastal town Whakatane, the closest on the mainland to Whakaari.

“We have always had an expectation of ourselves and others that all bodies would be recovered so it’s both disappointing and frustrating to be in this position,” he added.

Over the weekend an “extensive aerial search” was conducted between the island and the mainland to locate the missing two, police said Monday.

“No further items of significance were located,” said local Superintendent Andy McGregor, adding that police will review the search and decide how the operation will proceed.

Whakaari/White Island, privately-owned and one of the most active volcanoes in the country visited by more than 17,500 people in 2018, erupted on Dec. 9 when it was rated at Volcanic Alert Level 2 out of 5.

The New Zealand authorities have opened two investigations into the incident. EFE-EPA

Kin of UNTV News crew members slain in Ampatuan Massacre cherish victory

Marje Pelayo   •   December 19, 2019

Filipinos Juliet Evardo (R) and Editha Tiamson (2-R), relatives of victims of the Maguindanao massacre, enter a prison facility to attend the on-going hearing at a maximum security prison in Taguig, south of Manila, Philippines, on 25 May 2011.

MANILA, Philippines – The relatives of the four UNTV News crew members slain in the Ampatuan Massacre expressed relief after the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 rendered its verdict to the suspects in the gruesome murder of 32 journalists and 26 other individuals on November 23, 2009.

For them, the pains that they endured for more than a decade have somehow been relieved after they heard that the primary suspects who were members of a powerful clan in Mindanao – the Ampatuans – are placed behind bars.

After the promulgation of the case earlier Thursday (December 19), they were able to smile in between tears, not in grief, but in complete joy.

Erlyn Umpad, the partner of UNTV cameraman Mc Delbert Arriola, was emotional after hearing the guilty verdict.

“Habang binabasa na ang mga pangalan ng convicted, ang luha namin (While the names of the convicted were being read, we were in tears),” Erlyn said.

“Ang saya. Sabi ko: “Salamat sa Dios!” kasi dininig Niya ang panalangin namin (We’re relieved and happy. I whispered: “Thank God!” He listened to our prayers),” she added.

UNTV Correspondent Victor Nuñez’ mother Catherine Nuñez also couldn’t hold back her tears.

“Nagkaiyakan dahil sa saya na nakuha namin ang hustisya na minimithi namin (We all cried because finally we were able to get justice,)” she said.

Editor Jolito Evardo’s brother Desiderio Evardo said what he feels now is unexplainable.

“Ako po, kung may masaya pa, pinakamasaya. Ngunit wala nang ibang saya na natanggap ko (I’m the happiest. No amount of happiness can exceed what I feel right now),” Evardo said.

Meanwhile, Editha Tiamzon has nothing but a feeling of gratitude to all who supported them on the course of their fight for justice.

Editha is the widow of UNTV Driver Daniel Tiamzon.

“Kami pong apat sa UNTV, saka ang mga kasama namin, kay Atty. Harry Roque, buong puso pong nagpapasalamat sa buong Pilipinas dahil po sa suporta ninyo (The four of us thank UNTV and Atty. Harry Roque and the entire Philippines for the support),” said Editha.

Despite today’s Court decision, Roque said they will continue to pursue further justice to all other victims as the ‘trial of the century’ continues. – MNP (with inputs from Harlene Delgado)


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