Sunday, April 10, 2011

77 evacuate from Taal Volcano Island

News from

77 evacuate from Taal Volcano Island
By Marrah Erika Lesaba
Inquirer Southern Luzon
First Posted 10:13:00 04/10/2011

Filed Under: Safety of Citizens, Volcanic activity

BATANGAS CITY, Philippines—(UPDATE) At least 77 persons from 17 families have evacuated from the Taal Volcano Island following the series of volcanic tremors that prompted the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology to raise Alert Level 2 on the island.

The evacuees were ferried to the mainland of Talisay town on Saturday night, said Senior Superintendent Alberto Supapo, Batangas police director, on Sunday.

The evacuees were among the 2,210 residents of the island who opted to voluntarily leave starting at 9 p.m. Saturday for fear that the volcano would erupt anytime, said Supapo.

Three families were housed at the Venancio Trinidad Senior Memorial School in Talisay while the remaining 14 families stayed with their relatives in Poblacion, Talisay, Supapo said.

Jing Segismundo, Batangas provincial information officer, said the evacuees are from sitios (subvillages) Tabla, Tibag and San Isidro on Taal Volcano Island.

Segismundo said local authorities would implement forced evacuation if alert level 3 or a higher alert was raised.

Alert level 3 means a probable eruption or strong changes in the eruption patterns in the next 10 days.
Alert level 4 means the volcano will erupt anytime and alert level 5 is issued when the eruption is in progress.

Lorence Baňez, Science Research Assistant for the Taal Volcano observatory, said Alert Level 2, which meant increasing restiveness which could lead to eruption, was raised Saturday after they recorded 31 volcanic quakes between April 8 and 9.

Baňez added they also noted an increase in the carbon dioxide level around the volcano, indicating an “anomalous gas release” from the depth of the volcano.

Elevated levels of carbon dioxide in the air can cause damage to plants. When inhaled, it could cause dizziness, fainting and headache, said Banez.

People and animals could also die of asphyxiation from carbon dioxide inhalation, added Banez.

With the raising of Alert Level 2, the Daang Kastila trail, used mostly be tourists who wanted to get close to the volcano, is strictly off-limits because sudden hazardous steam-driven explosions may occur and high concentrations of toxic gases may accumulate, said Baňez.


This is already alarming!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Alert level at Taal raised

News from PhilStar,

Alert level at Taal raised
By Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) Updated April 10, 2011 12:00 AM

image source
Photo shows the main crater lake of Taal volcano where  Phivolcs has raised the alert level from 1 to 2. VAL RODRIGUEZ

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) yesterday raised the alert level at the Taal volcano to 2, saying the present activity at the volcano could lead to an eruption.

Phivolcs issued a bulletin yesterday advising the public to stay away from the main crater, the Daang Kastila trail and Mt. Tabaro, site of the deadly eruption in 1965.

These areas, Phivolcs said, “are strictly off-limits because sudden hazardous steam-driven explosions may occur and high concentrations of toxic gases may accumulate. Breathing air with high concentration of gases can be lethal to humans, animals and even cause damage to vegetation.”

“With this alert status, the present activities could eventually lead to an eruption,” it added.
The volcano monitoring bureau added that magma has also been intruding toward the surface.

Phivolcs added the entire island where the volcano is situated is a permanent danger zone and any settlement is strictly prohibited.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) also declared the areas surrounding the volcano off-limits to local and foreign tourists.

NDRRMC executive officer Benito Ramos said the Daang Kastila, an uphill trail toward the volcano’s crater, and Mt. Tabaro have been closed to all visitors.

The NDRRMC increased its level of disaster preparedness in and around Taal lake to alert level 2 following the recommendation of Phivolcs.

“There is no order yet of evacuation but we are doing all these disaster preparation (measures) because the volcano is showing signs of an imminent eruption,” Ramos said.

In the event of an eruption, several coastline municipalities around Taal lake in Batangas, Tagaytay City in Cavite would be affected, Ramos said.

This developed as Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto called a meeting with local officials to draw up an evacuation plan in the event that Taal volcano erupts.
Local officials from Lipa City and the towns of Talisay, Laurel, San Nicolas, Mataas na Kahoy, Tanauan, Agoncillo, Cuenca, Sta. Teresita and Alitagtag attended the pre-disaster preparations with Santos-Recto.

Phivolcs said there were four “significant changes” on the status of the Taal volcano that warranted the increase of the warning, adding that the seismic activity of the volcano continued to worsen.

The number of volcanic earthquakes detected gradually rose and the depths of the plotted quakes were becoming shallow (one to four kilometers). There is also an increase in the number of perceptible quakes.

During the past 24 hours, two quakes were felt at the volcano island with intensities ranging from 2 to 3, one of them accompanied by a rumbling sound.
A total of 21 volcanic quakes were detected by the seismic network in the last 24 hours, Phivolcs said.

Secondly, gas measurements conducted at the Taal main crater lake yielded carbon dioxide emission flux of 1,875 tons per day (t/d) in February 2011 and 4,670 t/d during the last week of March. The remarkable increase in carbon dioxide concentration indicates its release from the magma at depth.

Phivolcs added the result of the ground deformation survey conducted around the volcano island this week showed that the volcano edifice is still inflated as compared to the February 2011 survey.

Phivolcs said steaming activities at the northern and northeast sides of the main crater occasionally intensified.

Sometimes, intensification of steaming activity is accompanied by an audible hissing sound.

Phivolcs said it would closely monitor the activity at Taal volcano and inform the public of any significant development. - With Jaime Laude, Arnell Ozaeta


I hope this would not lead to an eruption...but if the condition of Taal volcano will continue to worsen, I hope there would be enough time to warn the public.  I'm sure Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto together with the local officials of the affected areas can handle this...since they already had a meeting to draw up an evacuation plan in the event that Taal volcano erupts.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Huge aftershock rattles nerves in Japan

News from The Australian

Huge aftershock rattles nerves in Japan

Rick Wallace, Tokyo correspondent
From: The Australian
April 09, 2011 12:00AM

A MAJOR new quake has claimed four lives in Japan but has had no effect on delicate operations to cool the cripple Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, just 100km from the epicentre.

The quake knocked out power to 4 million homes and dealt another blow to the psyche of stressed residents of quake-and tsunami-ravaged northern Honshu.

At the Onagawa nuclear power plant, close to the epicentre of the quake, water sloshed out of spent fuel rod pools. Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said the spills were minor and did not lead to elevated radiation readings. Still, the incident reinforced the vulnerability of Japan's nuclear power system to strong earthquakes.

Several other nuclear facilities in northern Honshu were forced to switch to back-up power.

A tsunami warning forced the brief evacuation of workers at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Operator TEPCO continued to inject nitrogen into the No 1 reactor and maintained efforts to cool the cores of all the reactors.

The quake shook buildings in much of northern Honshu and sent furniture and light fittings crashing to the floor, as well as sparking several fires.

The Japan Meterological Agency said the quake - of a magnitude between 7.1 and 7.4 - was an aftershock linked to the March 11 megaquake. The epicentres were both off the east coast near Sendai.

The warning of a tsunami of between 0.5m and 1m along the northern Honshu coast was revoked a few hours later.

The official death toll from the original March 11 earthquake and tsunami reached 12,731 yesterday, with 14,706 people missing.

Tokyo University earthquake expert Satoko Ohki said aftershocks could follow for up to 20 years from a major quake, although they tended to diminish in size and frequency with time.

Associate Professor Ohki told The Weekend Australian Japan needed to be prepared for a quake of up to magnitude-8 for as long as a year after the March 11 megaquake.

She said aftershocks usually occurred near the epicentre of the main shock, although the focus of new shocks could be anywhere along the northern Honshu coast from Ibaraki to Iwate prefecture.

In the first official glimpse of the impact of the disaster on economic sentiment, Japan's cabinet office released data yesterday showing its "economy watchers" survey fell a record 20 points.

The index, compiled from interviews with taxi drivers, hotel and restaurant staff, showed their confidence about economic conditions dropped from 48.4 before the quake to just 27.7.

However, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 stock index rose more than 1.8 per cent as it emerged the aftershock had not sparked another tsunami or nuclear crisis.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said there were some "early signs of recovery" at Fukushima, although the situation remained "very serious".

Another nuclear supervisory agency, the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation, reported that its network of monitoring stations showed that minute traces of radioactive emissions from the Fukushima Daiichi plant had spread across the northern hemisphere within two weeks of the crisis.


Let's continue to pray for Japan...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Red Cross Donations to Japan Surpass $120M

  News from  FoxNews,

Red Cross Donations to Japan Surpass $120M

Published March 29, 2011|

The American Red Cross announced Tuesday that donations to Japan following the earthquake and tsunami disasters that shook the country nearly three weeks ago have topped $120 million.

The Red Cross already has committed $10 million toward relief and will provide another $50 million in the next few days. The money will go to the Japanese Red Cross, which is providing direct emergency relief, medical services and emotional counseling to the devastated communities.

“Almost three weeks after one of the most devastating earthquakes in history, we are immensely grateful to the American public for their continued generosity,” said David Meltzer, senior vice president of international services with the American Red Cross, at a press conference held at the Japanese embassy in Washington, D.C.

Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, who heads the Board of Governors of the American Red Cross, suggested that Americans were repaying the Japanese for their generosity.

“The American public and we at the American Red Cross have not forgotten the generosity of the Japanese people when we suffered tremendous loss after the 9/11 attacks and, more recently, after Hurricane Katrina,” she said.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Japan remain homeless, their homes and livelihoods destroyed. More than 11,000 bodies have been recovered, but officials say the final death toll is expected to exceed 18,000. Damage could amount to $310 billion — the most expensive natural disaster on record.

The struggle to contain radiation at the complex has also unfolded with near-constant missteps — including two workers drenched Tuesday with radioactive water despite wearing supposedly waterproof suits. The unfolding drama has drawn increasing criticism of the utility that owns the plant as well as scrutiny of Japan's preparedness for nuclear crises.

Japan's government vowed Tuesday to overhaul nuclear safety standards once its radiation-leaking reactor complex is under control, admitting that its safeguards were insufficient to protect the plant against the March 11 tsunami.

An AP investigation found that Tokyo Electric Power Co. officials had dismissed scientific evidence and geological history that indicated that a massive earthquake — and subsequent tsunami — was far more likely than they believed.

That left the complex with nowhere near enough protection against the tsunami.

Conditions for tsunami survivors appear to be improving, the Red Cross said. The number of Japanese people in shelters has dropped from nearly half a million to 244,000, and more supplies are reaching the areas that need help the most.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read more from SOURCE
Japan is really generous. They also helped the Philippines during the time of typhoon Ondoy.

I also admire the Japanese for being "organize" even in times of disasters...

PNRI traces ‘tiny amounts’ of radiation from Japan in PHL

News from GMANEWS

PNRI traces ‘tiny amounts’ of radiation from Japan in PHL
03/29/2011 | 02:46 PM

“Tiny amounts" of radioactive materials from the quake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan have already reached the Philippines, according to the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI).

The PNRI, according to information bulletins posted on its website, has traced “normal" levels of radiation from Japan in the country since last Thursday, ranging from 93 to 123 nanosieverts per hour.

The PNRI, however, emphasized that the radiation “poses no human health hazards." [See more information on radiation here.]

A GMA News report on Tuesday said the radioactive materials from Japan reached the country due to a “change in wind direction."

The PNRI is set to release an update on the radiation levels in the country Tuesday afternoon.

A magnitude-8.9 earthquake, followed by a devastating tsunami, hit Japan earlier this month, killing thousands and damaging the nuclear power facility in Fukushima Prefecture. This posed a radiation threat to the country and nearby areas.

The Japanese government admitted on Monday the presence of high levels of radiation in water flooding the basement of the damaged nuclear reactor, which might seep into the soil or out to the sea. - Andreo C. Calonzo/KBK, GMA News

To know more go to SOURCE: GMANEWS


I hope this radiation level that have reached Philippines would remain at "normal" level...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"We Heart Japan" Earthquake Relief Gallery

News from AnimeNewsNetwork

"We Heart Japan" Earthquake Relief Gallery
by Justin Sevakis and Pinguino Kolb, Mar 24th 2011

On St. Patrick's Day 2011, Los Angeles' famous Meltdown Comics store was the scene of a unique event. "We Heart Japan" was a 4-hour benefit for the purpose of raising money to benefit victims of the large Earthquake off the coast of Eastern Japan that had happened only a week earlier. Masterminded by voice actress Stephanie Sheh (with "a LOT of volunteer help," she quickly pointed out), the event transformed the store for a few hours into something of a compressed anime convention.

Despite the somber occasion, the mood of the event was festive: a DJ spun dance records, bartenders served drinks, and a small army of LA-based voice actors signed autographs. Outside the festivities continued, with 3 of LA's prominent food trucks providing snacks, burritos and bubble tea. The centerpiece of the night, however, was two-fold: a raffle, featuring a small truckload of anime DVDs and Scott Pilgrim posters as the prize winnings; as well as a large silent art auction, featuring work by the fan community as well as autographed posters. The proceeds of both were donated to the Japan NGO Earthquake Relief and Recovery Fund.

To see pictures, go to SOURCE: AnimeNewsNetwork


I love anime [and manga]!!! 

We all know that two of the great contributions of Japan is anime and their manga! "We Heart Japan" event is a great way of paying it forward!!!  Great Job to all!

...I love the pictures by the way!

More than 9,000 dead in Japan earthquake

News from Fox News Latino

More than 9,000 dead in Japan earthquake

Published March 22, 2011 | EFE

Tokyo –  The number of deaths from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan rose Tuesday to 9,079, while another 12,645 are still missing.

Eleven days after the magnitude-9.0 temblor on the northeast coast, Japan's worst disaster since World War II, it is feared that the number of victims will increase even more as attempts are made to restore infrastructure services to provide care for those left homeless.

Of the total number of fatalities, 4,080 have been identified and 2,990 bodies have been returned to their families.

Some 320,000 people have been evacuated from their homes and most are lodged in the 2,100 temporary shelters in 16 prefectures, according to the latest figures provided by the Kyodo news agency.

Among them are the 200,000 evacuees from the environs of the Fukushima nuclear plant, where technicians and the military struggle day and night to lower the temperature of its nuclear reactors to avoid a meltdown.

The hardest hit prefecture, Miyagi, accounts for 5,364 of the confirmed earthquake and tsunami deaths.

The more than 600 aftershocks that have shaken Japan since the original quake have caused no serious damage up to now, though they keep the frightened inhabitants in a constant state of tension.

Read more from SOURCE

We will still continue to pray for the victims (and the relatives of the victims) of the earthquake and tsunami...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Japan earthquake miracle - two survive after nine days trapped

News from Mirror,

Japan earthquake miracle - two survive after nine days trapped

by Steve White, Daily Mirror 21/03/2011

THEY had been given up for dead by virtually everyone.

Everyone, that is, except for defiant dad Akira Abe. He clung stubbornly to the desperate hope that his frail mother and teenage son had somehow survived the devastating earthquake and tsunami that brought destruction to Japan.

And yesterday – NINE DAYS after the disaster – his faith was rewarded.

Now 80-year-old Sumi Abe and her 16-year-old grandson Jin have become symbols of hope for the entire nation.

And relieved Akira, who had begged police to keep searching, told the world: “I always believed they were alive.” The pair were rescued after Jin was spotted in the collapsed roof of a wooden house in the ravaged city of Ishinomaki.

As rescuers answered his cries for help he pointed them further down inside the rubble to where Sumi was trapped.

Both were weak and exhausted after surviving without water or power.

Elderly Sumi, who has trouble walking, and Jin, who had hypothermia and could not pull himself from the debris, were taken by helicopter to a hospital.

The official death toll stands so far at 8,400 – with a further 13,000 missing and almost half a million still living in temporary shelters.

Experts battling to stabilise damaged nuclear reactors at Fukushima yesterday described radiation levels as “minimal”, despite traces turning up in spinach and milk up to 75 miles away.

To know more, go to SOURCE
Miracles do happen!!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Resources related to the 2011 Japan Crisis

This is an excerpt from Google Crisis Response,

Resources related to the 2011 Japan Crisis

On March 11 at 2:46pm JST a massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake occurred near the northeastern coast of Japan, creating extremely destructive tsunami waves which hit Japan just minutes after the earthquake, and triggering evacuations and warnings across the Pacific Ocean. The earthquake and tsunami have caused extensive and severe damage in Northeastern Japan, leaving thousands of people confirmed dead, injured or missing, and millions more affected by lack of electricity, water and transportation.

Go to Google Crisis Response page if you want to help.  You'll find here ways to contribute to relief efforts in Japan.  Also, this website has a Person Finder; Alerts and Status regarding Blackout info, different Electric Power companies, Government agencies, U.S. State Dept. & Embassy Resources; Transit status of Trains and buses (Japanese language); Flight Status; Radiation and health information, Shelter information; and many more!  This website also has Realtime updates.

Go to Google Crisis Response page to know more.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wind near nuclear plant to blow out to sea

This news is from

Wind near nuclear plant to blow out to sea
March 17, 2011 - 12:53PM

The wind near a quake-hit nuclear complex in north-east Japan that has released radiation into the atmosphere is forecast to blow from the north-west today, moving towards the Pacific Ocean, the weather agency said.

Plus, the tsunami-ravaged coast has now been hit by an unseasonal late snow dump, compounding the misery.

The wind near the plant, which is on the coast, will blow as fast as at 12 metres a second, the Japan Meteorological Agency in Fukushima prefecture said.
Advertisement: Story continues below

The Fukushima Daiichi plant, run by Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) , is about 240 kilometres north of Tokyo.

The plant sent low levels of radiation wafting into Tokyo this week, triggering both fear in the capital and international alarm.

Officials said radiation in Tokyo was 10 times normal at one point on Tuesday, but not a threat to human health in the sprawling high-tech city of 13 million.

Early today, radiation levels were barely above average.

But many Tokyo residents stayed indoors. Usually busy streets were nearly deserted. Many shops and offices were closed.

A Japanese military helicopter has dumped water from a huge bucket on to the stricken nuclear power plant, as US officials warned of a rising risk of a catastrophic radiation leak from spent fuel rods.

Cold snap

The plight of hundreds of thousands left homeless by the earthquake and devastating tsunami that followed worsened following a cold snap that brought snow to worst-affected areas.

Supplies of water and heating oil are low at evacuation centres, where many survivors wait bundled in blankets.

About 850,000 households in the north were still without electricity in near-freezing weather, Tohuku Electric Power Co. said, and the government said at least 1.5 million households lack running water.

"It's cold today so many people have fallen ill, getting diarrhoea and other symptoms," said Takanori Watanabe, a Red Cross doctor in Otsuchi, a low-lying town where more than half the 17,000 residents are still missing.

Reuters, agencies

To know more go to SOURCE

The crisis worsens.  But there's always a good news here.  People helping each other! I heard from different news channels that there a lot of people helping, not only experts regarding nuclear radiation but also people from different walks of life, from children to business people around the world. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japan crisis continues, blaze in nuclear reactor No. 4

This news is from hindustantimes

Japan crisis continues, blaze in nuclear reactor No. 4
Agence France-Presse
Tokyo, March 16, 2011

A new fire on Wednesday at a quake-hit atomic power plant compounded Japan's nuclear crisis as a team of US experts headed to the country to help avert disaster. The pre-dawn blaze at the number-four reactor of the Fukushima No. 1 atomic power plant reportedly went out of its own accord 30 minutes after being spotted, the state atomic safety agency said.

But white smoke or steam was seen above the stricken plant around 10:00 am (0100 GMT).

Media reports said that it was coming from the reactor number three building, which was hit by a blast on Monday that tore off the building's outer structure.

Plant operator Tokyo Electricity Power Co (TEPCO) said that it did not know where the smoke was coming from.

Engineers have been battling a nuclear emergency at the 40-year-old plant since a massive earthquake and tsunami knocked out cooling systems last Friday and fuel rods began overheating.

There have been four explosions and two fires at four of the plant's six reactors, and radioactive material has been released into the atmosphere. Two workers have been missing since the disaster struck.

Radiation levels near the plant had reached levels harmful to health on Tuesday, the government said.

Tens of thousands have been evacuated from a 20 kilometre (12 mile) zone around the plant, and thousands of others within a 20-30 km radius were urged to stay indoors.

Eight experts from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission were to arrive on Wednesday to advise on managing the situation, the foreign ministry said.

The hydrogen gas blasts which began Saturday have shattered or damaged buildings housing the reactors and a reactor containment vessel may have suffered damage, the chief government spokesman said.

The government has also reported apparent damage to the suppression pool surrounding the base of the containment vessel of the number-two reactor.

The nuclear safety agency, citing information from TEPCO, said 70% of the fuel rods at the number-one reactor and 33% at the number-two reactor are believed damaged judging by radiation levels.

It was possible the rods' metal cladding had melted, exposing the radioactive core, a spokesman said.

Seawater is being pumped around the fuel rods in a desperate attempt to cool them down, but there are also fears about pools which hold spent rods.

If water in the pools evaporates, the spent rods would be exposed to the air and radioactive material would be released into the atmosphere.

TEPCO initially considered spraying boracic acid over the containment pool at reactor number four but is now leaning towards pumping it through fire engines, the safety agency spokesman said.

Boracic acid curbs nuclear fission by absorbing neutrons, a key element in a nuclear chain reaction.

The main US nuclear energy regulator backed Japan's efforts, saying on Tuesday it had taken appropriate actions. But there was greater concern elsewhere.

Scared Tokyo residents filled outbound trains and rushed to shops to stock up on face masks and emergency supplies amid heightening fears of radiation headed their way.

Officials said on Tuesday that the levels in the mega-city were above normal but not harmful to health.

France's Nuclear Safety Authority said the disaster now equated to a six on the seven-point international scale for nuclear accidents, ranking the crisis second only in gravity to Chernobyl.

Europe's energy commissioner Guenther Oettinger went further and dubbed the nuclear disaster an "apocalypse", saying Tokyo had almost lost control of events at the Fukushima plant.

"There is talk of an apocalypse and I think the word is particularly well chosen," he said in remarks to the European Parliament.

To know more, go to SOURCE

It is great to hear that US experts are headed to Japan to help.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Fresh footage of huge tsunami waves smashing town in Japan

This video is from RussiaToday

To know more go to video source

This is really a traumatic experience to everyone...there are still a lot of missing persons.  According to Foxnews Latino, based on the latest tally by Japanese police, there are nearly 1,900 people have been confirmed dead and 3,002 are missing as a result of last week's powerful earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

Let's continue to pray for them...

No truth to radiation text msg: gov't

Another [latest] news from abs-cbn,

No truth to radiation text msg: gov't
Posted at 03/14/2011 4:00 PM | Updated as of 03/14/2011 4:39 PM

MANILA, Philippines - There is no truth to text rumors that radiation from a nuclear plant in Japan has reached the Philippines, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said Monday.

DOST Secretary Mario Montejo said the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI)'s routine daily radiation monitoring in the environment showed the level of radiation in the environment in the country has remained stable since the Fukushima incident in Japan.

"The advice that people should stay indoors and to wear raincoats if they go outdoors did not come from DOST or any agency member of the National Disaster Coordinating Council," the DOST said in a statement.

The department also advised the public not to believe rumors currently spreading through text messages, emails, the Internet, and other means of communication.

"DOST emphasizes that there is no immediate danger of nuclear radiation in the Philippines," it said.

A DOST-PAGASA plume trajectory study also showed that the plume from the site of the incident at Fukushima will not pass the Philippine territory as of March 14, 2011.

"The direction of the smoke appears to go away from the direction of the country," DOST-PNRI Director Alumanda dela Rosa said.  "The smoke is carried away by the northeast monsoon (amihan)."

According to DOST-PAGASA, the direction of the wind will continue to be stable until about May 15, and there is no imminent sign of weather disturbance that may affect the current wind direction.

Dela Rosa said DOST-PNRI's National Radiological Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan has put in place an organized emergency response facility for a timely, coordinated action of the Philippine authorities in the event of a radiological emergency.

Classes not suspended

The Department of Education, meanwhile, said there will be no cancellation of classes since there is no danger of radiation from Japan reaching the country.

"As advised by the Department of Science and Technology, there is no need to suspend classes based on the allegations circulating in text messages about rains that can burn or cause cancer," the DepEd said.

The department issued the advisory after receiving calls from concerned parents about circulating text messages on the radiation scare.

The Polytechnic University of the Philippines canceled classes in all levels Monday afternoon after receiving the calls from parents of students, PUP President Dante Guevarra said.

Stop spreading text hoaxes

Sen. Loren Legarda on Monday called on people to stop spreading rumors of the radiation leak in Japan reaching the Philippines.

"Sa panahon ngayon ng sakuna at trahedya at sa panahon ng krisis sa ibang bansa … hindi siguro dapat magpasimula ng mga maling impormasyon. Ito'y hindi nakakatulong," she said.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte also denounced those creators of text messages spreading rumors of alleged radiation contamination in the country.

“Hindi po ito nakakatulong. Wala pong lugar yung mga ganitong actuations sa ganitong sitwasyon which is already sensitive,” Valte said.

To know more, go to SOURCE
I am glad that clarifications regarding the circulating sms/ txt messages about the nuclear leak at Fukushima nuclear power plant have been reported immediately...

Science officials: No threat of nuclear clouds, acid rain in PH

Many SMS (text messages) are now circulating here in the Philippines regarding the aftermath of earthquake and tsumani in Japan, specifically about the leak from one of the nuclear plants in Japan following an 8.9-magnitude earthquake last week.  That's why I decided to search the latest news regarding this matter.  Here's one from Inquirer,

Science officials: No threat of nuclear clouds, acid rain in PH

By Katherine Evangelista, Kristine L. Alave, Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 15:24:00 03/14/2011

Filed Under: Nuclear power, Politics

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE) Government officials stamped down fears that acid rain and nuclear clouds allegedly resulting from a leak from one of the nuclear plants in Japan following an 8.9-magnitude earthquake last week.

The Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) and the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), sought to allay the public's fears as warnings of radioactive clouds and acid rains circulated through text messages.

The PNRI said it had been conducting tests of the air since the first explosion at the Fukushima power station on Saturday, a day after a deadly quake and tsunami struck Japan.

"Based on (our) monitoring, there has been no increase in the levels of radioactivity since the time of the Fukushima event," the agency said in an emergency response bulletin Monday.

The bulletin came hours after a second explosion at the Fukushima plant.

The PNRI also allayed fears of radiation clouds coming over to the Philippines. And should there be one, "the plume from the site of the incident will not pass Philippine territory as of March 14," PNRI said.

“It does not make sense,” said weather forecaster Raymond Ordinario when asked to react to text messages warning the public of possible contaminated rainfall caused by radiation emitted from a leak inside the Fukushima plant.

“It does not make sense dahil masyado malayo ang location ng explosion, so it does not affect our local rainfall,” Ordinario told

“PAALALA: 4:30 in the afternoon sumabog ung isang nuclear power plant sa Fukumi (sic). Kapag umulan daw mamaya at bukas, wala daw lalabas. Kung kung lalabas kayo,siguraduhin nyong nkakapote o nkapayong kayo dhl kpag naulanan kayo, delikado daw, may tendency na masunog balat nyo, mkalbo o mgka cancer. Pls pass (REMINDER: 4:30 in the afternoon, a nuclear power plant exploded in Fukumi. Do not go out if it rains later and tomorrow. If you are going out, wear a raincoat or use an umbrella because if you get rained on it’s said to be dangerous. There is tendency that your skin will be burned, you will go bald or will get cancer. Please pass),” one of the circulating text messages read.

Ordinario denied this saying that what the message described was possible effects of acid rain.

He said that acid rain was formed when gaseous substances like sulphur and nitrogen mix and react with water in the clouds.

Ordinario said that radioactive materials were in metal form so it would not react with water.

Another text message has been spreading allegedly from BBC saying, “Japan govt confirms radiation leak at Fukushima nuclear plants. Asian countries should take necessary precautions. Remain indoors first 24hrs. Close doors n windows. Swab neck skin with betadine where thyroid area is, radiation hits thyroid first. Take extra precaution, radiation may hit Philat startng 4pm 2day. Pls send to ur loved ones."

The Agence France Presse reported that United Nations atomic watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency, has declared the radiation levels from the Fukushima nuclear power plant normal.

"Radiation dose rate measurements observed at four locations around the plant's perimeter over a 16-hour period on 13 March were all normal," the IAEA said in a statement.

Likewise, Pagasa forecaster Robert Sawi said the winds from Japan would not travel to the country. As of Monday, it has been moving west to east, which meant it has been traveling from Japan to the Pacific Ocean, he said.

“Kung sino man nagpapakalat nito, baka nananakot lang [Whoever is spreading this is probably just scaring people],” Ordinario said.

To know more, Go to SOURCE

My son's school decided to suspend classes today as a precautionary measure...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Japan: new reactor blast unlikely to cause big leak

TOKYO | Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:02am EDT

TOKYO (Reuters) - A fresh explosion at Japan's quake-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex on Monday is unlikely to have led to a large escape of radioactivity, the government said.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano was speaking after a hydrogen explosion at the No.3 reactor in the plant, which sent a plume of smoke into the air.

Japan's nuclear safety agency later said, quoting a report from the facility's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co (9501.T), that radiation near the No.3 reactor about 40 minutes after the explosion was about one-50th of that considered critical to human health.

The data suggests the explosion would not have damaged the reactor's containment vessel, a spokesman at the agency said at a news conference.

There were casualties, but the number or other details were not available, the spokesman said.

There is no wind near the plant near the ground and wind above the plant is blowing from the west or from the southwest, the spokesman added, meaning the wind is blowing toward the sea.

The direction of the wind is a key factor in judging possible damage on the environment from the radiation leaking from the plant, which was hit by Japan's biggest earthquake on record and a tsunami.

(Reporting by Elaine Lies and Risa Maeda; Editing by Joseph Radford)

To read more, go to SOURCE

Just like Ondoy, this is another disaster caused by our deteriorating Mother Earth.  Let us pray for all the people affected by the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Legarda offers Roxas crash course on climate change

By Michael Lim Ubac
Philippine Daily Inquirer

TUGUEGARAO CITY—How about a basic classroom lesson on climate change after an acrimonious debate Sunday night?

Vice presidential candidate Loren Legarda told reporters here that she was willing to “educate” her rival, Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, on climate change issues, after the latter apparently belittled her environmental advocacy during the ABS-CBN “Harapan” vice presidential debate.

Legarda quipped that Roxas might have been taking a snack or could have left the Senate session hall early, during the countless times she delivered privilege speeches on the warming planet.

“Climate change is not just an election issue. My advocacy for climate change started in 1998. It is a timeless, universal issue,” she said Tuesday during a press conference.

Two million trees

“I am willing to teach him about the needs of the farmers and fisherfolk. I am willing to give him copies of my speeches on climate change in the United Nations and the Senate. I am willing to sit down and teach him, so that he could understand that El Niño is connected to hunger,” said Legarda, chair of the Senate committees on agriculture, and on health.

She claims to have planted over two million trees under her Green Philippines’ campaign for which she was recognized by the UN in 2001. She is also the UN Asia Pacific regional champion for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

At Sunday’s debate held at La Consolacion College in Manila, Roxas had questioned Legarda’s priorities in making the environment her campaign advocacy, noting that the Philippines accounted for less than 1 percent of the Carbon dioxide (CO2) emission that is chiefly blamed for global warming.

Legarda had said that climate change was a gut issue, as the Philippines was one of 10 countries considered most vulnerable to disasters related to climate change.

Directly affects people

The El Niño-caused drought that damaged crops and the floods that killed many people during Storms “Ondoy” and “Pepeng,” showed that climate change was an issue that directly affected the people, she had said.

“This shows the ignorance and elitist nature of other people who don’t understand climate change, protecting the environment, banning cutting down of forests, rehabilitation of irrigation facilities, and preparedness for coming disasters to lessen tragedies caused by the changing climate,” Legarda said.

She called on her closest VP rival to go down to the grassroots and ask farmers, fishermen and ordinary folk about the effects of last year’s cyclones Ondoy and Pepeng and this year’s El Niño.

“To ignore climate change is to neglect the poor,” said Legarda.

Anyone could offer help even if you are not elected on your desired position in the government.  After the 2010 election (Philippines), we could tell among them who really are public servants...or those who have a lot of personal agenda...

Friday, March 5, 2010

HP Foundation gives $500K to Chile earthquake relief

by: Sacramento Business Journal

Hewlett-Packard Co. said Thursday that its internal foundation made a $500,000 donation for relief and recovery efforts to Chile.

Palo Alto-based H-P (NYSE:HPQ) said the grant will be split down the middle between two organizations actively involved in the post-earthquake relief efforts, the American Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders.

H-P said it also launched a global fundraising program among its employees in all countries where it operates. The company has launched a dedicated Web site for employee donations, and the Hewlett-Packard Co. Foundation has committed up to $250,000 to match eligible employee contributions in a bid to raise an additional $500,000.

The Hewlett-Packard Co. Foundation recently donated $500,000 to aid Haiti relief efforts following the earthquake that devastated the country last January. In September 2009, the Foundation donated $350,000 to help the victims of Typhoon Ondoy in the Philippines.

H-P has an estimated 2,500 employees at its Roseville campus and another 1,000-plus at the former EDS facility in Rancho Cordova

God's blessings through HP Co. Foundation.  Providing great products and paying it forward. =)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valenzuela launches housing project for ‘Ondoy’ victims

Willie L. Catapat of Tempo

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo graced yesterday the formal groundbreaking for a housing project in Valenzuela City intended for victims of typhoon Ondoy through the joint efforts of the government and private sectors in the city.

The housing project dubbed Disiplina Village located in Barangay Ugong will allocate housing units to 900 city residents whose houses located in the banks of Tullahan River were destroyed during the Ondoy floodings which hit the metropolis late last year.

Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian said the 1.9-hectare site was provided by the city government while funding for construction materials will be provided by the private sector through the Dakilang Handog Foundation.

The village site will also have a multi-purpose covered court, a day care center, a health center, and a livelihood training center, he added.

To know more: SOURCE

Up to this day, there are still a lot of Ondoy heroes!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Cause for alarm


Killer earthquakes. Catastrophic tsunamis. Volcanic eruptions. Deadly deluges. Eerie erosions. Snow storms. Melting ice caps. Drought – El Nino, now.

Which candidate up for election has prepared a contingency plan for climate change? Loren Legarda, vice presidential candidate, seems the most ready to answer questions. Gibo Teodoro, presidential candidate, foresees a R208-billion plan to drain Metro Manila of flood waters when the next Ondoy or its Jr. hits. (Remember, he was the only government official who was at his desk, in the field, flying a chopper, riding in a truck and not sleeping for three days to oversee government relief and rescue operations as Ondoy and Pepeng turned the big city and Luzon into a stinky lake. In short, his vision of a flood-free metropolis is based on eyewitness accounts and experience – his own.)

Pity that Jun Palafox, architect and urban planner, does not have the ear of a candidate, because he’s in a state of near-panic as he sounds the alarm: Take immediate action, now! The world is turning and there is no time to lose as climate change sweeps the planet. Making do with what is do-able is the order of the day – carpe diem! – so he suggests with a note of urgency:

“1. Create awareness. [Ignorance is not bliss, it is dangerous.] 2. Publish hazard maps [instead of survey results and more survey results]. 3. Conduct geologic, hydraulogic, structural audit of buildings and infrastructures [even if the ugly truth be known], particularly if those projects were tainted with corruption in the award, construction, and obtaining of permits.”

Weathermen have forecast 19 typhoons hitting the Philippines this year. Weathermen have already told us to expect another blue moon on Jan. 30. But weathermen cannot predict when an earthquake will occur. However, we can predict that someone will deliver a nice little speech after the next disaster shakes, rattles, and ruins us to say that everything is being done to assuage the situation,
minimize the damage, and help the victims while condoling with their families. And then we’ll be able to predict that no one will believe him or her.


I hope the candidates would prioritized plans for climate change.  Of course, our awareness (and avoidance) regarding the activities that may contribute in Global Warming is a great factor in taking care of Mother Earth.

I am not sure where exactly in Metro Manila but I think there are now bicycle lanes in some parts of the Metro.  This is not only a campaign for environmental care, but also [of course] for our health.  I hope there would be more bicycle lanes in Metro Manila [most especially] as well as in provinces where cars and motorbikes dominate the road.

Gosh!  A forecast of 19 typhoons hitting the Philippines this year?! =(

Sunday, January 17, 2010

RP pays it forward to Haiti with medical teams

By Nestor P. Burgos Jr.
Inquirer Visayas

MALAY, Aklan, Philippines—Citing the country's own disasters and the outpouring of international assistance when a series of calamities ravaged the country, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Friday said the Philippines would be sending aid to earthquake-devastated Haiti to help hundreds of thousands of victims.

"I had instructed the (Department of Health) to send medical teams to Haiti to help the earthquake victims there. And I instructed the (Armed Forces) to put our reserve peacekeeping company on standby in case the US asks for additional troops," the President said in a speech during the launching of the P2.5-billion Caticlan Airport Development Project here.

"Why? Because we are more than ready to give a helping hand as we were victims ourselves (tropical storm) ‘Ondoy,’ and (typhoons) ‘Pepeng’ and ‘Frank’ a few months ago and a year ago," she said.

"We have also been a recipient of international assistance. Now it is our turn to do that," she added.

She said that in past, the country's worst typhoons—including Reming, Ondoy and Pepeng—claimed almost a thousand lives each but in the earthquake in Haiti, at least 100,000 were casualties.

"If we suffered that way we can imagine their suffering a hundred times," Ms Arroyo said.

She said Haiti is "especially close to our hearts" because of the Filipino peacekeeping troops "who are doing a good job there and who have once again risen to the occasion as they (done) here in the Philippines each time."

The peacekeeping troops would be given medals when they return from duty, Arroyo said.

The President recalled the devastation wrought by Typhoon Frank in 2007, which ravaged Western Visayas, especially Aklan.

"Not so long ago, it was like Armageddon hit the province of Aklan. Kalibo was the worst-hit urban area in the whole impact area of typhoon Frank but now everything is back to normal," Arroyo said.

She said she was happy that Aklan has turned around from the devastation of Frank as symbolized by the new airport project.

"We are here very grateful to the Lord for our recovedry from our own calamities of nature," she said.


I love the principle of "paying it forward."
Doing this principle will make the world a better place whether there is or no crisis.