Home' Greymouth Star : November 11th 2013 Contents Greymouth Star
6 - Monday, November 11, 2013
10,000 feared dead in Philippines
e death toll from a super typhoon
that has decimated entire towns in the
Philippines could soar well over 10,000,
making it the country's worst recorded
e horrifying estimates came as
rescue workers appeared overwhelmed
in their e orts to help countless
survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, which
sent tsunami-like waves and merciless
winds rampaging across a huge chunk of
the archipelago on Friday.
Hundreds of police and soldiers
were deployed to contain looters in
Tacloban, the devastated provincial
capital of Leyte, while the United
States announced it had responded to a
Philippine government appeal and was
sending military help.
"Tacloban is totally destroyed. Some
people are losing their minds from
hunger or from losing their families,"
high school teacher Andrew Pomeda,
36, said overnight, as he warned of the
increasing desperation of survivors.
"People are becoming violent. ey
are looting business establishments, the
malls, just to nd food, rice and milk. I
am afraid that in one week, people will
be killing from hunger."
Authorities are struggling to even
understand the sheer magnitude of the
disaster, let alone react to it, with the
regional police chief for Leyte saying
10,000 people were believed to have died
in that province alone.
"We had a meeting last night
with the governor and, based on the
government's estimates, initially there
are 10,000 casualties (dead)," Chief
Superintendent Elmer Soria told
reporters in Tacloban.
"About 70 to 80% of the houses and
structures along the typhoon's path were
On the neighbouring island of Samar,
a local disaster chief said 300 people
were killed in the small town of Basey.
He added another 2000 were missing
there and elsewhere on Samar, which
was one of the rst areas to be hit when
Haiyan swept in from the Paci c Ocean
with maximum sustained winds of
Dozens more people have been
con rmed to have died in other attened
towns and cities across a 600km stretch of
islands through the central Philippines.
e Philippines endures a seemingly
never-ending pattern of deadly typhoons,
earthquakes, volcano eruptions and
other natural disasters.
is is because it is located along a
typhoon belt and the so-called "ring
of re", a vast Paci c Ocean region
where many of Earth's earthquakes and
volcanic eruptions occur.
However, if the feared death toll of
above 10,000 is correct, Haiyan would
be the deadliest natural disaster recorded
in the country.
e previous deadliest disaster in the
Philippines occurred in 1976, when a
tsunami triggered by a magnitude 7.9
earthquake devastated the Moro Gulf
on the southern island of Mindanao,
killing between 5000 and 8000 people.
Haiyan's maximum sustained wind
speeds made it the strongest typhoon in
the world this year, and one of the most
powerful ever recorded.
Witnesses in Tacloban recalled waves
up to ve metres high surging inland,
while aerial photos showed entire
neighbourhoods destroyed with trees
and buildings attened by storm surge.
PICTURE: Getty Images
e body of a victim of Typhoon Haiyan lies on the side of the road in Tacloban
City, Leyte, Philippines.
Sur vivors stand among debris and ruins of houses destroyed after Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city in central Philippines. Haiyan, one of the most powerful
storms recorded, killed at least 10,000 people in the central Philippines province of Leyte, a senior police o cial said overnight, with coastal towns and the regional
capital devastated by huge waves. Haiyan destroyed about 70 to 80% of the area in its path as it tore through the province on Friday, Chief Superintendent Elmer
Soria, a regional police director, said.
PICTURE: Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II lays a wreath on the Cenotaph on Whitehall during the Annual Remembrance Day
Queen leads UK in honouring war dead
Queen Elizabeth II has led
Britain in paying tribute to its
war dead as the country fell silent
on Remembrance Sunday.
e 87-year-old monarch laid a
wreath at the Cenotaph national
war memorial, accompanied
by senior members of the royal
family and prime ministers past
In bright autumn sunshine,
thousands in central London
observed a two-minute silence
at 11am, started by chimes from
the Houses of Parliament and a
round from a 13-pounder World
War One gun.
Prince Philip and their
grandsons princes William and
Harry were among the royals in
military uniform laying wreaths,
in a service led by Richard
Chartres, the Bishop of London.
It is the last such ceremony
before next year's centenary of the
start of World War One.
Conservative Prime Minister
David Cameron, Liberal
Democrat Deputy Prime
Minister Nick Clegg and
Labour opposition leader Ed
Miliband laid wreaths, followed
by the high commissioners of
Commonwealth countries and
armed forces chiefs.
Former prime ministers Gordon
Brown, Tony Blair and John
Major, this year without 1980s
premier Margaret atcher who
died in April, also paid their
respects, as did leaders of 14
di erent religious denominations.
e ceremony was watched
from the Foreign O ce balcony
by royal spouses including
William's wife Catherine, the
Duchess of Cambridge.
More than 10,000 veterans
and civilians marched past the
Cenotaph to pay their respects to
departed comrades, to applause
from members of the public.
Andrew Jackson, 76, who
ser ved with the army in Suez
in 1956, said: "It amazes me to
see the number of people here
--- and especially to see so many
youngsters. I think Remembrance
Sunday has become more and
more popular, and that people are
becoming more aware."
Tormented survivors of a typhoon that
is feared to have killed more than 10,000
in the Philippines are rummaging for
food through debris scattered with
corpses, while frenzied mobs loot aid
Two days after one of the most
powerful storms recorded attened
entire towns across part of the South-
east Asian archipelago, desperate
survival tactics created fresh horrors.
On the outskirts of Tacloban, a coastal
eastern city of 220,000 where tsunami-
like waves destroyed many buildings,
Edward Gualberto accidentally stepped
on bodies as he raided the wreckage of
Wearing nothing but a pair of red
basketball trousers, the father-of-four
and village councillor apologised for his
shabby appearance and for stealing from
"I am a decent person. But if you have
not eaten in three days, you do shameful
things to survive," Gualberto said as he
dug canned goods from the debris and
ies swarmed over the bodies.
"We have no food, we need water and
other things to survive."
After half a day's work, he had lled
a bag with an assortment of essentials
including packs of spaghetti, cans of
beer, detergent, soap, canned goods,
biscuits and candies.
" is typhoon has stripped us of our
dignity, but I still have my family and I
am thankful for that."
Elsewhere in Tacloban, other survivors
were employing more aggressive means
as they took advantage of a security
vacuum created when most of the city's
police force failed to turn up for work
after the typhoon.
Like Gualberto, many said they
had not eaten since the typhoon and
over whelmed authorities admitted they
were unable to get enough relief supplies
into the city.
Some broke through shops that had
withstood the typhoon by hammering
through glass windows and winching
open steel barricades.
One desperate meat shop owner
brandished a pistol in a failed bid to
prevent one mob from entering his shop.
He was ignored and the shop was
ransacked. e businessman stood by,
waving his gun in the air and shouting.
When he realised he had lost the ght,
he cursed them and walked away.
Nearby, pastry shop owner Emma
Bermejo described the widespread
looting as "anarchy".
" ere is no security personnel, relief
goods are too slow to arrive. People are
dirty, hungry and thirsty. A few more
days and they will begin to kill each
other," she said.
" is is shameful. We have been hit by
a catastrophe and now our businesses are
gone. Looted. I can understand if they
take our food and water, they can have it.
But tv sets? Washing machines?"
Philippine Red Cross chairman
Richard Gordon described some of the
looters as "mobsters", after one of his
organisation's convoys was ransacked
Meanwhile, confused men, women
and children walked aimlessly along
roads strewn with overturned cars and
felled power lines, some gagging from
the stench of rotting esh.
A team of military cadaver collectors
had been deployed, but the soldiers
" ere are six trucks going around the
city picking up the dead, but it's not
enough," said the driver of one of the
vehicles as it wended its way through
" ere are bodies everywhere, we do
not have enough people to get to them."
Some survivors handed out small
letters to passers-by and reporters asking
them to contact their relatives to relay
Many had wounds on their faces and
were limping, while all had stories of
" e huge waves came again and again,
ushing us out on the street and washing
away our homes," Mirasol Saoyi, 27,
told AFP near the city's seaside sports
stadium that withstood the typhoon and
where thousand of people had gathered.
"My husband tied us together, but still
we got separated among the debris. I
saw many people drowning, screaming
and going under. I haven't found my
husband." --- AFP
Storm survivors raid shops for food
An Australian man is among the
hundreds killed by a super typhoon in
e Department of Foreign A airs
and Trade has con rmed the death of a
50-year-old New South Wales man in
It is believed the man was former
Australian priest Kevin Lee but the
department declined to con rm his
Mr Lee, a whistleblower about child
sex abuse in the Catholic church, was
living in the Philippines with his wife.
O cials fear the death toll in the
Philippines could reach 10,000 people
after Haiyan tore into the eastern islands
of Leyte and Samar on Friday.
Sustained winds of around 315kph
made it the strongest typhoon in the
world this year, and one of the most
intense recorded to hit land.
Australia has pledged nearly $400,000
worth of emergency aid to devastated
communities. --- AAP
Ex-priest among typhoon victims
Police in Burundi have
discovered dozens of
human skulls during a
search of the home of an
e Italian national,
identi ed as Giuseppe
Favaro, has been in
custody in the small
central African nation
since late October after
he was caught trying
to export two skulls to
"Everyone in Burundi
is stunned and shocked
by this, because it's the
rst time we've had
such a thing. Even
doing this kind of thing
a long time ago," police
Harimenshi told AFP
He said Favaro, who has
lived in Burundi for about
10 years, had been buying
the skulls for $US50
($60) each and selling
them for $US300 ($363).
However, it remained
a mystery as to what the
skulls would be used for
and why they were being
sent to ailand, and
Interpol has been asked to
assist in the inquiry.
"We discovered a
package at Bujumbura
airport containing two
skulls, and investigations
established it was sent
under a false name by
Giuseppe Favaro, an
Italian," Harimenshi said.
"Police then discovered
36 human skulls during a
search of his house, along
with other incriminating
evidence," he added.
Police said three
accomplices had also been
arrested. --- AFP
Consumers should be on the
lookout for fake hotel reviews this
holiday season, consumer group
" e boom in hotel review sites
has given rise to the practice of
'astrotur ng' or the writing of fake
reviews by companies to promote
their own accommodation,"
Choice spokesman Tom Godfrey
"Second to friends, people
place their trust in reviews before
editorial content, ads, marketing,
and government sponsored tourism
"Yet US-based Trip Advisor, the
world's biggest on-line travel review
service, has no plans to improve its
veri cation processes."
e warning comes after reports
earlier this year that the general
manager of communications for
Accor hotels in the Asia-Paci c
region was caught posting more
than 100 positive reviews on Trip
Advisor, Choice said.
In the US, the New York
Attorney-General recently heavily
ned 19 companies that wrote
fake on-line reviews and created
fake on-line pro les for businesses,
Godfrey said both the Australian
Competition and Consumer
Commission and NSW Fair
Trading were looking at similar
practices here. --- AAP
A Russian performance artist has been
admitted to hospital after stripping
naked and nailing his testicles to a Red
Square cobblestone in protest against
the Kremlin's crackdown on political
A video of the graphic action, available
on Russian websites, shows artist Pyotr
Pavlensky sitting naked outside Lenin's
Mausoleum being covered with a
blanket by police o cers while horri ed
passersby look on.
e State-run RIA Novosti news
agency said Pavlensky was taken to a
police station after being treated in a
central Moscow clinic.
e St Petersburg-based artist
said in a statement posted on the
Grani.ru website that he was trying
to draw attention to Russian society's
inaction in the face of the development
of a "police state".
Russia marked its annual Police Day
It is not the rst time the 29-year-old
has resorted to eye-watering methods of
He has previously sewn his lips together
to demonstrate against the jailing of
two female members of the Pussy Riot
punk band who staged an anti-Kremlin
performance inside Moscow's main
cathedral in 2011. --- AFP
Protester nails testicles
in Red Square
Japanese taken for a ride
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe waves to the media as he sits inside
Honda Motor's autonomous driving car during an event in Tokyo.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
has taken a ride in several self-driving
vehicles on Tokyo's public roads,
showcasing the technology ahead of
the Tokyo Motor Show.
Abe tried auto-piloting vehicles
from Toyota, Honda and Nissan on
the roads around Japan's National Diet
Building, as international car makers
compete with the likes of Google and
other technology rms to develop new
types of cars with the goal of helping
reduce accidents by eradicating human
"I felt with my body that the
Japanese technology is the world's
best," Abe told reporters after riding
Car makers have previously tested
self-driving vehicles on highways that
o er better driving conditions and
with no pedestrians.
e Tokyo Motor Show this month
will feature self-driving technology,
as well as electric vehicles and other
Abe has pledged to help advance
auto-piloting technology as part of his
economic policy, as well as measures
that encourage various technological
innovations and investments and
that attract foreign talents to work in
Japan. --- AFP
Russian opposition activists in
Moscow have thrown tomatoes at
visiting Dutch King Willem-Alexander
to protest the January suicide of one of
their members turned down for asylum
in the Netherlands.
None of the tomatoes hit the king,
the Ria Novosti news agency reported
Sergei Aksenov, one of the leaders of
e Other Russia opposition party, said
on Twitter two activists were arrested for
He said the protest was to highlight the
death of Alexandre Dolmatov, a party
member who took part in a May 2012
demonstration on the eve of President
Vladimir Putin's re-election investiture.
Dolmatov was arrested then released,
but fearing re-arrest on serious charges
levelled at others, ed to the Netherlands
to seek asylum.
He committed suicide in January after
the request was rejected and he was
placed in a holding centre.
e Dutch king on Friday met Putin
to discuss bilateral issues.
Dutch-Russian ties have become
strained in recent weeks because of the
Russian coastguard arresting the crew
of a Dutch- agged Greenpeace ship
used to stage a protest on a Gazprom oil
platform in the Arctic, and a number of
diplomatic incidents in both countries.
Fake hotel reviews prompt warning
Tomatoes thrown at Dutch
king during Moscow visit
In an unabashed --- and
probably successful --- bid
for attention, singer Miley
Cyrus smoked a joint on
stage and twerked with a
dwarf during the MTV
Europe Music Awards.
e 20-year old singer
also won the Best Video
award for her hit song
Wrecking Ball. --- AP
Miley on dope
Typhoon Haiyan has hit Vietnam,
days after it left thousands dead
and widespread devastation in the
e US Joint Typhoon Warning
Centre said the storm "is currently
making landfall" approximately 160km
east-south-east of the capital Hanoi.
e storm, which had weakened
signi cantly since scything through
the Philippines over the weekend,
made landfall with sustained winds of
120kph, the centre, a joint US Navy
and Air Force task force located in Pearl
Harbour, Hawaii, said.
More than 600,000 people were
evacuated over the weekend. Residents
of Hanoi braced for ooding, while tens
of thousands of people in coastal areas
have been ordered to take shelter.
"We have evacuated more than 174,000
households, which is equivalent to more
than 600,000 people," an o cial report
by Vietnam's ood and storm control
e storm changed course overnight,
prompting further mass evacuations
of about 52,000 people in northern
provinces by the coast. All schools were
ordered shut in the capital today and
extra police have been dispatched to
redirect tra c in ood-prone areas.
Haiyan hits Vietnam
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