Rescuers Rush for Quake Survivors

first_img China takes on excavation effort The China International Search and Rescue Team, the country’s main earthquake-rescue organization, will invest almost $15 million this year to more than double its capabilities, The Guardian newspaper reported. This investment follows the magnitude 7.9 Sichuan earthquake that killed about 70,000 people in China in 2008. “We will be able to send more teams to operations overseas and that’s one of the reasons we are expanding,” said Huang Jiafa, a division director at the Chinese Earthquake Administration. Currently, China is the country with the most urban search-and-rescue teams in the world, according to humanitarian news site ReliefWeb. China’s 50-member rescue team arrived in Haiti within the 72 “golden hours” — the most crucial time period for saving lives following natural disasters. The team immediately began working upon arrival in Port-au-Prince’s Carrefour neighborhood, one of the hardest-hit areas, according to the China Earthquake Administration, or CEA. They retrieved more than 20 bodies. At the ruins of the headquarters of the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti, the Chinese team recovered the bodies of seven staff members, including mission chief Hedi Annabi and his chief deputy, Luiz Carlos da Costa. They also dug up eight of their own peacekeeping officers assigned to the mission before the earthquake. Despite having sophisticated equipment, rescuers had to handle most of the excavation at the U.N. building by hand because its position halfway up a hill limited the use of machines, an official at the CEA told the Xinhua news agency. China’s other contributions included a 40-member medical team and an improvised mobile hospital, where about 2,500 injured people were treated, Jiafa said. More than 60 international urban search-and-rescue teams rushed to Haiti after it was pummeled by the earthquake on January 12, 2010. Elite international rescuers, security and medical personnel arrived first in the demolished capital Port-au-Prince, working under extreme conditions to find survivors, according to the United Nations. Veteran urban search-and-rescue teams from Mexico, China, France, Israel, Qatar and South Africa embodied the world’s urgent call-to-action to assist the people of Haiti. Mexico’s ‘Moles’ prove courageous After a magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck Mexico City in 1985, one of the world’s most respected search-and-rescue teams – the International Rescue Brigade of Tlatelolco-Azteca – emerged from the ruins. Los Topos, or “The Moles,” was formed in the absence of a professional rapid-response team as frantic residents of the Tlatelolco community banded together to rescue their families and neighbors. Almost 25 years later, Los Topos has three delegations in Mexico: in Tlatelolco, Cancun and Vera Cruz. It also has a delegation in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a volunteer Los Topos rescuer, Fernando Alvaro Bravo, told Diálogo. The volunteers are trained by experts from Israel and France and have deployed to disaster sites around the world, including New York City; San Salvador, El Salvador; Taiwan; Bam, Iran; and Abruzzi, Italy. Equipped with mallets and knives as their primary tools, they set out to join earthquake rescue missions using their own money or through private donations. “We are going to offer our best on behalf of the Mexican people,” Héctor Méndez, one of the founders of Los Topos, told the Agence France-Presse news agency. In January, a 25-member contingent equipped with sniffer dogs, first-aid responders and a demolition crew arrived in Haiti within 48 hours. Another veteran rescuer and group leader, Carlos Morales, worked alongside his 24-year old daughter, as a show of family courage in the face of strangers’ despair. In the two weeks following the earthquake, Los Topos rescued more than a dozen victims, including Ena Zizi, a 69-year-old Haitian woman trapped beneath the ruins of a church for seven days. Six and a half weeks after Haiti’s quake, Los Topos rushed to the rescue again after a magnitude 8.8 earthquake and subsequent tsunami ravaged Chile. By Dialogo April 01, 2010 French team makes a miracle rescue France demonstrated its solidarity with Haiti by immediately deploying three military planes carrying 100 firefighters and gendarmes, in addition to humanitarian aid. The urban search-and-rescue teams from France worked incessantly to find survivors even after the Haitian government called off the search, stating there was little hope of finding anyone alive 11 days after the capital was reduced to rubble. The rescuers stubbornly pressed on in favor of holding out for one last miracle rescue. Amazingly, 15 days after the quake, rescuer Claude Fuilla walked along the unstable roof of a collapsed home, heard the faint voice of 17-year-old Darlene Etienne and spotted her dust-covered black hair in the rubble. The dying teenager was rescued within 45 minutes, The Associated Press reported. “I don’t think she could have survived even a few more hours,” Fuilla said. Etienne’s rescue defied the odds of finding anyone alive after so long. Authorities say it is rare for anyone to survive more than 72 hours without water, let alone more than two weeks, but she reportedly had access to water from a bathroom. center_img Israeli field hospital saves thousands Battlefield experience has made the Israel Defense Forces, or IDF, National Search and Rescue Unit an international elite team. Since its inception in 1983, the unit has worked in disaster zones in Mexico, Argentina, Armenia, Kenya, Turkey and elsewhere. A 220-member IDF medical and rescue team arrived in Haiti within 36 hours after the earthquake. It began its operations near the ruins of the U.N. headquarters in Port-au-Prince and worked with local authorities to find survivors in other disaster-stricken areas. The team also built a field hospital with operating rooms and a maternity and children’s ward, within a record time of 10 hours. The medical team treated more than 1,100 patients, conducted 319 successful surgeries and delivered 16 babies, including three by Cesarean section according to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “The sights here are very difficult and you need a lot of mental fortitude,” said Gali Wiest, the delegation’s head nurse, as reported in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper. “We’ve already taken in 87 children, most in moderate to serious condition; there have been a few operations and amputations, and they keep coming.” Wiest spoke of the survival of an infant boy who was trapped under the rubble for five days and lay in a state of shock in the children’s ward: “His parents aren’t here — perhaps they are dead — but the Israeli nurses caress him and give him a warm bottle of milk.” The IDF team concluded its two-week stay on January 27, 2010, and patients needing further care, as well as orphans and premature babies, were transferred to other field hospitals and to the U.S. Navy Ship Comfort. Emirate assistance beyond Arab world Qatar’s Internal Security Force, which provided emergency relief after the 2005 Pakistan earthquake and the Mauritania floods in 2007, also provided support to Haiti. It was the first time the Gulf emirate deployed an urban search-and-rescue team outside the Arab world, The National newspaper reported. “This is a long way for us to come and the first time we have left our region,” Capt. Mubarak al-Kaabi, the team’s leader, told The National. “But help means helping everybody, not just Arabic people.” A 26-person rescue team of soldiers, police and medical professionals scoured the Haitian capital for survivors. The team also set up a makeshift field hospital on the outskirts of the city, in Cité Soleil, where doctors treated more than 500 victims. They performed rudimentary operations, set broken limbs and cleaned festering wounds. “We’re putting limbs in splints and giving out antibiotics, but some of the infections are very bad and need to be treated many times,” Mootaz Ali, an orthopedic surgeon, told The National. “Some patients are not even able to take the antibiotics we give them because they don’t have access to water.” South African efforts undeterred A 10-member team from the South African Gift of the Givers Foundation, the largest African disaster relief organization, arrived in Haiti three days after the earthquake. They worked an area that no team had yet reached, Xinhua reported. “The devastation was mind boggling, with no sign of life, only a litter of corpses and the sick stench of decomposed bodies along the way,” foundation chairman Imtiaz Sooliman said. “The first stop was a Catholic mission, totally destroyed; five bodies were recovered. At another site nine more bodies were recovered,” Sooliman said. The rescuers, skilled in disaster response, search and rescue, and advanced life support, traveled by land from the Dominican Republic, and were later escorted by U.N. helicopters when road access was blocked. They extricated five survivors from a collapsed hospital in Port-au-Prince. “After 2.5 hours of intense activity, team leader Ahmed Bham, together with our Mexican partners, rescued a 60-year-old lady, she being the first of five survivors,” the organization said in a statement. The team also cleared the hospital of 600 bodies so it could resume operations.last_img read more

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Afghans Create United Front

first_imgBy Dialogo June 10, 2011 The Afghans are increasingly taking their future into their own hands by thwarting and warding off the Taliban and other insurgents – unilaterally, as well as partnered. In the Kajran district of Uruzgan province, June 2, nearly 40 local villagers took up arms and gathered near two checkpoints to form a protective screen around their villages and aid the Afghan Local Police in protecting their villages following threats from local Taliban fighters. “An elder from the area said Taliban fighters have routinely threatened the villages and are trying to intimidate local citizens, but the local population has been fiercely resistant to Taliban activity,” said German Army Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz, International Security Assistance Force spokesperson. On May 30, the 9th Commando Kandak responded to a suicide bombing conducted by insurgents against the Ministry of Transportation and the Italian Provincial Reconstruction Team’s Headquarters in Herat City. Immediately following the suicide bomber’s detonation of his personal-borne improvised explosive device vest at the gate of the PRT, Blotz said “The Commandos initiated a quick reaction force, moved into the city and secured the Italian PRT building, the Governor of Herat’s office, and the Bagh-e-Azadi, killing the remaining insurgents who had entered the compound.” And last but not least, in the Sarobi district of Paktika provice along the Pakistan border where the Haqqani network is very active, an Afghan local policeman single-handedly held off 15 insurgents long enough to give coalition and Afghan forces time to defeat them. Blotz said, “This is an example of how Afghan police are increasingly being seen by local residents as a viable security force.” These Afghan-only, as well as the ANSF and ISAF partnered operations, are key elements of the Afghan and coalition effort to stop the enemies of Afghanistan from attacking the people and the government of this country. “We agree with President Karzai that operations must become more and more Afghan-led over time, with coalition forces increasingly in a support role as Afghan security forces take the lead and the responsibility for operations across the country,” sais Blotz. “And we are working to make that a reality – as we also, of course, work ever harder with our Afghan Security Force partners to ensure that we protect and safeguard the people and their property.” In the past 30 days, Afghan and coalition special forces have conducted hundreds of joint operations to secure the Afghan people, disrupt insurgent infiltration from sanctuaries outside the country, and solidify and expand security gains of the past year. Many of the operations, including all in the greater Kabul area, home to one-fifth the Afghan population, are Afghan-led. Across the country of Afghanistan, people are not only working in conjunction with coalition forces to fight the enemy and safeguard Afghan citizens, but are standing up unilaterally—as Afghan National Security Forces, as Afghan Local Police, as villagers and as individuals.last_img read more

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Ridge Man Killed in Head-on Crash

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 27-year-old man was killed when his vehicle veered into the opposite lane of traffic and crashed head-on with another in his hometown of Ridge on Thursday night.Suffolk County police said Timothy Falletta was driving his Mazda northbound on William Floyd Parkway when his vehicle crossed the grass median and struck a southbound Kia at 5:40 p.m.Falletta was pronounced dead at the scene.The other driver, 62-year-old Robert Brady of Shirley, was taken to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.Seventh Squad detectives impounded both vehicles, are continuing the investigation and ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call them at 631-852-8752 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.  All calls will remain confidential.last_img read more

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The experts weigh in: 5 essential steps to building member trust

first_img 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Trust is a complex and critical attribute of all relationships. So how can credit unions deliver their products and services in a way that inspires member trust?Insight Vault caught up with CO-OP Financial Services Chief Marketing and Experience Officer Samantha Smyth Paxson and Coastal Credit Union’s vice president of marketing and product development, Brandon McAdams, for answers.I.V.: A positive digital experience equates to trust. How can credit unions ensure that digital touchpoints meet members’ expectations?S.S.P.: Organizations earn trust by demonstrating credibility. Credit unions need to embrace a digital mindset and deliver in a digital-first way. That equates to credibility.B.M.: To understand what members expect today, just look at Uber. Everyone raves about the interface and how it allows you to get from Point A to Point B easier. But the app isn’t just flash. Its main function is to provide transparency – you know where the car is and how much it will cost, and you can preload your destination so there’s no confusion. continue reading »last_img read more

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Secondary sheds buck boring market

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

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Rwandan diplomat expelled from Burundi

first_imgBurundi President Pierre Nkurunziza(L) and Rwanda President Paul Kagame Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza(L) and his Rwandan counterpart President Paul KagameBurundi has expelled a Rwandan diplomat, Desire Nyaruhirira, whom it accuses of destabilising the country.He had been a top adviser at the Rwandan embassy in Burundi for many years.The expulsion comes amid worsening relations between the East African neighbours.Last week, Burundi accused Rwanda of training rebels seeking to destabilise the country, allegations it denies.Government spokesperson Phillipe Nzobonariba said the expulsion was most likely due to the diplomat’s alleged contacts “with putschists hosted in Rwanda”.“It is not a problem with a country but a problem with an individual since he is reported to be in permanent contact with coup plotters,” he said.Rwanda has not commented on the expulsion.last_img read more

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Zambia cancels weekend football as dedication to national prayers

first_imgThe football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has postponed all football league fixtures slated for this weekend as part of a national prayer and fasting day.President Edgar Lungu had asked for a day of forgiveness and reconciliation to be observed, as well as prayers to help combat the social and economic problems that have riddled the country.Various forms of entertainment are being discouraged so that people can observe the day, and bar owners have also been asked to close their businesses during this period.FAZ head Kalusha Bwalya has said that this will be a time for all Zambians to rededicate themselves to God and to re-energize their relationship with Him. He urged them to beseech God to take lead in their lives, the game and the country.The games scheduled for this weekend will now be played on Wednesday 21 October.last_img read more

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Ex-IAAF boss, Diack faces four-year jail term

first_imgFrench prosecutors on Wednesday requested a four-year jail term and a fine of 500,000 euros ($562,000) for Lamine Diack, the former IAAF president standing trial for corruption, money laundering and breach of trust.Prosecutors said that Diack, an 87-year-old Senegalese who led track and field’s governing body for nearly 16 years, directly or indirectly solicited 3.45 million euros ($3.9 million) from athletes suspected by the IAAF of doping. The athletes allegedly paid to have their names cleared in order to continue competing.“The IAAF tripped on the hurdle of corruption,” prosecutor Arnaud de Laguiche said Wednesday on the hearing’s penultimate day. “(People like) Diack live like little emperors, they have their little courts and people court them.”The Paris court has considered allegations that top athletes paid millions of dollars in illicit payoffs to corrupt administrators led by Diack – once among the most influential leaders in Olympic sports.About two dozen Russian athletes were reportedly involved, with Russian marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova testifying that she paid 450,000 euros ($506,000).“The main issue here is: how could doped athletes take part in competitions? The first layer is institutionalized doping in Russia. The second layer of the (cake) is the slowing down of suspensions,” de Laguiche said. “The IAAF is the paradise of conflict of interests. … Diack tied the slowing down of suspensions of Russian athletes to his (election) interests in Senegal.”A lawyer representing the World Anti-Doping Agency, a civil party to the case, also took a swipe.“Between 2011 and 15, Mr. Diack chose money, dishonesty and corruption – that´s a reality,” Emmanuel Daoud said Wednesday. “Can Mr. Diack look in the mirror with pride?”The IAAF at the time under Diack’s guidance provided “a system of total protection (for Russian doping) … (whereby) the cheats are never punished,” Daoud added.Wearing a light blue robe on Wednesday, Diack sometimes looked forlorn as he sat slumped in a chair with his head bowed. But at other times he was sprightly, cheerful and smiling as he grabbed one person by the arm and led him away for a quick talk during a break in proceedings.Prosecutor Francois-Xavier Dulin expanded on Diack´s links with Russia, alluding to the apparent benefit gained by slowing suspensions.“In 2011 Lamine Diack went to Moscow, where he was received by Vladimir Putin,” Dulin said, later adding: “Diack built houses in Dakar for his IAAF employees.”Diack signed an agreement to pay his son Papa Massata Diack $1,200 per day and expenses for consultancy work, negotiating tens of millions of dollars in sponsorship deals for the IAAF.RelatedPosts Ex-IAAF boss bags two-year jail term We’ve perfected measures to stop money laundering, terrorism financing — Lottery DG Malabu Oil deal violated money laundering laws – Witness tells court The Diacks both deny corruption.Tags: CorruptionIAAFJAILLamine DiackMoney launderinglast_img read more

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Asian Games: Governor, Chief Minister congratulate Hima Das

first_imgGUWAHATI: Assam Governor Prof. Jagdish Mukhi congratulated Hima Das on her remarkable performance at the Asian Games. He said that Hima has made Assam and the nation proud. He wished her the best for her future ahead.Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal congratulated athlete Hima for making the people of the country proud. The chief minister, through a statement, said that the Assamese youngster’s rare feat has delighted the countrymen and made them proud. Saying that Hima has elated the people of the country and the State with her achievements for the second time as she recently won the gold at the 400 meter final at the World U-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland. The chief minister stated that her success is more remarkable as she broke the national record for fastest timing on her way to winning the silver medal in 50.79 seconds. Also Read – President of FIH Narinder Dhruv Batra to visit Guwahati soon This is the result of the athlete’s great tenacity and her rigorous practice, he said. The chief minister also hoped that she will be able to sustain her stupendous success in future as well and give the people of the country a reason to feel proud by consistently bettering her performances.Hima’s remarkable feats at the world stage would inspire the youngsters of the State to excel in the sporting arena and give a fillip to the sports scenario of the state as a whole, Sonowal said.last_img read more

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Cameroon 1990 World Cup captain Tataw dies at age 57

first_imgDOUALA, Cameroon (AFP) – Stephen Tataw, the man who captained Cameroon to a landmark place in the 1990 World Cup quarter-finals, died yesterday after an illness, the country’s football federation FECAFOOT announced.Tataw was 57.“Stephen Tataw died this morning in Yaounde following an illness,” FECAFOOT wrote on Twitter.Tataw was Cameroon captain when the team made the last eight at the World Cup in Italy 30 years ago. They were knocked out by England, but famously defeated reigning champions Argentina in the opening game.Cameroon also saw off Romania and Colombia to become the first African nation to reach the quarter-finals.Two years earlier, the Indomitable Lions had won the African Cup of Nations with Tataw at the heart of the defence.Tataw played his club football at home as well as in Japan. After retiring, he worked with the federation in supervising the national teams.last_img read more

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