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2013年11月14日 (木)

フィリピン台風 被災者救援に日本も力尽くせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 14, 2013
Japan, other countries should do more to deal with natural disasters
フィリピン台風 被災者救援に日本も力尽くせ(11月13日付・読売社説)

Destruction from the killer typhoon that struck the Philippines produced a tragic scene reminiscent of areas devastated by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.

Typhoon Haiyan smashed into the Philippines Friday, a catastrophe that is believed to have left as many as 10,000 dead and affected an estimated 11.3 million people. Japan should do its utmost to aid the typhoon-ravaged country.

The typhoon is believed to have registered a maximum wind velocity of 105 meters per second. Tacloban, the main city on Leyte Island, was severely damaged, with tsunami-like waves several meters high striking the area. Surging floodwaters destroyed a huge number of simple wooden houses in the city, and even wiped out some local communities.

No contact has yet been made with many of the 133 Japanese residents on Leyte and neighboring Samar Island.

There is a pressing need to search for and rescue missing people, while also treating those injured in the disaster. This must be complemented by efforts to deliver water, food and medical supplies to survivors.

It is also important to take hygiene measures to prevent people from falling victim to infectious diseases and other ill-effects caused by the typhoon.

Though he reportedly called on his people to evacuate before the typhoon hit, Philippine President Benigno Aquino was unable to prevent a catastrophe. Little progress has been made in determining the extent of the damage. His administration also has been slow to release information about casualties. There is a growing lack of confidence among Filipinos in their government over its failure to take appropriate post-disaster measures.

The international community needs to extend its full support to the Philippines. There is much that can be done to aid the disaster-stricken country—not just rescue work. International assistance may include securing means of communications and transportation, and assembling relief supplies. In fact, Japan, the United States, China, the European Union and other nations have already announced what assistance they will provide.

Set up typhoon info network

The Japanese government has sent a medical team from the Japan Disaster Relief Team to the Philippines, while also deciding to extend $10 million, or about ¥1 billion, in emergency grants-in-aid for that country.

The government was quick to decide it would dispatch Self-Defense Forces personnel in response to a request from the Philippine government. A 50-member advance SDF team is scheduled to arrive first, with the aim of extending medical and other assistance to stricken areas.

In the wake of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Japan received a great deal of assistance from other countries, including the Philippines. Japan has an obligation to aid any disaster-hit nation.
 東日本大震災の際、日本は、フィリピンを含む各国から多大な支援を受けた。 国際的な災害支援は日本の責務と言えよう。

After coastal areas along the Indian Ocean were hit by tsunami generated by a massive earthquake in 2004, the Japanese government took the initiative in establishing a multilateral tsunami warning system covering the region.

Japan’s initiative in this respect also covers typhoons. The Japan Meteorological Agency has provided other Asian nations with data from weather satellites and other weather-related information. A multilateral typhoon information network should be created to reduce damage caused by a disaster comparable to the typhoon.

Asia is one of the world’s most disaster-prone regions. About half of the victims of natural calamities in the past 30 years have been in this part of the world.

Japan, the Philippines and other Asian nations that frequently suffer typhoon damage should further increase their cooperation to reduce and manage devastation caused by typhoons.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 13, 2013)
(2013年11月13日01時52分  読売新聞)


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