Tag Archives: Phillipines

Typhoon Melor forces 700,000 evacuations in Phillipines

Newsroom24x7 Desk

typhoonManila : More than 700,000 people fled the central Philippines amid threats of giant waves, floods and landslides as powerful Typhoon Melor approached the archipelago nation. Typhoon Melor rubbed into northern tip of Samar, a farming island of 1.5 million people, in the early hours today, and created windy storms, with winds gusting at 185 kilometres (115 miles) per hour. The state weather bureau informed that althought the fury of wind gush was dangerously fearsome, yet, fortunately, there were no immediate reports of casualties or damages, in the ab initio stage of typhoon alarm.

Samar has been an area prone to typhoon trouble and carries with itself, a history of such calamities even in the past. It was one of those areas which got devastated in 2013 by Typhoon Haiyan, when giant waves wiped out entire communities, leaving 7,350 people dead or missing.

Authorities today have warned that Melor’s powerful winds bear the potential to whip up four-metre (13-feet) high waves, blow off tin roofs and uproot trees. Additionally, the Met department is not ruling out heavy rains causing havoc within its 300-kilometre diameter, and weather bulletins are anticipating floods and landslides.

The update on Typhoon Melor released by National Disaster monitoring office spoke of parallel evacuations in other sensitive zones in vicinity — like, in Albay province alone, almost 600,000 people were evacuated due to fears that heavy rains could cause mudslides on the slopes of nearby Mayon Volcano. A detail report of Albay evac showed images of residents carrying bags of clothes and water jugs clambered onto army trucks in Albay’s Legazpi City ever since authorities sounded an evacuation alarm. The alarms were supported by factual catastrophe when huge waves crashed into the city’s deserted boulevard rendering the high rise palm trees swaying like tendrils amid strong winds.

Same was the state of affairs in the region of Sorsogon. An additional 130,000 people were also evacuated in nearby Sorsogon as the latest typhoon is expected to cut across the country’s central heartlands in the early hours of Tuesday before heading out to the South China Sea in the west. The government had prepared more than 200,000 food packs and other emergency items ahead of the storm’s landfall, as confirmed by social welfare secretary Corazon Soliman.

The Philippines is unfortunately a favored address for typhoon and contains a large history sheet which reveals that this region gets battered by an average of 20 typhoons annually. Typhoon Koppu, the last deadly storm to hit the country, had killed 54 people and had forced tens of thousands to flee their homes after it pummeled the northern Philippines in the recent month of October.

Lifetime Visa to PIOs and the Security issue

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi addressing the Indian Community, at Madison Square Garden, in New York on Sept. 28, 2014. (Photo: IANS/PIB)Lalit Shastri

On the eve of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Overseas Indian Day) meet which will be inaugurated at 10 am this morning, President Pranab Mukherjee, it is learnt, cleared the ordinance to amend the Citizenship Act to merge the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) and the Person of Indian Origin (PIO) schemes to allow lifelong Indian Visa to PIOs.

The new regime, after it comes in force, will exempt PIOs from reporting to the Police if they stay in India beyond a period of six months.

Former diplomat Amit Dasgupta has elaborated on the Indian Diaspora in his article “India’s diaspora: Assuming a transformative role” published yesterday in theindiandiaspora.com. He writes: “As the government crafts its development agenda and seeks foreign investment and participation not only in manufacturing but also, and more importantly, in education and skill enhancement, it has started to see the considerable advantages that accrue through a win-win participation by the diaspora in the process. This is possibly why the government is likely to announce the merger of the OCI and PIO cards, and a series of fresh incentives to encourage the diaspora to invest their savings in India.

At the same time, the government is aware that the diaspora is not uniform and not all members of the diaspora are held in high regard or esteem in their adopted home. Being ‘true ambassadors’ literally means, how the local residents perceive the community would be how the local residents would perceive India and all Indians. A great responsibility lies on the shoulders of the community members.

In Australia, when the attacks on the Indian students broke out, a person of Indian origin owned the first dodgy school that collapsed. Several Indian students, who were mugged as they came home late from work, were employed by Indians, who paid them below Australian minimum wages and furthermore, forced them to violate the terms of their visa conditions, which stipulated the maximum number of hours they could work.

In New Zealand, recently, Indian women complained that it was fellow Indians who subjected them to eve-teasing and sexual advances. In the Philippines, the illegal immigration by poor Indians, mainly from Punjab, lured by the money-lending mafia run by Indians, has reduced the Philippines’ visa-on-arrival policy for Indian passport holders to a farce, rendering genuine travelers helpless. How we behave determines perceptions”

When asked to react on the the pitfall of treating all migrants as a single block or entity and giving lifetime Indian visa for PIOs since that could give rise to serious security issues as who would then check the antecedents of those running or linked with crime cartels and involved in drugs or terror or money laundering, Mr. Dasgupta replied: “I agree; security is a serious concern. sadly, on security grounds, over the past several years, agencies have refused to process cases and give approvals to proposals. but you are spot on: we can open a pandora’s box.”