News / Asia

Relief Radio Station Signals Dire State of Communications in Tacloban, Philippines

Relief Radio Station Signals Dire State of Communications in Taclobani
X
November 23, 2013 4:37 AM
All of Tacloban’s 15 radio stations were knocked off the air when Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippine city of 220,000 people. A response within 72 hours by volunteers managed to get an emergency station on the air - the only local mass means for the survivors there to get instant, reliable information. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Tacloban has the story.
Relief Radio Station Signals Dire State of Communications in Tacloban
All of Tacloban’s 15 radio stations were knocked off the air when Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippine city of 220,000 people. A response within 72 hours by volunteers managed to get an emergency station on the air - the only local mass means for the survivors there to get instant, reliable information.

“It is now 10:07.  This is 98.7 FM, First Response Radio broadcasting live in Tacloban city.” The voice of Magnolia Yrasuegui is filling a void. Around the clock, live and on tape, she and others are heard across the destroyed city informing residents on how and where to get help.

The portable station, part of an international non-profit network of radio technicians, is contained in a couple of suitcases that were stored in Manila.

An initial small 50-watt transmitter is being replaced by a more powerful 600-watt unit.

Even the weaker signal, though, could be heard for kilometers emanating from a small antenna erected on the roof of the damaged city hall.
VOA reporter Steve Herman is in the Philippines covering rescue and recovery efforts.

Survivors are seeking accurate information about the fate of family members and their city, according to Yrasuegui. “Rumors have been flying out and they do not know anything about what happened to them, if their relatives are still there. So communication also is aid.”

With no electricity service in the city and batteries a scarce commodity, volunteers from the station have distributed hundreds of solar and crank-up radios to people in evacuation centers.

They get to hear from in-studio guests such as Dr. Joji Tomioka of Japan’s medical team for disaster relief, which is now treating patients in Tacloban.   

The five volunteers staffing First Response Radio say they will remain on the air until this city can recover to the point that at least one of its radio stations can resume broadcasting.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

You May Like

ASEAN Ministers Set to Push for South China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Luz from: USA
December 05, 2013 8:29 PM
My sister in law & my brother just went to Ormoc last week & said there's a mount of relief goods in Pier, smelled so bad & ruined because no ones distributing the relief goods!!That's a waste!A lot of people starving especially in remote areas,like cemetery!My brother went there. & his wife to visit my niece's grave, when they got there, there's people there asked my brother & his wife if they bring something to eat, it was heart breaking my brother & his wife they didn't expect there's people there,please send people to help them :-(

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
November 25, 2013 4:36 AM
I agree communication is also one of the most needed aids in disaster suffering areas. Their information where to get relief stuff must help decrease the number of looting.

by: van from: vn
November 23, 2013 11:02 AM
i think that China is so lying, bellicose. The Us must work closely with Japan to prepare for war with China.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs