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, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid