@Lemonde.fr_Séisme de magnitude 6,0 sur la côte est des Philippines PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 04 February 2012 18:17
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Séisme de magnitude 6,0 sur la côte est des Philippines

LEMONDE.FR avec AFP | 04.02.12 | 17h27

Un séisme de magnitude 6,0 a été enregistré au large de la côte est des Philippines, samedi 4 février, selon l'Institut de géophysique américain (USGS). Les autorités n'ont signalé ni victimes ni dégâts et aucune alerte au tsunami n'a été émise.

La secousse s'est produite à 9 heures, heure locale, près de l'île de Samar à environ 100 kilomètres au nord de la ville de Guiuan et à une profondeur de 60 kilomètres, selon l'institut. L'épicentre a été localisé à 600 kilomètres à l'est de la capitale Manille. Des sismologues philippins ont enregistré une magnitude bien plus faible, de 4,7, a déclaré à l'AFP Alex Flores, une responsable au Conseil national de réduction et de gestion des risques. "Nous n'attendons pas de dégâts ni de répliques", a-t-elle ajouté, indiquant qu'aucun blessé n'avait été signalé.

Natural disasters put supply chain insurance in trouble PDF Print E-mail

Natural disasters put supply chain insurance in trouble
9 DEC 2011 | Kevin Scarpati

With insurance numbers skyrocketing over business interruption insurance, supply chain coverage could be in jeopardy.

Supply chain managers around the world shuttered at the hint of one Bloomberg article yesterday, as the news outlet reported that some insurers and reinsurers may limit the natural disaster coverage the issue in the future.

This news comes after 2011 saw two of the biggest supply chain natural disasters strike, first in March with the Japan earthquake and subsequent tsunami, and most recently with the Thailand flooding. According to the world’s largest reinsurer, Munich Re, $2 billion of net claims associated with the Japan disaster are from business interruption insurance.

That loosely defined term has helped companies recover millions from losses, but insurance companies are rumored to be moving quickly to close the gap. According to March & McLennan executive board member Jochen Koerner, this year’s “perfect storm (of natural disasters) boosted claims and undermined risk assumptions,” he told Bloomberg.

“Contingent business interruption insurance is not straightforward and can be seen as a massive black box,” Koerner said. “If a factory burns down, that’s only one claim in property insurance, while the same incident could potentially disrupt the supply chains of hundreds of companies if the factory supplies essential goods to other companies.”

Munich Re wasn’t the only huge reinsurer hit with a massive amount of claims stemming from the supply chain disasters. Swiss Re, the world’s second –largest reinsurer, has estimated its own claims to total $600 million, although it’s not clear what percentage of that is directly from business interruption coverage.

Supply chain managers must remember that insurance companies are not a charity; they’re a business. While today’s logistics focus on risk management goes hand-in-hand with supply chain insurance coverage, an expected rate increase could make coverage cost-prohibitive for small and medium enterprises.

That could put the global supply chain in a more precarious position the next time disaster strikes. It’ll be interesting to see just how insurance companies respond.

More areas declared natural disaster affected PDF Print E-mail

More areas declared natural disaster affected
08 Dec, 2011 12:40 PM

Following the recent heavy rainfall in Northern NSW, the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Michael Gallacher, has declared a further three local government areas as natural disaster affected.

“The communities of Uralla, Guyra and Glen Innes-Severn have been heavily impacted by recent storms and floods, which is why I am declaring these areas as natural disaster zones.

“Councils, residents, primary producers and small business owners will now be able to apply for support under the NSW Disaster Assistance Arrangements,” Minister Gallacher said.

The Minister’s latest announcements follow on from the Natural Disaster Declarations for Moree Plains, Inverell and Armidale Gunnedah, Narrabri, Gwydir, Muswellbrook, Liverpool Plains, Tamworth and the Upper Hunter Shire Council.

“The NSW Government will continue to carry out assessments to determine whether further declarations are necessary.” Minister Gallacher concluded.

Anyone needing help from the SES should contact their local unit on 132 500. In life threatening emergencies, always ring triple zero (000).

Thai floods: Natural disaster ripples through the tech world PDF Print E-mail

Thai floods: Natural disaster ripples through the tech world
Kevin Anderson Nov 7, 2011

If you’re looking to buy a new hard drive, you might want to wait. Prices are spiking after horrific floods in Thailand have shuttered hundreds of factories, including those of several hard drive and digital camera manufacturers.

The human toll from the floods that have affected 64 of the country’s 77 provinces has a staggering human toll. More than 500 are dead and the waters have inundated the homes of 15% of the nation’s 67m people.

An aerial view of a flooded Honda car factory in Thailand

An aerial view of a flooded Honda car factory in Thailand. Reuters

The economic toll has been equally staggering. According to the Thai Industrial Estate and Strategic Partners Association, floods have swamped seven massive industrial estates, home to 891 factories that employ 460,000 workers.

Hard drive makers Western Digital, Seagate and Toshiba have been especially hard hit. The production of hard drives is expected to slump 27%, dropping from 173m to 125m units, this quarter due to the floods, according to IHS iSuppli, which says it will be worst downturn to hit the hard drive industry in three years.

Computer makers are already feeling the impact, with Taiwanese computer giant Asustek saying that it would run out of hard drives by the end of November. Up to half of the world’s hard drives are made in Thailand, and the country is second only to China in terms of hard drive production.

Due to shortages caused by the floods, the average price of hard disks is expected to rise by 10%, according to iSuppli. Drive markers will be looking to try to meet their revenue targets by increasing prices. However, Asustek CFO David Chang told Reuters that the company is seeing some hard drive prices surge 20% to 40%.

Tech news site TechSpot looked at prices on the popular computer gear supersite Newegg in the US to see what effect the flood-driven shortages were having on the average consumer. They found that a Samsung 1TB drive had doubled in price. Marc Bevand, who works for a computer security firm, blogged that the price of some 1TB drives have increased by a staggering 180%.

That’s a bit odd because iSuppli said “specific HDD plants affected by the flooding make devices designed for mobile computers”, and the drives that the TechSpot and Bevand looked at were all drives for desktop computers.

Asustek must have been taking just-in-time manufacturing to the extreme because iSuppli says that most computer makers would have sufficient supplies to see them through the end of the year. The real pain might come in 2012 as the shortage is expected to last at least six months with many factories expected to remain shut until the new year. Of course, hard drives aren’t just in computers anymore. They are also in DVD and other digital video recorders.

Hard drives aren’t the only bit of tech affected by the flooding. Japanese digital camera makers Sony, Canon and Nikon all have plants in Thailand. Due to the disruption, iSupplipredicted that camera shipments would fall in the last quarter of 2011 and possibly the first quarter of next year.

Sadly, the floods in Thailand are also expected to cause another blow to Japanese manufacturing, which was just starting to shake off the affects of the devastating earthquake and tsunami earlier this year. In addition to hard drives and cameras, the floods are expected to hit the Japanese auto industry, again, and also a few semiconductor makers that supply the Japanese market. It has led the Japanese central bank to consider working with its Thai counterpart to provide support to companies hit by the floods.

Do you work in the tech industry? Have you seen prices spike in key parts for your projects? Where are you finding alternatives to components you used to source in Thailand?

Relief agencies fear disease in flooded Thailand PDF Print E-mail

Relief agencies fear disease in flooded Thailand
November 2, 2011

Bangkok, Thailand (CNN) -- A humanitarian crisis looms in Thailand after the worst floods in decades left parts of Bangkok and other areas of the country submerged, relief agencies warned Sunday.

Bangkok's central business district has so far avoided major flooding, but many of the areas nearby are chest- or waist-deep in water, forcing residents to flee their homes. The Thai government has set up more than 1,700 shelters across the country, where more than 113,000 people have taken refuge since flooding began in July after heavy monsoon rains.

More than 370 people have died, and charities working in the country have warned of the risk of water- and insect-borne diseases such as diarrhea, dengue fever and malaria in the coming days and weeks. Thai officials warned residents in the capital to be vigilant and expect disruptions with electricity and tap water.

"There are places on the outskirts of Bangkok and in other parts of the country which have been flooded for nearly two weeks," Matthew Cochrane, of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

"The country's prime minister has said that the city has 'dodged a bullet' -- the economic impact of central Bangkok being flooded would have been huge, and thankfully that did not happen -- but a huge part of the country is still under water.

"Outside the city it is certainly a humanitarian crisis, because there are people who have been cut off for weeks without any aid, supplies or food."

UNICEF said it was providing 20,000 mosquito nets, and handing out 20,000 pamphlets explaining how to stay safe and healthy in flood-hit regions.

Overall damage from the floods could exceed $6 billion, the Thai Finance Ministry has said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has urged stores not to stockpile goods, amid concerns that panic buying was leading to a shortage of essential items.

Officials in the capital have warned residents to expect interruptions to electricity and tap water supplies. The Metropolitan Waterworks Authority said it had reduced the amount of tap water processed for residents from 900,000 to 400,000 cubic meters per day, because of high algae counts at one of its plants.

The prime minister said authorities would speed up the process of draining water into Bangkok's canals and into the sea, raising hopes that water levels in the city could start to sink. However, the government has warned it may take more than a month for the floods to recede.

Cochrane said the country still faced a variety of threats, including strong currents, disease and even crocodile and snake attacks. But he said it was vital that authorities and charities also start to look beyond the immediate dangers.

"In addition to emergency services, I feel we must start working on getting resources available to help people get back on their feet and live a life after the floods," he told CNN.

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