First, the highlight’s from Anderson Cooper’s report today from Tacloban:
- With help from US Marines, Tacloban Airport is up and runing on a 24 hour basis and last night for the first time airplanes were able to land during the night and offload aid.
- We have seen an uptick in Aid along the side of the runway from USAID, the US Government and others–food aid, medical supplies.
- Problem is getting it from the airport to the communities. Even communities half a mile from the airport. So the items are piling up at the airport. Even at the airport they can’t get water — begging CNN for sis of water.
He then went to a clinic set up at the airport. Dr. Katrina Katovey: “We don’t have any medicines, we don’t have any supplies, IV’s are ruing out. Most of the people here don’t have water and food. Most kids are dehydrated, most are suffering from diarrhhea and vomiting.”
An American retiree: “It’s turning into absoute chaos. … we’ve had gunfire in our neighborhood, we’ve had reports of NPA trying to take over the town. … It’s becoming every man for himself. We went to the pier, and were riding our bike back, a mob of people were running toward us — gunshots going on…..”
“I cannot emphasize how frustrating it is here for Philippine citizens to be standing at the airport for hours and hours and not be able to get water [when there is water here].”
Anderson talks about how in Japan after the Tsunami the government troops came in and did an organized search, block by block. It’s not happening in Tacloban.
And then comes what people have been waiting for — Anderson’s dustup with Philippine News Anchor (and not insignificantly, wife of interior minister Mar Roxas), over a tweet that went out under Anderson’s byline.
Cooper clarified on the air that the tweets in question were not his personal tweets — (he has not tweeted since being in the Philippines) — but they were tweeted by his producers based on content in his shows. At particular issue was Cooper saying that he did not see any significant military presence or organized effort.
Philippine netizens reacted interestingly and it seems Round 1 probably went to Cooper. That being said, Cooper and Korina Sanchez shouldn’t be on opposite sides of this, and I basically hope this will go away (and now that I think about, the only reason to report it is to observe the internet reaction to it.
The Rappler.com Social Media Team had the best report on it:
Korina Sanchez vs Anderson Cooper: What netizens think
MANILA, Philippines – As part of his coverage on Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) and its aftermath, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper reported on the difficulties and shortcomings of local relief efforts.
“You would expect perhaps to see a feeding center that had been set up 5 days after the storm,” Cooper said. “We haven’t seen that, certainly not in this area. Some food is being brought to people here at the airport, some water being distributed but these are very, very difficult conditions for the people here on the ground and it’s not clear how much longer it can continue like this. Something’s got to give.”
Cooper also tweeted his observations via the account @AC360 as he went around typhoon-ravaged Tacloban – from the lack of proper search-and-rescue missions, to paltry organization on the whole.
Local anchor Korina Sanchez reacted negatively to Cooper’s reporting, and said over her DZMM radio program that Cooper didn’t know what he was talking about.
Apart from being one of the country’s top anchors, Sanchez is also the wife of Mar Roxas, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary. Roxas and DILG officials were in Tacloban, one of the areas hardest hit by the typhoon, to supervise government response.
Below are Cooper’s tweets, as well as netizens’ takes on Sanchez’s reaction. Some of them criticized Sanchez, saying she was biased, while others pointed out that Cooper was more credible since he was reporting from the field. In contrast, Sanchez was dishing out commentary from the comforts of a studio.