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. Keeping The Phones Ringing During Disaster Relief In Mozambique

A man stands in a flooded area in Beira, January 2006. Most Mozambicans threatened by floods in the Zambezi valley are out of danger and food distribution is now the main concern of officials, the head of the disaster management agency has said. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Maputo, Mozambique (SPX) Feb 16, 2007
Serious floods affect nearly 70 000 people. A crew from Telecoms Sans Frontieres on site Following the heavy floods which have been affecting the regions of Tete, Manica, Sofala and Zambezia for several weeks, the situation in Mozambique has deteriorated significantly over the past 2 days.

According to a recent report from the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC), 68 500 people are affected.An emergency crew from Telecoms Sans Frontieres (TSF) was sent to assess the needs in emergency telecommunications for the humanitarian community and affected civilians.

TSF's landed Thursday morning in the capital Maputo in order to be deployed in the affected areas at the soonest. According to a report from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) published on February 12th, 26 800 people are sheltered across 53 accommodation centres. If the situation was to deteriorate even further, INGC estimates that up 300 000 civilians could be displaced.

The Government of Mozambique is still considering the need to appeal for international assistance. TSF's emergency crew is carrying satellite equipment such as Inmarsat BGan and RBgan terminals and Thrane and Thrane Mini M and IT equipment to install if needed, one or several telecom centres with broadband Internet connections and phone and fax lines.

TSF could also run humanitarian calling operations.This mission is coordinated with OCHA and implemented in partnership with the Vodafone Group Foundation, the United Nations Foundation and the partners displayed at the bottom of this release.

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Chicago Exchange To Launch Hurricane Futures
Chicago (AFP) Feb 14, 2007
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange said Wednesday that it plans to offer hurricane futures contracts to interested market participants wishing to place bets on future weather patterns. The financial center said the new hurricane futures contracts will help the insurance industry and other market participants to spread the risks of large storms. The exchange said its CME-Carvill Hurricane Index futures and options on futures contracts would be launched on March 12.

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