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Under-fire utility boss resigns after storm Sandy
by Staff Writers
New York (AFP) Nov 14, 2012

Quake rocks central Philippines
Manila (AFP) Nov 14, 2012 - A 5.8-magnitude quake rocked the central Philippines on Wednesday, with seismologists warning it could cause damage.

The quake struck at sea 71 kilometres (44 miles) off Negros island's coast at 1:21pm (0521 GMT), with fairly strong ground shaking across the island's west coast, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.

The ground disturbance was fairly shallow, and the institute expects damage and aftershocks, it said in a bulletin.

However, the civil defence office in the region had no immediate reports of damage or casualties, said Eligio Calaor, the regional office's operations chief.

The chief of a New York utility that came under withering fire from customers and the state governor for its slow restoration of power following superstorm Sandy is resigning.

Mike Hervey "tendered his resignation as chief operating officer of the Long Island Power Authority, to be effective at the end of the year," company chairman Howard Steinberg said in a statement late Tuesday.

Hervey had been with LIPA for 12 years and had been performing the functions of CEO for the last two.

Almost all of suburban Long Island, where LIPA is the main utility, lost power when hurricane-strength Sandy touched down on October 29, as did much of New York City and New Jersey, where other utilities are in the lead.

As of Wednesday, the company said it had restored power to 1.1 million homes and businesses, but that 7,720 remained in the dark, including locations where it was not yet safe to make repairs.

One of the areas still left without power, amid rapidly falling autumn temperatures, was New York City's Rockaway Peninsula.

Hervey and LIPA became the target of frequent attacks by frustrated New Yorkers, led by Governor Andrew Cuomo in numerous live press conferences.

But Ross Gould, at the Environmental Advocates of New York lobbying group, said LIPA had bigger issues than Hervey.

"The resignation of Mike Hervey should, in no way, be seen as the silver bullet that will fix the deep problems within the Long Island Power Authority's operations, and the gaping lack of leadership within its ranks," Gould said.


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Asia's mega-cities more vulnerable to disasters
Manila (AFP) Nov 13, 2012
Asia's cities are becoming increasingly vulnerable to natural disasters as they struggle with poor planning, population explosions and climate change, the Asian Development Bank warned on Tuesday. Floods, earthquakes and other disasters claim tens of thousands of lives a year and cost billions of dollars in the region's cities and urban areas, but not nearly enough is being done to improve t ... read more

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