Southeast Asian Red Cross defies disasters

Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in Southeast Asia agreed Tuesday to create a regional disaster management committee to prepare responses to disasters like bird flu and last year's tsunami, officials said. The annual regional meeting in Manila also agreed to set up a disaster management training center in the Philippines, Philippine National Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon said. Gordon said bird flu was among the focuses of the Manila meeting, with officials emphasizing immediate response and the need for an information campaign particularly targeting people who handle fowl, or who are exposed to them. Gordon said the Red Cross and Red Crescent regional leaders were considering the former U.S. naval base in Subic, which has been transformed into a tourism and economic zone, as the site of the regional disaster training center. It was not clear when it will become operational, informs the AP.

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