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NCE Live News Updates Wednesday 13 November 2013: Typhoon death toll estimates revised down; RedR prepares to send team

RedR has said it preparing to said a training team to the Philippines as more information comes through about the state of the roads and the extent of housing that has been damaged. In other news, Balfour Beatty is set for a major US rail contract win.

4pm: RedR to deliver vital training in the Philippines

RedR has said that it intends to dispatch a training team to the Philippines.

It says that in the last 48 hours it has received a number of requests to respond on-the-ground to the disaster in the Philippines. Aid workers that have arrived this week in Tacloban have contacted RedR directly to stress the need to build the capacity of the humanitarian response by training aid workers - particularly Philippine nationals.

RedR is currently liaising with aid organisations in order to carry out a remote needs assessment and subsequently plans to send out a team of experienced trainers who can deliver rapid training, enabling more people to effectively support in the relief efforts.

But it said it needs support to do so, and urges people to donate to its appeal.

 

3pm: The Defence Infrastructure Organisation has named five companies on a £250M framework for the design and build of construction projects in the East Midlands and eastern England region.

The framework covers an area spanning Lincolnshire to Essex.

Contracts have been awarded for the Regional Capital Works Framework East Midlands and Eastern England – delivering regional projects each valued at up to £12M to:

  • Henry Brothers (Magherafelt)
  • Interserve
  • Mansell Construction Services
  • Morgan Sindall
  • Shepherd Construction

This framework is estimated to be worth between £100M and £250M over an initial four year period, with the option to extend by up to a further three years.

It is also the first of seven capital works frameworks that are being procured under the Next Generation Estate Contracts (NGEC) programme for the delivery of construction projects on the Defence Estate. There are five other regional frameworks and a national framework. It is expected that, in addition to supporting other requirements, the frameworks will be used to procure a significant proportion of work in support of military rebasing up to 2020.

 

2pm: More than £1.9bn of investment in Britain’s roads will be spent next year, transport minister Robert Goodwill has promised.

The investment forms part of a package of 209 schemes valued at £4.3Bn which, it is claimed, will boost the economy by over £18bn. It is expected that half of these schemes should start or be completed next year.

Schemes will include 178 pinch point projects that tackle bottlenecks on local roads, and 31 major schemes to improve key networks.

Schemes that are due to start or complete in 2014 include work to the M4 between junctions 19 and 20 and the M6 between junction five and eight near Birmingham.

9.05am: Estimates that put the death toll from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines at up to 10,000 are too high and the number may be 2,500, the country’s President Benigno Aquino has told CNN.

The higher number had been suggested by local officials who were too close to the centre of the destruction to be accurate, Aquino said.

This morning the Philippines National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said 1,833 people had been confirmed dead from the disaster with 2,623 injured and 84 people still missing.

Two roads remain impassable (down from three yesterday) and the four airports that were yesterday not open are now operational but Tacloban Airport, in southern Leyte, is limited in its operations, the council said. The official number of homes suffering damage has increased from 41,000 yesterday to around 150,000 (80,000 totally and 70,000 partially damaged).

Some power is still lost in affected regions.

Disaster aid charity Care International spokesman Sandra Bulling has arrived in the city of Tacloban and described the scene yesterday as “horrific”.

“There are dead bodies along the coast, and the terrible smell of decay,” she said. “There are bodies along the road. It’s pretty horrific. The whole team are shocked by what we’ve seen. I’ve never seen anything like this. This will haunt me for a long time.”

“The roads are mainly clear, but there is debris everywhere. We had to change our tire three times yesterday,” she added. You have to drive very slowly, and the cleared part of the road is very narrow. At one point, we didn’t have a spare tire left; if our tire had blown, we would have been stranded.”

Read more from Bulling here.

 

9am: Balfour Beatty is set to win a major US railway extension contract as lead contractor for a design build joint venture.

The Regional Transportation District (RTD) of Denver, Colorado has recommended the award of the $343M (£213M) contract for a 21.7km long commuter rail line extension to the GBBH joint venture, which also includes Graham Contracting and Hamon Contractors with Parsons Brinckerhoff as sub-consultant to lead designer Stantec Consulting Services.

The project will extend the commuter rail line from Denver Union Station to the 124th Avenue Station.

Balfour Beatty chief executive Andrew McNaughton said that rail projects were a “key area of strategic focus” for the firm.

“Contracts such as this bring all of our skills into the mix to benefit our clients,” he added. “Our teams in Balfour Beatty and Parsons Brinckerhoff will be collaborating to better meet the transportation needs of the larger metro-Denver community.”

The district’s board of director approval of the recommendation is expected on 26 November with design and construction scheduled to begin in early 2014 and take four years.

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