Deadly earthquake rocks the Philippines

Image result for earthquake philippines

At least three people are reported to have been killed as an earthquake struck the southern Philippines on Sunday.

The 6.9 magnitude quake occurred in Davao Del Sur province on the island of Mindanao.

The country’s second-largest island is a popular tourist destination.

Videos posted on social media showed hotel swimming pools overflowing and mass evacuations of people from shopping centres, CNN reported.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office warned that transportation throughout the area may be disrupted.

“A number of aftershocks have been reported,” the FCO said in updated travel advice.

“If you’re in Davao Del Sur, or are planning to travel to the area, you should be careful of aftershocks, monitor local media for up-to-date information and follow the advice of local authorities.

“You should check with transportation companies for any changes or cancellations of schedule.”

A previous series of 6.6 and 6.5-magnitude quakes struck Mindanao in October, killing 14 and injuring more than 400.

Avalon emphasizes great views in river cruise TV ads

Avalon Cruise

Viking River Cruises is no longer the only river cruise line with a TV advertising presence. Avalon Waterways launched its first television ad campaign in September, with its first video spots airing on HGTV, the Travel Channel, CNN and BBC America.

Viking ads have introduced many Americans to European river cruising over the past four years. Now that consumers know more about it, Avalon “felt that now is the time to introduce the idea of an option,” said Steve Born, senior vice president of marketing for Globus, Avalon’s parent company.

Avalon created three playful spots that highlight the importance of having a good view, leading into Avalon’s stateroom design —  beds face outward to open-air balconies, providing passengers with views of the passing scenery while they cruise.

 Avalon latest TV advert.

A six-week ad run will be completed at the end of October. The company is hoping that the advertising will raise awareness about what Avalon offers and help agents sell the product when customers who have watched the commercials ask about Avalon.

“We wanted to give the agent a little bit of an assist by having the seed planted first before the inquiry begins,” said Born.

Avalon doesn’t have any further ad buys scheduled. Born said the company is waiting to see the return on investment.

Avalon also did a three-minute promotional video that showcases views from a river cruise.

Concordia, by the numbers

By Tom Stieghorst

Although I’m loath to admit it, numbers can tell a story just as effectively as words sometimes. Or images.

We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words. So when it comes to the Costa Concordia, the image of the ship being towed to Genoa, Italy, next week will go further than any number of words in showing that the ship is at last floating again and on its way to oblivion.

More intriguing are the numbers. In a graphic compiled by CNN from numbers released by the Costa Concordia’s builder, Fincantieri, and the salvage consortium Titan Micoperi, some numbers are juxtaposed, making for several eye-opening stories.

First are the dollars. Costa CEO Michael Thamm said this week the meter on the Concordia accident has reached 1.5 billion euros, including the cost of demolition and recycling over the next two years. That’s about $2.04 billion at current exchange rates.

According to the CNN graphic, the Concordia took about $612 million to build. By that math, recovering the wrecked Concordia cost more than three times the price of building the new Concordia. Somewhere there’s a lesson there about an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure.*TomStieghorst

Likewise, the numbers show it took about 20 months to build the 114,000-ton ship at Fincantieri back in 2004, but will take about 54 months, or four-and-a-half years from the time of the accident, to remove and unbuild it.

The graphic shows a loss of 12,000 tourists since the accident in the island of Giglio, but I think that’s misleading. Most of the tourists lost were likely Italians or Europeans from other nearby countries.

The Concordia accident, for better or worse, made Giglio nearly a household name in countries around the world that never heard of it before. I think over the long term it may lead to more tourism, despite the short-term losses.

Another story told through numbers appears dramatic but again is misleading. Of the 500 people who worked on the salvage team, fewer than 12 were locals, according to the graphic.

I have no idea how that count was made, or if it is accurate, but I do know that salvage work of the magnitude involved in raising the Concordia requires world-class expertise, and is not the kind of thing where local hiring outreach makes a lot of sense.

Another set of numbers is also about people: 3,200 passengers, 32 killed, one missing. With that there can be no argument.