Not only will Surviving Disasters go out on the Health Channel, it is also likely to be aired on one of the British terrestrial channels. The four parts of the series will cover hurricanes, floods, fires, and earthquakes. We are currently in post-production with the first two and are now moving ahead with the second part on fires and earthquakes. We will be covering the major fires and earthquakes in the U.S. over the last few years, including the western wildfires of 2000 and the Loma Prieta and Northridge earthquakes.
Our remit in this series is to look less at the "wow" factors of disasters (there are already plenty of sensational programs like that), and more at what the public can learn from disasters, how they can protect themselves and their family, what they can expect from the emergency services and what they should expect to find and feel in the aftermath of a major disaster.
Through the stories of real situations told by survivors, rescuers, witnesses, and agencies such as the Red Cross and National Guard, we would hope to make the viewer think "what would I have done?" and "what would I do?" in a given situation.
Obviously for storytelling purposes, I would like to look at actual scenarios and interview those involved, and I was hoping you could suggest some events and/or contributors - survivors, rescuers, and/or individuals who were involved in other recent disaster situations regarding fires and earthquakes (if there is any available footage, that would be a plus.)
Thanks very much for your help.
With very best wishes,
Researcher, Atlantic Productions
Tel: 01144 207 371 3200, ext. 238
Fax: 01144 207 371 3222
We are offering you free labor.
As graduate students in the Department of Geography at Boston University, we frequently have to desperately look for a topic for final projects related to our classes. Since we are somehow disconnected from the "real world" beyond academia, it's not always easy to come up with an interesting question. On the other hand, you people are probably flooded by the demands of the real world. . . There may be issues or questions you'd like to explore but you probably lack the time to address them. There is a clear opportunity for a win/win situation.
Our graduate student organization is developing a "pool of potential student projects" - a listing of questions that business, academics, NGOs, or government agencies would like to address but do not have the time to do so. This might be great for students looking for topics regarding final projects for classes, or even dissertations. Please feel free to send us any ideas, or spread the word among your colleagues within and beyond your agency or firm.
Typical courses in need for final projects include:
Department of Geography - Boston University
The California legislature conducted bipartisan hearings in both the state senate and assembly after it was discovered that Quakenbush allowed six insurance companies to avoid billions of dollars in fines by donating $12.5 million to a fund he created. Although the fund was set up to help quake victims and to study damage from earthquakes, none of the money was used for those purposes. The hearings also uncovered evidence that insurance companies paid policyholders less than they were entitled following the quake and failed to inform their customers of all the benefits to which they were entitled.
For information about the project, contact Vince Parisi, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20472; e-mail: email@example.com; or Diane Watson, ASFPM, 2809 Fish Hatchery Road, Suite 204, Madison, WI 53713; (608) 274-0123; fax: (608) 274 0696; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subsequently, CRID has undertaken several activities to build national and local capacity in the compilation, processing, and dissemination of disaster information, beginning with an organizing meeting of the Regional Disaster Information System (SRID) in August 1999 in San Jose, Costa Rica. In the last year, CRID has organized training workshops on disaster information unit management and has supported the creation of national disaster information networks in several countries of Central and South America. The agency continues these organizing efforts and is also working to ensure standard terminology and techniques for maintaining and exchanging information.
For more information about the Regional Disaster Information System for Latin America and the Caribbean, contact Lilliana Gonzalez, CRID, Apartado 3745-1000, San Jose, Costa Rica; tel: (506) 296-3952; fax: (506) 231-5973; e-mail email@example.com; WWW: http://www.crid.or.cr or http://www.crid.desastres.net.
The Inter-American Committee for Natural Disaster Reduction (IACNDR) is a forum for the analysis of policies and strategies aimed at natural disaster reduction in the context of sustainable development. The Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly established the IACNDR, recognizing the need to strengthen the role of the OAS in natural disaster reduction and emergency preparedness among member states.
The IACNDR is chaired by the Secretary General of the OAS and comprises other representatives from the OAS, as well as leaders from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Pan-American Institute of Geography and History, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, and the Inter-American Council for Integral Development.
The purpose of the committee is to propose national policies and strategies involving sustainable development mechanisms that reduce a country's vulnerability. In addition, such strategies should lead to emergency preparedness and response coordination and cooperation approaches that enhance the effectiveness and timeliness of inter- national and national assistance.
The IACNDR has established three Working Groups:
To support the OAS Permanent Council, the IACNDR will:
In short, the IACNDR is meant to promote dialogue, reflection, and the development of priorities and policy proposals regarding sustainable disaster management and reduction among OAS member states.
An extended article about the IACNDR appears in the first issue of ISDR Informs. The newsletter is available on-line in both English and Spanish from the Regional Disaster Information Center for Latin America and the Caribbean (CRID) at http://www.crid.or.cr. Additional information about the IACNDR is available from Luis Jorge Perez Calderon, Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief Coordination Program, PAHO, 525 Twenty-third Street, N.W. Washington D.C. 20037; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To promote true community participation in such decisions, the Central American Community Network for Risk Management was established in 1999 with the objective of improving the quality of life and the sustainable development and self-management of communities in the region. The network now comprises at least 8,000 communities throughout Central America, and the members intend to incorporate an ever-increasing number of vulnerable communities.
One of the chief goals of the network is to show institutions currently working in disaster prevention that only by working together at the local level will it be possible to reduce the hazards faced by many people in Central America.
To support the network, the German GTZ agency has financed the "CARECOR" project (the Spanish acronym stands for "Training the Central American Community Network for Risk Management"). One of the key components of which is, not surprisingly, training - but training intended to fundamentally change participants' world views to enable them to take charge of their own risk mitigation and thus promote community resilience.
The network does not have an overarching administrative structure with its own funds and headquarters. Each member community is expected to work independently. There being no central office, interested persons must contact individual country offices. A list with contact information is provided in the latest issue of ISDR Informs; see: http://www.crid.or.cr.
In pursuing these aims, the CBNDR project will support regional programs that
To round off the program, in 2003 CEPREDENAC will organize a large Central American specialists meeting, wherein the RAP-CA achievements will be presented to all institutions in the region working on disaster prevention. A handbook, a self-training package, and case history documentation will also be made available at that meeting.
Again, the long-term objective is to strengthen the capacity of institutions in Central America to participate in national, regional, and local development programs for the reduction of vulnerability to natural hazards. The program secretariat plans to develop and secure funding for similar regional action programs in other parts of the world. Further information about the UNESCO CBNDR program can be obtained from the CBNDR Program Secretariat, c/o ITC, P.O. Box 6, 7500 AA Enschede, The Netherlands; tel: +31-(0)53-4874 213/221; fax: +31-(0)53-4874 200; e-mail: email@example.com.
The center's activities will include the development of plans, projects, and programs aimed at reducing social, environmental, and institutional vulnerability; strengthening the Guatemalan peace process; and promoting sustainable development. The center will study the country's natural, social, and technological hazards; their occurrence, location, magnitude and impact; and the most effective ways to reduce vulnerability and risk.
At the undergraduate level, the center will train technicians who can institute prevention measures and who are qualified to respond rapidly and effectively to emergencies. At the graduate and postgraduate levels, the center will train professionals who can incorporate risk analysis into planning, projects, and programs of all types, and who can design and implement specific projects to reduce social, environmental, and institutional vulnerability.
The center will also provide consultancy services and execute sectoral and regional programs and projects that help the public and private sectors develop emergency response plans and reduce their vulnerability to both natural and human-caused disasters.
The team entrusted with developing the programs of the Research Center for Disaster Management is interested in any information or proposals that might aid the development of the intended curriculum, and in other information about disaster mitigation training, the execution of research plans, and the provision of risk reduction services. For more information, or to offer suggestions, contact Hugo Romeo Masaya, Secretario General, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, 18 avenida 11-95 zona 15, Vista Hermosa III, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala; tel: (502) 364-0336, ext. 40; fax: (502) 364-0212; WWW: http://www.uvg.edu.gt; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Note, the inaugural issue of ISDR Informs mentioned above includes descriptions and contact information for several other university- level disaster management programs in Latin America.]
This new federal Web site - touted as the entry point for all federal government Web-based information - is now open for business.
Following the Great Mississippi Floods of 1993, several state cooperative extension services (CESs) were inundated with requests for information on disaster response and recovery but found themselves ill-prepared to provide such information. Subsequently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture provided a grant to 12 north-central CESs to explore ways to better prepare for such events. Seven years later the result is a 30-state network of CESs - the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) - working to develop or enhance educational resources on disasters and to educate and train CES staff. The EDEN Web site provides extensive information about the network and many of the disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation resources the network has identified or prepared. EDEN maintains a shared database of disaster-related resources available from member states in addition to direct links to extension service disaster information available on-line. The site also provides a directory of state EDEN delegates with complete contact information.
According to HAZUS 99: Average Annual Earthquake Losses for the United States, a report released September 20 by FEMA, annual earthquake losses in the U.S. add up to approximately $4.4 billion a year, with 84% of future losses expected to occur in California, Oregon, and Washington. California alone accounts for $3.3 billion of the estimated total annual U.S. loss; and the city of Los Angeles one- third of that.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency's loss estimation methodology, HAZUS (Hazards U.S.), created in cooperation with the National Institute of Building Sciences, was used to develop the new loss model. The program produces regional profiles and estimates of earthquake loss by geographic area; it also evaluates characteristics of the built environment and categories of loss. Incorporating probabilistic seismic hazard data provided by the U.S. Geological Survey and other data regarding geological conditions, economic factors, and location and size of potential earthquakes, HAZUS can calculate potential damage in an area as small as a census tract.
The earthquake loss estimates were annualized to factor in historic patterns of frequent smaller earthquakes with infrequent, larger events. The $4.4 billion estimate is considered extremely conservative, according to the study's authors, and only includes capital losses such as repairing or replacing buildings, contents, inventories, and income losses. It does not cover damage and losses to critical facilities, transportation and utility lifelines, or indirect economic losses.
The study concluded that probable annual earthquake losses in the U.S. are almost equal to the losses experienced from floods and hurricanes. Annual flood losses totaled $5.2 billion annually from 1989 to 1998, according to the National Weather Service. For the same period, the National Climatic Data Center estimates the U.S. lost $5.4 billion due to hurricanes.
In cooperation with the principal building code organizations, the Association of State Floodplain Managers, and the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has created a guide for building and community officials and others involved in the planning and construction process entitled Reducing Flood Losses Through the International Code Series: Meeting the Requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program. The guide is intended to help communities decide how best to integrate building safety and floodplain management through code enforcement. The document, which can be downloaded from this Web site, provides an overview of the NFIP, outlines some broad approaches to managing flood hazard areas, discusses the implications for floodplain management of adopting the new International Code Series, and points out the many responsibilities that communities assume when they participate in the NFIP - both those covered by the international codes and those that are not.
EPA's Region III Green Communities Web page includes a Green Communities Assistance Kit designed as a comprehensive reference guide for identifying and resolving needs, interests, and problems of a range of communities - urban, suburban, and rural. Included is this "Tools for Natural Disasters" page offering a lengthy list of Internet resources divided into Policy and Planning Tools, Regulatory Tools, Technical Tools, and Financial Tools. This Web resource covers everything from hurricane preparedness training and guidelines to disaster response and recovery programs.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency Natural Disaster Assistance Web page provides information for farmers who have sustained damage due to natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods. The Emergency Conservation Program, Emergency Loan Assistance, Emergency Haying and Grazing Assistance, and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance programs all provide aid to farmers in rehabilitating eligible farmland damaged by natural disasters. The site provides information regarding the assistance for which farmers and ranchers may be eligible, as well as details on how to apply.
In September, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) published on- line a 50-page report on Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events, by P. Vellinga and W.J. van Verseveld of the Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije University of Amsterdam. The report assesses current scientific understanding of the impact of climate change on weather and meteorological extremes and addresses three main questions: To what extent can human influences on climate presently be measured? What can we expect for the short and long term? To what extent will measures to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions affect future climate? The authors conclude that the consequences of CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions are becoming increasingly visible in changes in temperature, precipitation, sea level rise, atmospheric circulation patterns, and ecosystems, and these changes are effecting variations in the frequency, intensity, and geographical distribution of extreme weather events.
The September 16 issue of the British Medical Journal contains an editorial and paper on risks due to temperature extremes brought on by global climate change (for additional information and Web sites dealing with this issue, see DR #326). The editorial, "Saving Lives During Extreme Weather in Summer," by Laurence Kalkstein of the Center for Climate Research, University of Delaware, calls on health professionals worldwide to work with local health agencies and emergency management offices to develop reliable systems to warn of and deal with temperature extremes and their effects on humans. The article, "Heat Related Mortality in Warm and Cold Regions of Europe: Observational Study," by a group of European researchers, offers some interesting findings: annual cold-related mortality is higher than heat-related mortality across Europe, and, overall, Europeans can be expected to adjust to global warming predicted for the next half century. The authors point out, however, that their findings in no way negate the need to take preemptive measures against heat stress.
This not-for-profit site catalogs other informative sites on coastal management and research. It outlines new research and provides links to over 1,000 coastal management sites world-wide, including a broad range of coastal hazard sites. It also lists coastal conferences and events. In addition, the site provides access to a free e-mail coastal management newsletter called icoast - an efficient means for interested persons to keep up with recent coastal management developments on the Internet. To subscribe to icoast send an e-mail to email@example.com or visit the Web site.
A new e-mail list has been established, focusing on lifesaving in floods, hurricanes, and other hydrological hazards, as well as severe storm preparedness, planning, and response. SwiftH20-News is designed to allow swiftwater/flood rescue personnel, emergency managers, meteorologists, and others to exchange information, post operational guidelines, and discuss the discipline of technical rescue. Although information for the group is restricted to members, membership is free and open to any interested persons.
The "DisasterSurvivorSupport" group is a peer support network for anyone who has endured a disaster, including families who have lost loved ones. The list is open to the public and intended to be a "survivor helping survivor" network; however, research professionals may find it of interest and are welcome.
Duties and Responsibilities: Under the overall supervision of the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, the Director of the Inter-Agency Secretariat of the ISDR supports the work of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Disaster Reduction. The Task Force serves as the main forum within the United Nations system for developing policies and strategies for the reduction of natural disaster. The Secretariat of the ISDR serves as the focal point within the UN system for the coordination of strategies and programmes for natural disaster reduction, and is tasked with ensuring synergy between disaster reduction strategies and those in the socioeconomic and humanitarian fields. Through advocacy campaigns, it promotes a worldwide culture of prevention of the negative effects of natural hazards and serves as an international clearing house for the dissemination and exchange of information and knowledge on disaster reduction, including the use of science and technology to that effect.
The Director reports directly to the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and is responsible for advising him/her and, through him/her, the Secretary-General, on policies, issues and activities relating to ISDR. The Director is responsible for the effective functioning of the Secretariat . . .
Competencies and Skills: Advanced university degree in economics, social or political science, or equivalent degree in environmental and natural sciences. Extensive and diversified professional experience at the international level with a high degree of responsibility in management of interagency concerns. Experience and involvement in disaster management issues, particularly disaster reduction. Familiarity with the range of organizational, political, and technical issues related to natural disasters and risk management. Minimum of 18 years of professional experience is required for this post.
Languages: Fluency in both English and French is required. Working knowledge of a third UN official language is desirable.
Applications: External applicants are requested to send a detailed curriculum vitae including date of birth, nationality, educational qualifications, a summary of professional skills and/or expertise, a summary of relevant work experience, publications written and languages spoken, or to complete a United Nations Personal History form (P.11), available at UN offices. . . .
All applications should be sent to: VA: 00-E-CHA-001244-E-GE, Staffing Support Section, Office of Human Resources Management, Room S-2475, United Nations, NY 10017, USA; fax: (212) 963-3134 or (212) 963-9560; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate the vacancy announcement number on the envelope or the fax and on the application.
Overseas Development Institute
111 Westminster Bridge Road
London SE1 7JD
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7922 0384
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7922 0399
A master's degree in Public Health or related field with concentration in community health is preferred. Candidates must possess excellent communication and planning skills and a willingness to work collaboratively with diverse populations. The job entails travel throughout the United States.
Please mail or fax resume and cover letter to: Dominic Idoko, The George Perkins Marsh Institute, Clark University, 950 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01601; fax: (508) 751-4600; e-mail: Didoko@clarku.edu. Closing Date: October 13, 2000
Further information about the department may be found at http://www.nd.edu/~cegeos/. Interested persons should send a letter describing their research and teaching interests and goals, a copy of their curriculum vita giving details of employment and publications, and a list of four references to Civil Engineering Search, Professor Ahsan Kareem, Chair, Department of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences, 156 Fitzpatrick Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556-0767.
October 11 - "World Disaster Reduction Day" - Nicole Appel, Awareness and Promotion Officer, International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) Secretariat
October 18 - "Masters of Disasters Curriculum" - Rocky Lopes, American Red Cross
October 25 - "Community Alert Network (CAN)" - Ken Baechel, President
October 4 - Around the Table at Emmitsburg. Featuring students from FEMA's Emergency Management Institute "Multi- Hazards Planning for Schools" course.
October 11 - Fires in Small Communities - Impact and Prevention (Repeated October 25, 8:00-11:00 p.m.)
October 18 - National Alert Broadcast - FEMA's monthly video magazine on emergency management
October 25 - Consequence Management News, Equipment, and Training (CoMNET) Magazine
November 1 - Emergency Responders and Infectious Disease: Part 1 - An Overview
November 8 - New Hazardous Materials Curriculum Programs - An Overview for Training Managers
November 15 - National Alert Broadcast
November 22 - Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) for Schools - Part I
November 29 - Virginia Beach Fire Department Special - featuring videos on a response accident and on community flood recovery
December 6 - Schools, Violence, and Lessons Learned
December 13 - Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) for Schools - Part II
December 20 - National Alert Broadcast
December 27 - Unified Command: Practical Issues - Part I
Additional broadcasts are often added. For up-to-date information, a description of each of these programs, and satellite broadcast information, visit the EENet Web site: http://www.fema.gov/home/emi/eenet.htm.
Drought 2000 Conference: Impacts, Policy, and Technology. Sponsors:
National Drought Mitigation Center, National Groundwater Association,
and others. Des Moines, Iowa: October 11-12, 2000. Contact:
National Drought Mitigation Center, 236 L.W. Chase Hall, P.O. Box
830749, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583-0749: (402)
472-6707; fax: (402) 472-6614; WWW:
National Ground Water Association, Attn: Registrations #497, Department 481, Columbus, OH 43265-0481; (800) 551-7379 or (614) 898-7791; fax: (614) 898-7786; WWW: http://www.ngwa.org/education.
Technical Symposium on Earth Systems Engineering. ("Discussions will explore the social and engineering challenges of climate change with implications for responses from regional to global scales.") Sponsor: National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Washington, D.C.: October 24, 2000. See: http://www.nae.edu (click on "NAE Technical Symposium Earth Systems Engineering"), or contact: Katie Gramling, National Academy of Engineering, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20418; (202) 334-2462; e-mail: email@example.com.
USGS Public Lecture Series - "Living with Earthquakes in Southern California" by Lucy Jones. Cal Tech University, Pasadena, California: October 24, 8:00 p.m. See: http://pasadena.wr.usgs.gov/lectures.
Fire Conference 2000: The First National Congress on Fire Ecology, Prevention, and Management. Hosted by: California Association for Fire Ecology and others. San Diego, California: November 27-December 1, 2000. Contact: Sandra Cooper, University Extension, UC Davis, 1333 Research Park Drive, Davis, CA 95616-4852; (530) 757-8948; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; WWW: http://www.universityextension.ucdavis.edu/fire/.
Responding to Disaster. Oxford, U.K.: December 10-11, 2000. A call for papers has been issued; deadline November 3, 2000. Contact: Dr. Rob Fisher; fax: 0870 0560055; e-mail: email@example.com.
Hemispheric Conference on Vulnerability Reduction of Trade Corridors to Natural Disasters (TCC). Organized by the Organization of American States, Unit for Sustainable Development and Environment; and the Secretariat of Environment, Government of the Province of Mendoza, Argentina. Mendoza, Argentina: March 26-28, 2001. The conference will be in English and Spanish with simultaneous translation. For further information, contact Karina Nowakowski, tel: 0054-261-4232841, 0054- 261-439-4531; fax: 0054-261-452-5378; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com.
2001 National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) Conference. Dallas, Texas: April 21-25, 2001. Contact: NDMS, 12300 Twinbrook Parkway, Suite 360, Rockville, MD 20857; (301) 443-1167, (800) 872-6367; fax: (301) 443-5146, (800) 872-5945; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; WWW: http://www.oep-ndms.dhhs.gov.
Fourth National Conference and Exposition of the National Hydrologic Warning Council - Conference on Flood Warning Systems, Technologies, and Preparedness. Columbus, Ohio: May 15-18, 2001. Abstracts due December 4, 2000. Contact: Mark Heggli, NHWC Conference, P.O. Box 219000, Sacramento, CA 95821-9000; (916) 574-2627; e-mail: email@example.com. WWW: http://www.alertsystems.org.
Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) 25th National Conference. Charlotte, North Carolina: June 3-8, 2001. Abstracts are due November 17, 2000. Contact: ASFPM, 2809 Fish Hatchery Road, Suite 204, Madison, WI 53713-3120; (608) 274-0123; fax: (608) 274-0696; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; WWW: http://www.floods.org.
X Congress of the Federation of International Studies on Latin America and the Caribbean. Moscow, Russia: June 26-29, 2001. The congress will include a section on "Natural Disaster Vulnerability of Latin American Urban Settlements." For information on the program and a call for papers, contact: INCIHUSA - CRICYT, CC 131 (5500), Mendoza, Argentina; fax: (0261) 4287370; e-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org; WWW: http://www.cricyt.edu.ar/congresos/fuealc.htm.
International Conference on Disaster Management. Hosted by: International Association of Disaster Management. Orlando, Florida: August 6-10, 2001. Contact: Conference Organizing Committee, International Conference on Disaster Management, 2952 Wellington Circle, Tallahassee, FL 32308; (850) 906-0221; fax: (850) 906-9228; e-mail: email@example.com.
First Joint Scientific Assembly of the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy (IAGA) and the International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth's Interior (IASPEI). Hanoi, Vietnam: August 20-31, 2001. Abstract and grant application deadline: February 1, 2001. All particulars can be found at: http://www.iagaandiaspei.org.vn; or contact: Local Organizing Committee, IAGA - IASPEI 2001, Joint Scientific Assembly, Institute of Geophysics, Box 411 Buu dien Bo Ho, Hanoi, Vietnam; fax: (84 4) 8364696; tel: (84 4) 7562802; e-mail: IAGA-IASPEI@fpt.vn.
Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) Annual Congress. San Antonio, Texas: November 14-15, 2001. Contact: IBHS, 1408 North Westshore Boulevard, Suite 208, Tampa FL 33607; (813) 286-3400; fax: (813) 286-9960; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; WWW: http://www.ibhs.org.
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