The Armed Forces of the Philippines has sent communication systems in three hardly hit cities by super typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) in Visayas region on November 9.
Yolanda, seen one of the strongest storms in world history, shut down communication and power lines in many areas of Central Philippines with its fury. It is also the strongest storm to make landfall in history according to US weather experts.
A communication cell was established in Tacloban City Police Station and the Base Ops, Villamor Air Base to augment communication requirements for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response operations. Two more in Roxas City, Capiz, and Mactan City, Cebu are on their way to monitor rescue and relief efforts.
The Philippine Air Force also made aerial surveys and damage assessment. It also flew its three operational C-130s to ferry rescue personnel and relief goods.
AFP Chief of Staff General Emmanuel T Bautista gave his orders to the Central Command and Southern Luzon Command to prioritize disaster response efforts and make available all of its air and naval assets for immediate assessment of damage; rescue, and transport operations.
“Too many” dead
AFP Central Command spokesman Lt. Jim Alagao said on Saturday that there were “too many” bodies scattered along the streets of Tacloban City in Leyte, one of the areas directly hit by the super typhoon.
He said troops on the ground described the city as “a total devastation.”
The military has shifted into clearing operations and relief efforts in the aftermath of Yolanda.
“Our first objective is to clear the roads. If you can picture it, you can no longer recognize the roads”
The Tacloban City airport was totally wrecked because of storm surges. The military on Saturday cleared the runway to make way for military planes. It is currently closed to commercial operations.
As of Nov. 10, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said that there were 151 killed from Yolanda. It has so far affected four million people in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.