Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Military engineers start clearing Tacloban City roads of debris

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 13): Military engineers start clearing Tacloban City roads of debris

Military engineers, with the assistance of the Army's 1st Special Forces Battalion, have started clearing the roads of Tacloban City Wednesday.

Once the roads are cleared, delivery of goods and aid to victims of super typhoon "Yolanda" will be faster, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said.

He added that the engineers and their support troops arrived in Tacloban in two batches Monday and Tuesday.

Zagala said that the mission of these military personnel is to aid other troopers in the ongoing humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) operations as well as to provide assistance in road clearing operations,support on-going evacuations, and assist efforts to restore peace and order in typhoon-stricken areas.

He added that the military is expecting more responders from the Philippine Army in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the 11 M-35 trucks from the Army are expected to arrive this Wednesday in Tacloban to assist in the transport requirements from the two current major supply drop-off points in Tacloban and Guiuan.

Aside from Tacloban Airport, the Guiuan Air Strip in Samar was opened up as a major supply drop off point for HADR and relief goods.

In other hard- to- reach areas in Eastern Visayas, military choppers are still being utilized to deliver aid and relief goods to identified drop zones.

Mactan Air Base in Cebu remains the main supply hub for relief goods going into Tacloban City.

In aid of ongoing HADR efforts in Tacloban, the United States of America allowed the use of their air transportation assets to allow for faster delivery of goods and services of volunteers and evacuation of survivors.

The United States has deployed two Osprey aircraft that transported HADR assets and relief goods from Manila to Mactan.

US C-130s in Tacloban brought in HADR assets and relief goods and helped evacuate survivors out of Tacloban City.

There are between four to seven sorties in and out of Tacloban City by the US aircraft.

In Panay, the provinces of Capiz and Aklan, and portions of Northern Iloilo and Northern Antique were severely hit by the super typhoon.

Two major supply/logistics hubs were identified and established by the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division in Iloilo City and Roxas City.

Since Day One, forty-five officers and 800 enlisted personnel from the 3rd Infantry Division have been conducting HADR operations in Panay.

Additionally, 250 reservists from the Army, Air Force, and Navy volunteered their time to assist in the ongoing operations in Panay.

AFP choppers also brought in the relief goods into Roxas City from Iloilo City, during the time roads were still impassable due to felled trees and landslides.

When the roads were cleared, the Army used their M-35 trucks to keep the flow of goods and HADR assets moving from Iloilo City to Roxas City.

Likewise, two Navy ships (DF-341 and DF-352) delivered aid and relief goods to the islands of Carles and Estancia in Northern Iloilo.

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