Soldiers flown to Tacloban to clear roads

Carmela Fonbuena

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Access to devastated areas remains a challenge to aid workers

DOUBLE TIME: Military C-130 cargo planes fly 6 flights a day to bring in personnel and necessary equipment to devastated areas. Photo by the Armed Forces of the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines — About a thousand soldiers were flown to Tacloban City on Monday, November 11, to assist local government units in clearing the roads.

Access to devastated areas remains a challenge to aid workers aiming to help the typhoon victims. Massive damage to infrastructure and communication lines are making their job difficult, according to Sebastien Sujobert, head of the The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) local office in Tacloban.

Colonel Medardo Clarito of the Manila-based 525th engineering combat battalion said the priority is Tacloban. “We are helping in the search and retrieval and clearing operation. The priority is Tacloban,” he told Rappler before they boarded a military C-130 cargo plane on Monday. The other battalion that was sent to Tacloban belongs to the AFP Special Operations Command. 

Based on data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, 4 airports remain non-operational — Tacloban City in Leyte, Roxas City in Capiz, Kalibo in Aklan, and Busuanga in Palawan.

Sea travel has resumed but ICRC is waiting for its truckloads of relief goods stranded in Surigao Del Sur to be prioritized.

Several land routes to Tacloban have been opened but other roads to Leyte and Eastern Samar towns have yet to be cleared. Based on government reports, at least 3 major roads remain impassable: the Suage bridge connecting Iloilo and Capiz; the Palompon-Isabel-Merida-Ormoc Road; and the Libungao-Matag-ob-Palompon Road. —

Get the latest info on the status of areas affected by typhoon Yolanda (international codename: Haiyan).

Help the victims of Yolanda. Visit Rappler’s list of ongoing relief operations in your area. Tell us about your relief and recovery initiatives, email or tweet us @moveph.

Visit for the latest updates on Typhoon Yolanda.

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