MANILA, Philippines – New aerial photos of the isolated town of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, show the devastation brought about by typhoon Yolanda (international codename: Haiyan). The town is practically destroyed, according to Solar TV news reporter David Santos. (READ: 2 Eastern Samar towns in ruins)
Watch an interview with Santos on the devastation in Guiuan below.
Photos posted on Facebook by the AFP Central Command based in Cebu show flattened homes and scattered debris. The photos were taken from a Philippine Air Force (PAF) Nomad plane that conducted an aerial survey over Guiuan on Sunday morning, November 10.
In the Facebook post, Col John Sanchez said that “100% of the structures either had their roofs blown away or sustained major damage.”
He added, “Nearly all coconut trees fell. We saw people in the streets, seemingly dazed. Trucks and cars were left in the streets where they were stopped in their tracks as Yolanda struck. We were probably the first outsiders to fly over the area since Friday.”
Sanchez also observed that the 2.4-kilometer (km) runway was clear of debris and could still be used by the military’s C-130 aircraft. But, he said, “obviously, no relief goods have arrived there yet.”
Doppler radar damaged
Guiuan is the site of a PAGASA weather station, where a newly-installed Doppler radar and other weather forecasting equipment are located.
According to PAGASA Officer-in-Charge the Guiuan the P450-million radar station just started operations in September 2013 and was utilized prior to the Typhoon.
Editor’s note: We previously reported that the radar was never operated, according to our interview with Roy Badilla of PAGASA on November 10.
Photos from the aerial survey show the radar tower but without the radar dome. (READ: PAGASA station struggles despite upgrades)
Super Typhoon Yolanda first made landfall in Guiuan at 4:40 am Friday morning, November 8.
Sanchez observed, “Yolanda is probably worse than Pablo and the only reason why we have no reports of casualties up to now is that communications systems in Region VIII are down.” – Rappler.com