MANILA, Philippines — An incident command post and radio contact center was set up in storm-battered Tacloban City, more than 24 hours since the city went incommunicado following storm surges that flooded its streets.
The Army set up the command post at the city police station. Military radios served as the government’s contact to Leyte when Typhoon Yolanda’s strong winds cut communication lines on Friday morning, November 8. (READ: Yolanda weakens)
The command post is led by Brigadier General Jet Velarmino, commanding general of the Army’s 8th infantry division that is based in Catbalogan, Western Samar.
Communication has proven to be a huge challenge for disaster management officials. Even Interior and Local Government Secretary and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin — who arrived in Leyte province Thursday, November 7 to oversee government response to Typhoon Yolanda — could not be reached until Friday night. (READ: Communications down, Mar cannot be reached)
The two Cabinet officials are now in the command post in Tacloban, according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Two Philippine Air Force (PAF) C-130 cargo planes flew to Tacloban City Saturday morning to bring in power generators, AFP communication equipment, water purifiers, and other relief goods to aid typhoon victims. (READ: UN, gov’t send communications teams to Tacloban)
National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council executive director Undersecretary Eduardo Del Rosario, Secretary of Social Welfare and Development Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, and PAF Commanding General Lieutenant Genearl Lauro Catalino Dela Cruz were among the passengers of the cargo planes. – Rappler.com
More from our coverage:
- #YolandaPH: Help map critical reports for Project Agos
- #ReliefPH: Victims of Typhoon Yolanda need your help
- WRAP: Yolanda brings monster winds, giant waves
- Yolanda weakens further on way out
- UN, gov’t send communications teams to Tacloban
- Yolanda traps Our Lady of Fatima image in Eastern Samar
- Globe: Yolanda downed 26% of Visayas network
- More than 50,000 evacuated in Negros Occidental
- Yolanda 5th major global storm to hit PH since 2007
- Smart, Globe services in VisMin ‘interrupted’
- Yolanda cuts power in Visayas provinces
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