Don’t call, just text, loved ones in Tacloban
'Voice calls occupy a lot of bandwidth. The network jams because everybody's calling,' says Secretary to the Cabinet Jose Rene Almendras
DEVASTATION. Super Typhoon Yolanda knocked off power and communication lines in Tacloban. Photo by Rupert Ambil/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Up to 70% of cellular services in Tacloban City had been restored as of Monday afternoon, November 11, according Secretary to the Cabinet Jose Rene Almendras.

But while Telcos had restored services in more areas 3 days after super typhoon Yolanda (international codename: Haiyan) devastated the Visayas and nearby regions, Almendras made an appeal: “Dont’ call, just text,” your loved ones.

“The Tacloban area is already more than 70% up as far as cellular service is concerned. The National Telecommunications Commission has an appeal. If it’s possible, let’s limit our communications to SMS messages,” Almendras said, citing a map shown during a Monday afternoon meeting of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
He explained: “Voice calls occupy a lot of bandwidth. The network jams because everybody’s calling.”

When most communication lines were down, worried Filipinos used social media to look for their loved ones in the devastated areas. Social welfare officials, when they reached Tacloban on Saturday, facilitated access of residents to social media so they could in turn inform relatives that they were alright.

You can help Rappler map cell signals in areas affected by Yolanda. Please go to this page–

Help the victims of Typhoon Yolanda (international codename: Haiyan). 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.