DPWH working to open roads to Eastern Samar

MANILA, Philippines – To allow aid workers to access the areas battered by Yolanda (international code name: Haiyan), Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson told reporters his department is now focused on restoring road access to Borangan, the capital city of Eastern Samar, and the coastal town of Guiuan.

"We have been focused since this morning to try to penetrate Borongan City of Eastern Samar and Guiuan. There are two routes going there," Singson said after the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRMMC) held a 3-hour closed door meeting Monday afternoon, November 11.

Guiuan is the town of Eastern Samar where monster typhoon Yolanda made its first landfall on Friday, November 8. Yolanda's strong winds left it in ruins. Borongan, on the other hand, is the province's capital city.

These areas are only accessible to motorcycle riders. Strong winds concrete slabs off the roads.

Photos posted on Facebook by the Armed Forces 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. (READ: Photos of Guiuan, Eastern Samar show Yolanda devastation)

The first route is through Catbalogan City (in the province of Samar) going down to Borongan and then Guiuan. The second route is through Basey to Marabut (both in Samar) and then Guiuan. (READ: 2 Eastern Samar towns in ruins)

Contractors of the US government foreign aid agency Millenium Challenge Corporation are also helping clear their own road project in Eastern Samar, Singson said. He is referring to the Millenium Corporation Road in the province. 

Singson said the coastal road project is filled with sand and debris. They building two temporary bridges, he said.

Singson explained that they first worked on restoring the roads from the side of Bicol going through Matnog RORO (roll on-roll off) in Sorsogon going to Allen in Northern Samar. It goes further down to Calbayog City then Catbalogan City (both in Samar), the San Juanico Bridge, and finally Tacloban City in Leyte. This was opened last Saturday. 

On Monday morning, the route from Ormoc City going to Palo town and Tacloban City (all in Leyte) were also opened. Singson said it makes Tacloban City accessible from Cebu. – Rappler.com

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