Lorenzana says Tuguegarao airport can handle aircraft on relief missions
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has assured on Saturday that although the Tuguegarao Airport in Cagayan sustained heavy damage from the onslaught of Typhoon “Ompong,” aircraft carrying relief goods may still use to ferry needed relief items.
Lorenzana who was present at the 10 a.m. National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) command conference in Camp Aguinaldo, said only the passenger terminal was damaged.
“I think ang nasira doon ‘yong terminal, hindi naman ‘yong runway. Kung meron mang mga debris yung runway, it can be cleared immediately ‘pag nawala ‘yong hangin, and the airport can be used anytime,” Lorenzana explained.
(I think it was only the terminal that was damaged, not the runway. If there are debris on the runway, it can be cleared immediately once there is no longer wind, and the airport can be used anytime.)
Lorenzana also said that in addition to the Tuguegarao Airport, aircraft with relief items can also take-off and land at the Cagayan North International Airport, or the Lal-lo International Airport, which serves the Cagayan Special Economic Zone, and the Cauayan Airport in Isabela.
“Meron naman tayong alternate na runway ‘don sa Lal-lo, mas mahaba pa ‘yon at mas maganda ‘yon, at saka sa Cauayan, so there are three runways there in Cagayan Valley,” he added.
(We have alternate runways in Lal-lo. It is longer We also have the Cauayan (airport). So there are three runways there in Cagayan Valley).
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said damage to the Tugegarao airport reported by Transportation Secretary Arturo Tugade who is now in Cagayan.
Meanwhile, Lorenzana said two C-130 Hercules transport planes are now on standby to airlift aid and assistance to areas hit by “Ompong” in the Cagayan Valley once the weather conditions improve.
Ompong made landfall in Cagayan at 1:40 a.m. on Saturday, and was last seen 30 kilometers west of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. It is moving west at a speed of 25 kilometers per hour (kph), with maximum sustained winds of 170 kph near the center and gustiness of 260 kph. /muf
Inquirer calls for support for the victims of typhoon Ompong
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