Lack of power, communications hamper relief work in wake of typhoon | Inquirer News

Lack of power, communications hamper relief work in wake of typhoon

By: - Reporter / @NikkoDizonINQ
/ 10:42 PM November 08, 2013

Volunteers repack relief goods at the DSWD National Resource Operation Center to be delivered to provinces where thousands have been displaced due to Supertyphoon Yolanda. RICHARD A. REYES/INQUIRER

MANILA—Downed communication lines in provinces hit hardest by Supertyphoon ‘‘Yolanda’’ had the national government grappling with piecemeal information as the year’s strongest typhoon barreled through Eastern and Central Visayas.

“Our problem now is us not knowing what is their situation there,” Eduardo del Rosario, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said at a press conference Friday.


Even Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, who were dispatched by President Aquino to Leyte on Thursday, could not be reached by the NDRRMC Friday afternoon.


Del Rosario said that the three deaths and seven injuries reported to the NDRRMC occurred on Thursday, at the height of the massive preparations in the areas that Yolanda was expected to hit.

“We don’t have reports of casualties today (Friday). We do not know really because in Region 8 (Eastern Visayas), we don’t have a line of communication. You will see from the briefing that the casualties happened yesterday, not because there was landfall today,” he said.

“The effects (of the typhoon) we don’t know yet especially in Samar and Leyte provinces,” Del Rosario added.

But del Rosario assuaged the concerns by saying that the lack of communication, particularly in Leyte and Samar, “does not mean that the situation there is worsening.”

“I am not worried. My only worry is to immediately [restore] that line of communication. But with regard to their situation there, they can stand on their own,” Del Rosario said.

According to Del Rosario, there are responders from the military, police, and the Bureau of Fire Protection in every village, town, city and province where Yolanda hit, not to mention that residents had already been evacuated  prior to the typhoon’s onslaught.

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TAGS: News, power outage, Relief work, Typhoon, Weather

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