Eight airports reopen; four remain closed due to typhoon damage | Inquirer News

Eight airports reopen; four remain closed due to typhoon damage

By: - Reporter / @JeromeAningINQ
/ 10:45 PM November 09, 2013

Leyte province residents queue for relief goods outside the totally damaged Tacloban airport, where many died after a storm surge spawned by Supertyphoon ‘Yolanda’ inundated the airport and nearby villages. JULIANNE LOVE DE JESUS/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines reopened Saturday eight of 12 airports in provinces that were damaged during the onslaught of Supertyphoon Yolanda.

CAAP Director General William Hotchkiss lll said the Iloilo, Caticlan, Romblon, Dumaguete, Bacolod, Masbate, Legazpi and Surigao airports resumed operations after airport personnel cleared the runways and restored air control towers, aerodomes and passenger terminals.

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The airport in Roxas City in Capiz is to reopen on Sunday while the Kalibo airport will resume operations on Monday, he said.

Hotchkiss said the Tacloban and Busuanga airports were still closed due to “severe damage.”

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The CAAP chief also cited a report on the Tacloban airport sent by CAAP area manager Efren Nagrama, who said there were no casualties at the airport but communications were limited because of the power outage.

Aerial photos show the devastation brought by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” in northern towns of Iloilo. RAUL BANIAS/CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Nagrama said in his report that his staff along with the Philippine National Police-Aviation Security Group and other airport personnel in Tacloban began clearing the runway as early as 5 a.m. so that emergency and rescue flights could use it.

Nagrama said ground personnel reported that around 100 bodies were scattered on the street near Tacloban airport and that around 100 other persons were injured and in need of medical evacuation.

Hotchkiss directed CAAP deputy director general for operations Capt. John Andrews to fly to Tacloban airport at 1 p.m. Saturday to bring food, medicine, supplies and another set of CAAP communication equipment.

He said Bayan Telecommunications Inc. (Bayantel) also volunteered to install VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) equipment, a type of satellite/antenna ground station, at Tacloban airport.

Hotchkiss said he and another team planned to travel to Tacloban on Sunday to assess the situation.

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