MMDA sends teams to Yolanda-ravaged Guiuan town
Mike Frialde (The Philippine Star) - November 13, 2013 - 5:17pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Wednesday deployed two additional rescue teams to the towns of Basey and Guiuan in Eastern Samar which were also badly hit by super typhoon Yolanda.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said that the 6th and 7th teams to be deployed by the agency are composed of trained rescuers.

"These additional teams will concentrate on the towns of Guiuan in Eastern Samar and Basey, which also suffered extensive damage during the onslaught of ‘Yolanda’,” Tolentino said.

In addition to special rescue tools and equipment, the rescue teams sent to Eastern Samar also brought with them more generator sets as the entire province still has no power since last week.

Yolanda made its first landfall at the town of Guiuan at 4:40 a.m. on November 8. The town is located some 154 kilometers from Tacloban City which was also ravaged by the typhoon.

Tolentino said the MMDA has so far sent 275 rescue and relief personnel to Tacloban, Guiuan and Basey.

The MMDA had earlier sent a 200-man contingent to Tacloban composed of civil engineers, carpenters, mechanics, electricians, and laborers. The contingent will stay in Tacloban for two weeks.

"Their mission is to help clear Tacloban of debris and wreckage that have blocked important roadways so as to hasten the safe movement of residents and emergency response units,” Tolentino said.

Also composing the MMDA team are personnel from the agency's Traffic Engineering Center (TEC), Metro Parkway Clearing Group (MPCG), Road Emergency Group (REG) as well as and radio operators, nurses, welders, masons, and drivers.

Tolentino said the team also brought with them heavy equipment such as payloaders, dump trucks, tow trucks, forklifts, graders, backhoes, buses, and ambulances, and rescue and special tools like hook lifts, bolt cutters, generators, a water treatment machine, chainsaws, and battery-operated radios.

Tolentino said the MMDA team will closely work with the local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC) to speed up the clearing and repair works.

“Leyte is devastated. Thousands were killed, and almost everyone lost their homes. It is our desire to help residents rebuild their communities and bring back normalcy to the city,” Tolentino said.

On Saturday, the MMDA deployed search teams to Tacloban and Ormoc cities in Leyte and Borongan in Eastern Samar to assist in the rescue and relief operations.

BASEY AND GUIUAN CHAIRMAN FRANCIS TOLENTINO DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND MANAGEMENT COUNCIL EASTERN SAMAR EASTERN SAMAR AND BASEY GUIUAN GUIUAN AND BASEY LEYTE AND BORONGAN TACLOBAN TOLENTINO YOLANDA
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