Coast Guard races to bring relief, comms equipment to typhoon-hit areas

Coast Guard races to bring relief, comms equipment to typhoon-hit areas
This December 18, 2021 photo shows ships and boats that strong winds pushed to the Cansaga Bridge in Mandaue City, Cebu.
The Freeman / Joy Torrejos

MANILA, Philippines —Agencies under the Department of Transportation have been ordered to ramp up rescue and relief efforts in areas left devastated by Super Typhoon Odette, the DOTr said early Sunday morning.

“Areas that were badly-hit by Odette will receive needed aid and relief,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said. “Currently, the DOTr has mobilized its personnel, facilities, assets and resources to answer the call for assistance of our kababayans. Rest assured, we will deliver."

In a statement, the Philippine Coast Guard said that it was deploying assets to assist in rescue and relief operations in the Dinagat Islands, Siargao Island and Surigao del Norte, and Surigao del Sur in Mindanao, as well as in the Central Visayas, and in the Eastern Visayas which were left battered by Odette.

CG Admiral Leopoldo Laroya said he ordered the deployment of the BRP Sindangan to Siargao Island to perform a series of transport missions for residents and tourists to Surigao City.

To assist in the delivery of needed communication and relief items to the areas affected by “Odette,” the PCG deployed its Parola-class patrol vessels including: 

  • BRP Cape San Agustin (MRRV-4408) to deliver relief goods to the affected areas in Mindanao
  • BRP Bagacay (MRRV-4410) ordered to go to Davao and transport relief items
  • BRP Tubbataha (MRRV-4401) bringing needed relief items, fuel, communication equipment, and oil spill dispersants to Cebu
  • BRP Nueva Vizcaya (SARV 3502) to deliver DSWD relief goods to Negros Island

Laroya added that the BRP Gabriela Silang, an offshore patrol vessel and the largest and most modern vessel of the Coast Guard, will depart at noon on Sunday to deliver relief items to Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, the Dinagat Islands, Siargao Island, Southern Leyte, Cebu, and Bohol.

The Maritime Industry Authority allowed vessels to sail after Odette left the Philippine area of responsibility. The agency also called on domestic shipowners to prioritize the transport of relief goods.

At least 75 people have been reported killed in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year.

The Philippine National Police in its own update early Sunday morning recorded 100,353 evacuees across the five regional offices in Odette's path. 

It added that over 3,000 cops and 11,000 Reactionary Standby Support Forces have since been deployed. 

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