SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) recently deployed an 11-man rescue team to areas devastated by Typhoon Odette to provide assistance in emergency operations.
SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma Eisma said the team went to Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte, where Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) first made landfall on Thursday, December 16.
The team brought with them emergency rescue equipment like chainsaws, power tools, ropes, and portable generators for the rescue and clearing mission, Eisma said.
Authorities said at least 15 people died in the island, which also lost its electricity and is reportedly running out of potable water, food, and medicines.
Eisma said the SBMA team will also coordinate with local officials in Siargao to restore power and communication facilities in the island.
“Our team, which is headed by SBMA fire chief Ranny Magno, an acknowledged expert in disaster and emergency operations, are experienced in this kind of operations and have specialized in urban search and rescue,” Eisma said.
The team is expected to carry out its mission in Siargao within 10 days, Eisma said.
Immediately following manpower augmentation, just like in previous disaster responses, is a donation drive.
SBMA Public Relations manager Armie Llamas said the SBMA has called for donations last Saturday from Subic Freeport stakeholders. The requested items included sleeping mats, hygiene kits, easy-open canned goods, mosquito nets, pre-loved clothes, and bottled water.