Thu. Dec 3rd, 2020
(Photo Courtesy: http://www.pna.gov.ph)

Philippine Air Force (PAF) units are now hard at work bringing assistance to communities in Central, Southern Luzon, and the National Capital Region (NCR) which were heavily devastated by the onslaught of Typhoon “Ulysses.”

The Philippine Navy also stepped up its rescue operations in Rizal province.

In a statement on Thursday night, Air Force spokesperson Lt. Col. Aristides Galang said the PAF formed its “Tulong Bayanihan 2” to provide aid to these affected communities.

“Through the ‘Tulong Bayanihan 2’ advocacy the PAF seized the Golden Hour to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) to affected communities all over Central and Southern Luzon and NCR,” he added.

Galang said the 207th Tactical Helicopter Squadron deployed its Bell-412 aircraft and conducted “Rapid Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis” (RDANA) over Marikina City and Rodriguez and Taytay in Rizal to assess the extent of the typhoon’s damage.

Onboard the aircraft was Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and PAF chief Lt. Gen. Allen Paredes and National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) executive director Ricardo Jalad.

Meanwhile, the Air Force conducted simultaneous air operations to survey the areas affected and support HADR operations.

Galang said one UH-1H and one Huey II helicopter conducted an aerial survey over Calaguas Island and Daet in Camarines Norte as well as in neighboring areas of Camarines Sur.

While a Bell-205 helicopter covered the areas in Legazpi City, Albay. Two UH-1H from the 207th Tactical Helicopter Squadron conducted search-and-rescue over areas of Rodriguez, Rizal.

Meanwhile, the 505th Search-and-Rescue Group also deployed four water search-and-rescue teams in Barangay San Jose, Rodriguez, Rizal to rescue trapped residents.

Galang said A total of 275 civilians were rescued which included infants, children, persons with disabilities, and senior citizens.

He added that another two UH-IH helicopters from the 207th Tactical Helicopter Squadron are also on standby to help in RDANA operations as well as rescue and relief in the different affected communities.

“PAF teams and air assets continue to be on full alert status to provide rapid response and assistance to residents in the most affected areas,” Galang said.

NAVY OPERATES IN RIZAL

The Philippine Navy (PN) also on Thursday night said it has deployed disaster relief and response teams (DRRTs) to help in rescue operations in Rizal which was heavily affected by Ulysses.

In a statement, Navy public affairs office chief Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas said the DRRTs came from the PN and Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) units.

She added that two DRRTs from Fleet-Marine Ready Force and three amphibious assault vehicles (AAVs) from the PMC are used for rescue operations in Rizal while another AAV is on standby and ready for rapid deployment.

“The teams made coordination with the officer-in-charge of the Incident Command and Management Center in Rodriguez Municipal Hall prior to their deployment to affected barangays,” Roxas said.

Aside from being used in combat operations, AAVs are also useful during the conduct of humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) operations.

Each AAV can accommodate up to 20 passengers and can maneuver through deep water or floods.

Meanwhile, another amphibian truck from the Naval Affiliated Reserve Force-National Capital Region (NCR) was also mobilized to help in the rescue operations. SOVEREIGNPH

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