Three SCDF officers have been deployed to provide relief after Typhoon Hagupit descended on Manila.
The typhoon that tore through the Philippines over the weekend wasn’t as bad as Typhoon Haiyan which devastated the country last year. The Philippines is located in an area prone to such natural disasters and Singapore and the rest of the ASEAN neighbours have come together to offer relief through an Emergency Rapid Assessment Team (ERAT).
The six man team is made up of individuals from the ASEAN countries as well as an SCDF officer who’s primary function is to provide rapid assessment and determine critical resources required in the disaster area such as tents, medical kits and sanitation facilities. Two additional officers from SCDF were deployed on Sunday evening to help with the situation.
Both SCDF officers deployed to Manila on Sunday are from the Info-Comms unit in SCDF and will provide IT and communications support critical for the overall coordination of the humanitarian relief efforts. Early evacuation of 700,000 people has helped to keep the fatality count low, with only six unfortunate lives lost instead of the devastating thousands when Typhoon Haiyan hit.
Authorities in the Philippines say that they were better prepared than when Haiyan struck and organised the largest peacetime evacuation in the history of the nation. A key factor was the emphasis on moving people away from the coastal areas, that has kept damage to its minimal.
A total of 5 airports and 183 flights have been cancelled along with power outages in 16 provinces due to the typhoon. The typhoon is still traveling westwards and has yet to hit the capital.