Rains not stopping foreign relief Drive
by FFE PH News staff
In Tacloban City, heavy downpour did not stop Belgian aid workers from moving their equipment near the tarmac. A French medical team member meanwhile said they had been waiting to be deployed since Wednesday: ‘We are ready to go in five minutes but there is no truck.’
After the rain, the aid workers were deployed and already out of the airport. Trucks are scarce in the city — fuel has been limited to only those that are delivering supplies and medical aid.
The relief effort is starting to get some steam as more military trucks, aircrafts and ships arrive. The thousands who lined up a few days ago to leave the city have been reduced to hundreds as foreign and local C-130 planes accommodated them. Planes now also flew at night, making distribution faster and more efficient.
Those who queued up to get a ride out of the city never gave up their slots in spite of the downpour. Mylene Kakatimbang, a survivor, said ‘We want to survive. We need to stay alive.’ This meant that Philippine soldiers also had to endure the rain to distribute food and water and to keep the peace.
Though still away from shore, the American aircraft carrier USS George Washington has already deployed its helicopters to the affected areas.
On Thursday, the city has started to bury its dead. Dozens of body bags line up the streets as it is believed more bodies remain unrecovered. The official total death toll has been at 3,621 as of Friday afternoon.
Tacloban City has a population of 235,000.