• PHL-UN team begin ground works for humanitarian assessment in Tacloban


    A United Nations Disaster Assessment Coordination Team (UNDAC) visited Tacloban Saturday to prepare the ground works for an inter-agency humanitarian assessment.

    The UNDAC found scenes of total devastation in the city where typhoon Yolanda first struck—roads are impassable from the airport to the city and the only means of travelling is by helicopter.

    Roads between the airport and the city are completely blocked and, according to UNDAC, relief operations will be extremely difficult to persist.

    UNDAC team head, Rhodes Stampa described it as an “unprecedented level of destruction”.

    “The last time I saw something of this scale was in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami,” Stampa said.

    “This is destruction on a massive scale. There are cars thrown like tumble weed and the streets are strewn with debris,” Stampa further said.

    Acting Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines, Dr Julie Hall meanwhile expressed sympathy to the government and the people of the Philippines affected by the typhoon.

    “(It) appears to have caused significant damage across a large tract of the Visayas,” Hall said. “We are working very closely with the government and are ready to respond in any way we can to this tragedy,”Dr. Hall said. PNA


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