MANILA (Mabuhay) – Around 300 Shelterbox disaster relief tents were transported by the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Tobruk to “Yolanda” affected northern Cebu early this week.
“The majority of tents were taken to Santa Fe for distribution on Bantayan Island,” ShelterBox operations coordinator Alice Jefferson said.
The latter has been managing the international relief agency’s response to the onslaught of super typhoon “Yolanda” last Nov. 8.
Aside from tents, ShelterBox also distributed vital water purification devices and mosquito nets to residents.
“The Australian Army has also been operating from HMAS Tobruk using boats that facilitated the movement of our relief tents as well as myself and another Response Team volunteer to Malapascua, a small but significantly affected island. We were able to immediately distribute the aid to the families most in need in a remote community on the north of the island who had so far received no humanitarian assistance or support,” she added.
ShelterBox has also had help from the Royal Australian Air Force. C-130s aircraft have transported both ShelterBox Response Teams (SRTs) and ShelterBoxes to Tacloban city, the area hardest hit by “Yolanda”.
“We were able to bring shelter and other essential aid to families in some of the locations that bore the brunt of the 13-foot storm surge and 195mph sustained winds. Up to 90 percent of homes are destroyed in the worst affected areas,” Jefferson stated.
“The Australian Forces have played key roles in our response, helping us help communities in need as quickly and efficiently as possible. We are very grateful,” she added.
SRTs are now focusing their distribution efforts in Tacloban and Bantayan, working in partnership with Plan International and Handicap International. (MNS)