SBMA sends rescue staff to Siargao

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HELPING HANDS SBMA employees sort donations for the communities affected by Typhoon “Odette”. ENCLOSED PHOTO

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has deployed 11 firefighters on a 10-day mission on Siargao Island to support relief and rescue operations in typhoon areas.

SBMA chairman and administrator Wilma Eisma confirmed that the team flew to Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte on Sunday. Typhoon “Odette” hit land for the first time in Siargao on Thursday.

“Our team, led by SBMA Fire Brigade Chief Ranny Magno, a proven expert in disaster and emergency response, is experienced in this type of operations and specializes in search and rescue in cities,” said Eisma.

“We know that time is very important in this phase of disaster relief, so we immediately sent our rescue team as soon as we found a transport for them,” said Eisma.

She added that SBMA’s emergency rescue team “has demonstrated its effectiveness in disaster operations in Baguio, Cagayan and Bicol, as well as in floods and fires in communities around the Subic Freeport.”

According to the latest report, 15 people died on the island, which also lost electricity and drinking water supplies.

The rescue team also brought emergency equipment such as chainsaws, power tools, ropes, and portable generators for the clearance work.

The SBMA also started a fundraiser for the typhoon victims.

SBMA Public Relations Manager Armie Llamas said the agency has asked for donations from Subic Freeport stakeholders. Items requested included sleeping mats, hygiene kits, easy-open canned foods, mosquito nets, popular clothing, and bottled water.

“We are now collecting donations from locator companies and residents in Subic as well as from SBMA employees, and as soon as we have enough we will send them through the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) and OCD (Office of Civil Defense)) “said llamas.

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