Our team of four have all arrived in Manila and we head to Tacloban tomorrow. Myself and Andrew Maccalla Emergency Response Manager Direct Relief International, Joe Harrison from Direct Relief, and Dr. Doug Gross from UC Davis, are packed and ready to go after getting our hotel in a bag – with tents and water and food rations.
The plan is to set up camp next to the airport with Team Rubicon, the group of military veterans we’ve worked with in previous disasters, and then make our way to Tacloban City, about 13kms from the airport. The word is that while food and water and medicine are still hard to come by (a local official said that the first resident died from hunger today) transport around the city is even harder. We’re hoping to catch a ride with the US Military or the Red Cross, who we’ve already provided a large amount of medical supplies over the last 10 days.
It seems that while aid supplies are starting to arrive into the area, they still are having great difficulty getting it out to the local populations. Truck drivers have said they don’t want to drive across the island because of looting so there’s scenes of helicopters just dropping materials from the sky. We are going to try to make our way to the Divine Word Hospital who have been out of supplies for 7 days but still have patients coming in the doors and not leaving because they have nowhere else to go.
Written by Andrew Maccalla and Jodie Willard
This post was written by Jodie Willard