19 June 2014: A charity is donating Inmarsat BGAN terminals and IsatPhone Pro satellite phones to several isolated Philippine islands devastated by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.
The Super Typhoon, locally known as Yolanda, was the deadliest storm to have ever hit the 7,107 islands that make up the country.
It struck in November last year, killing an estimated 6,268 people and wiping out mobile and terrestrial telephone networks.
The charity NETRelief (Network, Engineering and Telecoms Relief for Disaster Recovery) has just donated a BGAN Explorer 500 terminal and a 100-unit SIM card to Lipayran Island – a tiny islet off the coast of another remote island called Bantayan.
Eric Wetterauer, a NETRelief volunteer, said: “We chose this islet because after the Super Typhoon it was left with virtually no communication with its parent island of Bantayan and barely any communication with the outside world for over a week.”
“In the event of another catastrophe, they will now be able to communicate with the outside world and co-ordinate relief.”
The charity has recently bought another Cobham Explorer 500 BGAN and a Cobham Explorer 700 BGAN terminal and two IsatPhone Pros, which will be donated to other badly affected barangays (or villages) and islands over the next few months.
The charity is currently focusing on the Philippines, but it plans to help other stricken areas around the globe in the future.