TSF deployed as Typhoon Bopha strikes the Philippines

Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) rapidly deployed mobile satellite services to help the victims of Typhoon Bopha as it swept through the Philippines.

The Inmarsat-sponsored emergency communications aid agency deployed a team from its Bangkok regional base.

The category five storm whipped up 130mph (210km/h) winds and killed at least 50 people when it made landfall on 4 December at Mindanao Island, in the extreme south of the archipelago.

Storm ready
About 50,000 people were evacuated into temporary shelters as the typhoon struck. The mining province of Compostela Valley was among the worst affected.

“Our experts have been deployed from Bangkok and are integrated with United Nations Disaster Assessment and Co-ordination,” said a TSF spokesman.

“Our team was already in Manila, the capital, two days before the typhoon struck, waiting to co-ordinate with local authorities and response teams who will be using our TSF emergency kits, which include BGAN and IsatPhone Pro terminals and handsets, to co-ordinate the relief effort.”

National network
TSF completed its work to create a national network of emergency response teams in the Philippines in 2011.

Typhoon Bopha comes a year after Typhoon Washi killed more than 1,500 people in the southern Philippines.

Télécoms Sans Frontières: www.tsfi.org