TSF deploys as severe floods hit The Philippines

The storm hit the country on 26 September, bringing nine hours of torrential rains which caused massive floods – the worst to hit Manila and surrounding provinces for 40 years.

Eighty per cent of Manila was submerged and a state of calamity was declared in eight regions of the country as 435,000 people were displaced and more than 240 lost their lives.

Aid coordination
The Inmarsat-sponsored emergency communications aid agency Telecoms Sans Frontieres (TSF) swiftly deployed a team equipped with BGAN and Mini M to the country from their regional base in Bangkok, Thailand.

“We installed an emergency communications centre, equipped with BGAN connectivity, to support the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) in Manila and to provide technical assistance to facilitate aid coordination and enable relief workers to communicate right at the heart of the affected area,” said a TSF spokesman.

With so many left homeless by the floods TSF may also offer humanitarian calling services using its Mini M mobile satphones.

Monitor situation
TSF says it is monitoring the situation across the region as Ketsana threatens several countries including Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.

According to the latest information available for Vietnam, over 100,000 people have been evacuated and more than 20 deaths have been reported.

In addition to this first humanitarian tragedy, a second tropical storm will probably hit on Thursday the North of the Philippines.