ITU has deployed satellite equipment in the Philippines following the Typhoon Haiyan – one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded – which tore through the Visayas region of central Philippines last week with deadly force, making landfall five times, in the provinces of Eastern Samar, Leyte, Cebu, Panay Island and Palawan. .
In the meantime, satellite equipment provided by ITU to the Philippine authorities will help ensure that essential telecommunications services can be quickly provided through satellite, to enable much-needed support for search and rescue services as well as the need for families to re-establish contacts.
ITU has deployed 50 Thuraya satellite phones equipped with GPS to facilitate search and rescue efforts, along with 30 Iridium satellite phones, 20 Inmarsat Broadband Global Area Network terminals, and a Qualcomm CDMA base station. The equipment can be charged by car batteries and is also supplied with solar panels to enable operation during power outages.
“ITU is prepared to help the government and people of the Philippines in every way possible in their hour of need, and to deal with the colossal tragedy that has overwhelmed the country with unimaginable loss of life and property. I hope the deployment of emergency telecommunications equipment will assist the government of the Philippines in search and rescue operations and re-establish vital communication links,” said Dr Hamadoun I. TourÃ©, Secretary-General,ITU.
“Our aim is to ensure that the national and international humanitarian community has reliable access to telecommunications to enable them to serve affected people and save lives,” said Brahima Sanou, Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau, ITU.
I hope this equipment will help support ongoing work and we are ready to give immediate support during the rehabilitation of affected telecommunications infrastructure,” said Sanou.
In addition, ITU experts have been deployed to the Philippines and are working with the authorities to train first responders in the use of the equipment during search and rescue operations for logistical support.