7th Fleet Update on Operation Damayan
By Cmdr. William Marks, U.S. 7th Fleet spokesperson
We continue to see encouraging signs that ground routes are opening significantly for delivery by trucks instead of helicopters. Ground transportation is much more efficient and can transport a greater load of supplies over the long term. Over the first few days, during our initial emergency response, a vast majority of transport was carried via helicopter—while now we see almost 90 percent of relief supplies going by truck.
Three hundred forty-five thousand pounds of food, medical and dry goods have been delivered, and 889 passengers have been transported.
We are concentrating a majority of our remaining efforts in Samar/Guiuan, which continues to be the hub for supply transport. We are flying a number of missions to transport Republic of Philippine police, military and emergency personnel, but a majority of supplies are now being carried by truck.
South of Tacloban, in the Leyte Gulf/Tacloban area, we are focusing about 35 percent of our efforts. In Ormoc Bay we have seen almost all roads back open and supplies being carried by truck. Helicopter transport has not been needed to a great extent there.
All support the U.S. Navy provides is part of the broader U.S. government effort to support the Philippines’ request for humanitarian assistance.