PAF adds choppers for quake relief

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By Rudolph Ian Alama

DAVAO CITY Nov.11 (PIA)- The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has added three helicopters to assist in the earthquake relief efforts in Davao del Sur and North Cotabato.

Col. Sharon G. Gernale, acting wing commander of the Tactical Operations Wing Eastern Mindanao bared during her guesting at SM City’s Kapehan sa Davao media forum that the air force has redeployed three choppers to augment the existing TOW Eastmin fleet of aircraft.

“We have a Super Huey from Fort Magsaysay, a Bell 412 backup presidential chopper and a Sikorsky air ambulance from Zamboanga deployed here,” Col. Gernale said.

The Super Huey can carry 7 passengers, the air ambulance can carry 3 passengers, a patient, a doctor and a paramedic.

Gernale said they have existing three choppers from TOW which have been airlifting people and relief cargo to and from affected areas.

About 16 people were airlifted from Makilala during a rescue operation in landslide-hit Sitio Kapatagan in Barangay Luayon. The airlifted villagers were trapped when a landslide hit their sitio which was triggered by the 6.5 magnitude earthquake which struck the provinces of Cotabato and Davao del Sur on October 31.

Gernale said aside from choppers, PAF C-130 aircraft also airlifted relief cargo from Manila to Davao. Around 53,000 pounds of cargo mostly donations to quake victims were carried by the C-130. (PIA/RG Alama)