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Making landfall in the northern Philippines on October 19, Super Typhoon Lawin (international name: Haima) brought damaging winds and floods, destroying P26-million worth of agriculture in Cordillera. With maximum sustained winds at 140mph during its initial landfall, the super typhoon severely affected over 13,000 families in 118 barangays in Regions of Ilocos, Cagayan, Central Luzon, Bicol, and Cordillera.
With the onslaught of Typhoon Lawin, PLDT and Smart intensified restoration works and relief operations in areas where vital connectivity services were suspended, including Benguet, Cagayan, Ifugao, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Kalinga, Mountain Province, and Isabela provinces.
The PLDT Group was able to restore three major transmissions links in Northern Luzon the following day after the typhoon hit while a fourth affected link was restored two days after the typhoon. The response team is now completing restoration works for two remaining sites affected by the typhoon.
Alongside its restoration efforts, PLDT provided free charging stations in Tuguegarao as well as in Sto. Tomas, Ilagan City, Isabela. Smart also provided free call and free charging services to affected communities as well as Libreng Tawag using Smart Satellite Phones at Santa Bridge, located in Brgy. Sta. Tumauini, Isabela.
Libreng Charging services were also made available at Aurora Telecoms in Baler, Aurora. Satellite communication services were deployed to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), and response units for use during relief operations. These initiatives for network resiliency, rapid response and disaster preparedness were part of Smart’s #SafePH advocacy launched in late 2012 and conducted year-round.
Smart’s mobile phone services were up in 80% of the cities and municipalities of North and Central Luzon despite the impact of super typhoon Lawin. Pre-positioned teams of engineers and technicians worked round-the-clock to restore wireless communications services in these affected areas.
To further help the affected communities affected by the super typhoon, PLDT Community Relations distributed relief goods in the areas of Peñablanca, Cagayan, Tuguegarao, and Ilocos Norte through the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) and turned over to the DSWD.
The PLDT-Smart Foundation (PSF) likewise provided relief goods (family packs), blankets, and community water filtration devices. The MVP Tulong Kapatid dispatched two response teams and two truckload of goods from AKF to cover severely affected areas in Isabela and Cagayan. The response teams were deployed in hardest-hit provinces of Isabela and Cagayan, bringing food packs from PSF, One Meralco Foundation (OMF), and AKF as well as water from Maynilad. PSF also served cooked food in an evacuation center in Peñablanca, Cagayan. PSF, OMF, and AKF also distributed food packs in an isolated barangay in the west zone of the Municipality of Amulung as well as hygiene items from AKF and water from Maynilad.
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