Navy aircraft conducts damage assessment in ‘Ompong’-hit areas

MANILA A Philippine Navy (PN) Beechcraft King C-90 patrol aircraft, one of the five donated by the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force, was deployed to conduct rapid damage assessment and needs analysis (RDANA) to "Ompong"-battered areas in Northern Luzon.

This was disclosed by Navy spokesperson Commander Jonathan Zata in a statement to reporters Wednesday.

He added that the deployment of the C-90 aircraft with tail number NV-392 is part of the Navy's humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions.

Zata said the aircraft was under the control of Naval Forces Northern Luzon (NFNL) when it conducted its RDANA flights last September 16 and 18.

The PN spokesperson said the C-90 was piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Jerry T. Catbagan, who also served as mission commander and pilot-in-command.

Zata said the aircraft took off from Sangley Point, Cavite City and landed in San Fernando Airport in San Fernando, La Union for the first RDANA mission over Cagayan Valley on September 16.

"The team was able to took aerial photos over the different municipalities in Cagayan such as Lal-lo, Lasam, Gattaran, Alcala, Iguig and Tuguegarao despite of the unfavorable weather and visibility in the area," he added.

On Sept. 18, another mission took off over the areas of San Vicente, Sta Ana, Gonzaga, Bawa, Maninga and Buguey in the northern part of Cagayan.

During these missions, it was observed that most of the communities suffered massive infrastructure and agriculture damages. Some rice fields and other agricultural areas were damaged by floods and strong winds.

Aside from RDANA missions, the team also successfully located one cargo vessel reportedly in distress off the coastal areas of Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

The said vessel was seen afloat at the vicinity and was immediately reported to NFNL operations for rescue.

During initial investigation, it was found out that the vessel experienced engine trouble while underway.

"The successful conduct of RDANA proved the Philippine Navy's commitment in protecting its stakeholders especially during disasters which seriously require immediate action and assistance to save lives, reduce the impact of the disaster, and hasten the recovery of the affected sectors," Zata added. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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