ICE-SAR members Lárus Björnsson and Gísli Rafn Ólafsson are on their way to the Philippines to assist with the rescue and cleanup operation following tropical cyclone Bopha which hit the region last week.Larús Björnsson. Photo courtesy of ICE-SAR.
The pair will work with the response team Nethope, an umbrella organization of 37 of the world’s leading international humanitarian organizations, and are tasked with establishing radio contact in the disaster area in order to facilitate communication and coordination on the ground.
Around five million people are said to be affected by the cyclone. A total of 740 people have been found dead and close to 900 are still missing.
It is expected to take up to one month to reinstall electricity and telecommunications in the region. It is estimated that between 250,000 and 350,000 people have lost their homes, the rebuilding of which is expected to take months or even years.
Lárus works for the capital region fire services and is a member of the telecommunication department of the Hafnarfjörður rescue team, which also assists with communication for the Icelandic international rescue team, according to a press release from ICE-SAR.
Gísli Rafn is a former manager of the Icelandic international rescue team and works for Nethope.
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