British, Aussie troops to pull out from Yolanda areas soon


Posted at Dec 08 2013 07:10 PM | Updated as of Dec 09 2013 03:32 AM

Australian and Filipino soldiers carry water containers for super Typhoon Yolanda survivors in Ormoc on Sunday. Photo by Erik De Castro, Reuters

MANILA -- Hundreds of British and Australian forces are set to leave the Yolanda-torn areas.

Armed Forces assistant deputy chief of staff Navy Capt. Rafael Mariano said the pullout is expected since the operations there will already shift from relief to rehabilitation.

The British, numbering between 400 and 500, will provide assistance in Panay island and Palawan on Tuesday. They will visit Manila on Wednesday and then head home the following day.

An Australian ship, meanwhile, will leave Tuesday. A C-130 carrying 350 troops will follow suit.

The Australians helped in the clearing, minor repair of roads and buildings in Ormoc.

Only a few will be left after the British and Australians leave. Among them are troops from Japan, Canada, Italy, and China.

The United States and South Korea were the first to pull out. although the Koreans hinted that a fresh number of troops may be sent to help in the reconstruction.

Mariano said there is no timetable yet as to when the others will leave, but expects the pullout within the month.

Super typhoon Yolanda devastated Eastern Visayas last November 8. It claimed the lives of at least 5,796 persons.

The cost to agriculture and infrastructure is at least P35.52 billion. Analysts believe the rehabilitation will take around 10 years.