US aircraft aid landslide-affected areas in Davao de Oro

Two United States Marine Corps (USMC) KC-130J Super Hercules aircraft have been deployed to deliver critical aid to victims of the deadly landslide in Maco, Davao de Oro, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced on Monday.

Two USMC KC-130J Hercules aircraft arrive at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City to deliver critical aid to victims of natural disasters in nearby provinces. Photo from AFP.

The aircraft at Villamor Air Base delivered an initial 4,800 boxes of family food packs from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on February 12th.

The AFP plans to execute four deliveries a day – two per aircraft – to maintain a consistent flow of supplies to those affected.

Over the mission's duration, which lasts until February 14th, 12 sorties by the aircraft are planned to provide up to 15,000 food packs to those affected.

The US Marines from the III Marine Expeditionary Force are aiding in the relief mission alongside troops from the Marine Air Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.

This collaborative operation underscores the commitment of the Philippines and the United States to disaster relief, echoing the spirit of partnership affirmed during the US-PH Maritime Cooperative Activity.

The AFP said:

The AFP and the US Armed Forces are continuously working hand-in-hand to provide efficient support to the troops during the entirety of the said operations.

Casualties and relief efforts

As of Monday evening, the landslide has claimed 55 lives and injured 32, according to the municipal government.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reports that over 1,388,691 people across Northern Mindanao, Davao, Soccsksargen, Caraga, and Bangsamoro have been impacted by severe weather.

Thousands remain displaced, with many seeking shelter in evacuation centers.

Damage to infrastructure and agriculture is estimated to exceed hundreds of millions of pesos.

To support those affected, the Department of Social Welfare and Development has released over P200 million in assistance and 282,561 family food packs for families located in the Davao Region.