Military Vets Aid Typhoon Search-and-Rescue Efforts In Philippines

By: CBS News (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: CBS News (Posted by Melissa Brunner)

LOS ANGELES (CBS) - A group of more than a dozen Southern California volunteers, mostly military veterans, are scheduled to land in the Philippines Monday to aid with search-and-rescue efforts in the typhoon-ravaged country, CBS Los Angeles reports.

KNX 1070's Ed Mertz reports volunteers are from Team Rubicon, a non-profit organization started in 2010 by two former Marines who wanted to help with earthquake relief in Haiti.

The group, which will be in the Philippines on an eight-day mission dubbed "Operation Seabird", will search for and treat survivors in the city of Tacloban, where the death toll is estimated to be as high as 10,000.

World Vision's director of Emergency Affairs Chris Palusky said just getting in contact with the organization's approximately 300 personnel on the ground is a challenge with communications wiped out.

"It's a desperate situation and incredibly challenging," Palusky said. "It's rather chaotic...there've been reports of looting, and people are just desperate at this stage."

Team Rubicon's 8,000 members include former marines, paramedics, firefighters and search and rescue personnel.

The organization is planning on sending another team to the Philippines this weekend.

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