LOS ANGELES, Calif. — A group of 15 people, mostly military veterans, is spending Veteran’s Day en route to the typhoon-ravaged Philippines where members will assist in search, rescue and medical aid efforts for the next week.
They are from Team Rubicon, a group started by two former Marines to help with earthquake relief efforts in Haiti in 2010.
The 15 Team Rubicon members departed from LAX at 10:45 p.m. Sunday and hope to arrive in the Philippines at 11 a.m. Tuesday to begin looking for and treating typhoon survivors in the city of Tacolban, the capital of the Philippine’s eastern province of Leyte, said spokesman Cal Verdin. The mission is dubbed: “Operation Seabird.”
Reports indicate no building in the city of 200,000 residents appears to have escaped damage from Super Typhoon Haiyan. Death toll estimates range from 1,000 to 10,000, depending upon media sources.
The Team Rubicon members include paramedics, firefighters and search and rescue technicians, Verdin said. They will work with members of the Mammoth Medical Group of surgeons and nurses and other non-government aid agencies.
Team Rubicon brought its own supplies including communications gear, ropes and harnesses, he said. “We will locate, treat and evacuate the injured.”
Once the first team is on the ground, a decision will be made on whether to send a second team, Verdin said. Meanwhile, a smaller group of logistics specialists will depart this week.