Crawford’s first response teams in the Philippines have completed their initial cycle of work, reporting major successes in the restoration of infrastructure and property following the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the country’s central belt from November 8-9, 2013. The Pacific cyclone is considered to be the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record, registering some of the highest wind speeds ever recorded on land.
Claims World caught up with a quartet of Crawford’s Philippine adjusters reporting from Tacloban City, one of the most affected areas. Roy Sarabia and Irwin Soriano, based in Crawford’s Makati City office, and Rico Casano and Edgar Lim from Cebu City have recounted their experiences working in the aftermath of one of the most catastrophic weather events in recent history.
Facing very challenging on-site conditions, the team was forced to improvise in its operations, particularly in managing limited transportation resources. “We hired a van with a driver and drove daily from Ormoc City to Tacloban City, which is about a two hour drive,” said Roy Sarabia, executive general adjuster. “Communications are limited and a shortage of fuel on the ground makes transportation challenging as well. Sleeping in the van or the lobby of a small hotel with no power or washing facilities was difficult. Food and water supplies are scarce and security concerns remain.”
Despite these setbacks, the adjuster team managed to begin its inspections in order to begin reporting to insurers and assisting their insureds. “Our thanks go out to our intrepid first response team who finally had a bath on Sunday, November 24, after more than a week,” adds Richard Martin, chairman of Crawford’s Asia Pacific region. “Another team is now en route to Tacloban City via Ormoc City and this will continue until good progress is made with the relevant claims and better transportation alternatives can be secured.”