The devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), are seen Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, in Tacloban city, Leyte province in central Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record, slammed into six central Philippine islands on Friday, leaving a wide swath of destruction and scores of people dead. AP/Toti Navales

MANILA, NOVEMBER 12, 2013 (PHILSTAR) By Camille Diola (UPDATE) - More than a few countries have immediately pledged assistance upon news of the catastrophe from typhoon "Yolanda" in the Philippines.

While some nations are sending monetary donations, most are deploying medical teams and volunteers as well as significant amounts of relief goods and equipment for basic services.

Elements of Okinawa-based 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade board KC-130 for typhoon-ravaged Philippines. Philippine Embassy photo

MANILA, Philippines

AUSTRALIA - US$10 million package
BELGIUM - medical and search and rescue personnel
CANADA - C$5 million
DENMARK - KR 10 million
GERMANY - 23 tons of relief goods
HUNGARY - search and rescue personnel and rapid response team
INDONESIA - in-kind donations
ISRAEL- team of medical, trauma and relief professionals
JAPAN - emergency relief medical team
MALAYSIA - medical and search and rescue teams
THE NETHERLANDS - undisclosed financial aid
NEW ZEALAND - NZ $2.15 million
NORWAY - KR 20 million
RUSSIA - rapid response team
SAUDI ARABIA through Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud - US$100,000
SINGAPORE - $50,000 SPAIN - in-kind donations
SWEDEN- emergency communications equipment
TAIWAN - $200,000
TURKEY - medics, rapid response team, search and rescue personnel
UNITED KINGDOM - £6 million and $9.6 million worth of emergency support package
UNITED NATIONS Children's Fund - $1.3 million worth of supplies
UNITED STATES - initial $100,000 for water and sanitation; Troops, emergency respondents, transportation and equipment
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations similarly offered support to the Philippine government on Monday, contacting Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario.

Asean Secretary-General Le Luong Minh said he ready to facilitate ASEAN cooperation and coordination through the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management.

"The ASEAN stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the Philippines in these difficult times and we are ready to show the ASEAN spirit of a caring community to affected populations in the country,” Minh said in a statement.

The US and other governments and agencies are also mounting a major relief effort to help victims of the Philippine typhoon.

Brian Goldbeck, acting ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, issued a disaster declaration to provide an immediate $100,000 for relief efforts. Officials from the U.S. Agency for International Development are deployed around the country to monitor the damage.

Authorities said at least 2 million people in 41 provinces had been affected by Friday's disaster and at least 23,000 houses had been damaged or destroyed. Large areas along the coast had been transformed into twisted piles of debris, blocking roads and trapping decomposing bodies underneath. Ships were tossed inland, cars and trucks swept out to sea and bridges and ports washed away. - with Associated Press

Heartbroken Pinoys 'touched' by aid from nations By Cheryl M. Arcibal ( | Updated November 11, 2013 - 11:59am 66 376 googleplus1 0

A screenshot of the Viber announcement about the free services extended to Filipino users to call family members abroad that are non Viber users.

MANILA, Philippines - At a time when Filipinos' hearts are breaking as images of the devastation wrought by super typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) showed the magnitude and extent of the calamity, the world's response to the misfortune is somehow easing the pain and is helping the country bounce from the latest tragedy.

Foreign aids have been pouring in from all parts of the world. Norway is the latest country to pledge aid to the Philippines, committing 20 million krones or P140 million to be channeled through the "UN, the Red Cross and other humanitarian organization which have access to the affected areas."

"I want to express sympathy with the Filipino people who have been hit so hard by this disaster. We follow the humanitarian situation in the Philippines closely and will provide further assistance when we get a better overview of the needs," said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende in a statement posted on the Norwegian Embassy website.

The statement added that the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection has accepted the invitation from the UN to contribute expertise and resources.

The US, meanwhile, said it is immediately providing $100,000 for relief efforts.

The United Nations World Food Programme said it has allotted $2 million to provide relief to Leyte and Samar provinces, while the UNICEF said 66 tons of emergency supplies are being sent from Copenhagen. Supplies include water purification systems, storage equipment and sanitation supplies.

Sweden Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, meanwhile, tweeted that Stockholm will be sending equipment for emergency communications to the Philippines

Meanwhile, the Facebook page of International Labour Organization Philippines said it will respond "through emergency employment through decent work" for the victims of the calamity.

"The ILO will also ensure that people affected by the super typhoon are not left vulnerable and exploited," said Lawrence Jeff Johnson, ILO Philippines director.

Britain Prime Minister, in a report by The Independent, said the UK will provide 6 million pounds in emergency aid to Manila.

Germany also pledged 500,000 euros in "immediate aid" to the Philippines.

The president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, said in a message to President Benigno Aquino III that the EC had sent sent a team to assist the Philippine authorities.

The European Union Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection said it is deploying four experts to areas near Cebu and Leyte and will also help assess the plight of the victims of the recent earthquake on the island of Bohol.

Japan, meanwhile, said it is sending a 25-member team, mostly medical personnel, to help following the devastation of typhoon Yolanda.

Canada also promised to match donations from individual Canadians to help the Philippines, an online report by The Globe and Mail said. The matching fund is besides the 5 million Canadian dollars Ottawa pledged for typhoon victims.

The EU, through its Facebook page European Union to the Philippines, said it "plane loads of relief supplies and rescue teams [are] on their way from EU member states.

"In addition EU Member and the European Union have together already mobilised over P600 million in humanitarian assistance including P170 released yesterday by the EU humanitarian office ECHO, " the statement said.

Cabinet Secretary Rene Lamendras, in a televised press briefing in Malacañang, also cited assistance such as mobile hospitals and equipment coming from Australia, New Zealand and Singapore to help in the rescue efforts.

He also disclosed that he received a call from Hong Kong, whose relations with the Philippines have been strained since 2010 following the death of eight Hong Kong tourists in a bungled hostage rescue attempt in Manila, expressing sympathies over the calamity that struck central Philippines.

The National Basketball Association and the National National Basketball Players' Association (NBPA) also $250,000 for relief efforts in areas ravaged by typhoon Yolanda.

Meanwhile, instant messaging voice-over Internet Protocol application for smartphones Viber announced Monday morning that it is allowing Filipino users to call regular or non Viber numbers outside the Philippines for free.

Viber encouraged Filipino users to call their families abroad and let them know that they are safe.

The outpouring of support and assistance has led Filipino netizens to begin thanking nations, organizations and communities for extending aid to the Philippines.


US relief flight heads for typhoon-hit Tacloban Associated Press 3:16 pm | Monday, November 11th, 2013

Philippine and US military personnel load relief goods for Tacloban on board a US C-130 plane for victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Cental Philippines, at a military base in Manila on November 11, 2013. AFP

MANILA, Philippines — A US military plane carrying relief supplies and a contingent of Marines has left the Philippine capital en route to the country’s typhoon-devastated eastern seaboard.

The C-130 left Manila’s Villamor air base on Monday loaded with bottled water, generators wrapped in plastic, a forklift and two trucks.

It was the first American relief flight to the region, where thousands are feared dead and tens of thousands more homeless as a result of Friday’s typhoon. The flight was headed for Tacloban, a city badly hit by the typhoon and in desperate need of assistance.

EU expresses solidarity with typhoon-battered Philippines 8:11 pm | Friday, November 8th, 2013

ambassador guy-ledoux


MANILA, Philippines—The European Union on Friday expressed solidarity with the Filipino people as it vowed to provide humanitarian assistance to families affected by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name Haiyan).

“The Philippines has been severely tested by nature on several occasions this year. As it confronts yet another natural calamity I express my solidarity with the Filipino people and my deep sympathy with those who have lost their loved ones or their livelihoods,” said EU Ambassador to the Philippines Guy Ledoux.

“An EU humanitarian aid team is already in the Philippines to assess the impact of the typhoon and find out how the EU can be most helpful to those most urgent need,” he said.

Yolanda smashed into coastal communities on the central island of Samar, about 600 kilometers southeast of Manila, before dawn on Friday with maximum sustained winds of about 315 kilometers an hour.

The government said three people had been confirmed killed and another man was missing after he fell off a gangplank in the central port of Cebu.

But the death toll was expected to rise, with authorities unable to immediately contact the worst affected areas and Yolanda only expected to leave the Philippines in the evening.

Communication lines with Guiuan remained cut off in the afternoon, and the civil defense office said it was unable to give an assessment of the damage there.

In Tacloban, a nearby city of more than 200,000 people, corrugated iron sheets were ripped off roofs and floated with the wind before crashing into buildings, according to video footage taken by a resident.

Flash floods also turned Tacloban’s streets into rivers.

More than 125,000 people in the most vulnerable areas had been moved to evacuation centres before Yolanda hit, according to the national disaster management council, and millions of others huddled in their homes.

Authorities said schools in the storm’s path were closed, ferry services suspended and flights cancelled. With Agence France-Presse


MORE HELP COMING IN: NBA joins relief effort By Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 12, 2013 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - The National Basketball Association and NBA Players Association are donating $250,000 to the US Fund for UNICEF for emergency relief efforts in areas ravaged by Super Typhoon Yolanda.

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, whose mother is from the Philippines, will appear in a public service announcement for the organization to help raise funds for the relief efforts.

UNICEF said Sunday in a release that estimates show as many as four million children could be affected by the super typhoon that has killed thousands and could be the deadliest natural disaster on record.

The basketball league is also planning a second donation to another organization and is encouraging others to help the efforts in the Philippines, where it played an exhibition game last month between Houston and Indiana. Meanwhile, the Australian government pledged an additional A$10 million, bringing Australia’s contribution to A$10.39 million (P425.5 million).

Australia immediately responded to the disaster by providing P15.5 million in emergency supplies through the Philippine Red Cross and the United Nations Population Fund.

Australia said it is ready to offer more assistance if needed.

US President Barack Obama said the US is already providing significant humanitarian assistance, adding “we stand ready to further assist the government’s relief and recovery efforts.”

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) said it is sending supplies, including emergency shelter and hygiene materials, to help 10,000 families. The supplies are expected to arrive early this week, according to a spokeswoman.

USAID also is dispatching 55 metric tons of emergency food to feed 20,000 children and 15,000 adults for up to five days, the agency said.

About 90 US Marines and sailors arrived in the country as part of a first wave of promised US military assistance, which included aircraft for search and rescue operations.

The initial shipment of 5,000 blankets and 3,000 tarpaulins, from a German warehouse, will give survivors the material to build temporary shelter, said US aid group World Vision.

World Vision had a target of $3 million in US donations and a global total of $20 million.

UNICEF said a cargo plane carrying 60 tons of aid, including shelter and medicine, would arrive in the country today, to be followed by deliveries of water purification and sanitation equipment.

The UN World Food Program said it mobilized a $2-million relief program that would include flying 40 tons of fortified high energy biscuits from Dubai.

The American Red Cross dispatched a telecommunications unit and, through its local US chapters, activated a family tracing service for people with relatives in the Philippines.

More international aid

Other aid mobilized for Yolanda victims include $5 million from Canada, 3 million euros from the European Commission and 1.1 million euros from Spain.

Taiwan is donating $200,000, Red Cross Society of China is donating $100,000, $100,000 from Sun Life Financial of Canada and $40,000 from Singapore.

New Zealand also increased its humanitarian relief, bringing its total to NZ$2.15 million, Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said.

Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) is sending 200 tons of aid.

Germany said it is sending an initial 23 tons of humanitarian aid consisting of water, food and hygiene and medical kits. International Search and Rescue Team Germany is also sending a medical team.

Japan said it would send a 25-member relief team of mostly medical staff.

Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia has pledged $100,000 (P4.3 million) through the Arab Gulf Program for Development, according to Vice President Jejomar Binay.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has so far monitored 22 countries, including EU member states, as among those that have offered cash donations, relief goods, deployment of ships and aircraft and provision of medical supplies, search and rescue teams and medical personnel.

DFA spokesperson Raul Hernandez said they have also received many messages of condolences and solidarity from the international community.

He said the Philippines has accepted the offer of the UN for the issuance of a flash appeal for humanitarian assistance for Yolanda victims.

“In this connection, the UN is now undertaking needs assessment activities in the affected areas,” he said. – AP, Jose Rodel Clapano

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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