Washington: The United States has dispatched a team of about 80 marines to carry out humanitarian relief operations in the Philippines in the wake of the devastating Typhoon Haiyan that has killed more than 10,000 people.
The United States stands ready to provide more assistance, President Barack Obama said in a statement.
“Michelle (Obama) and I are deeply saddened by the loss of life and extensive damage done by Super Typhoon Yolanda. But I know the incredible resiliency of the Philippine people, and I am confident that the spirit of Bayanihan will see you through this tragedy,” Obama said.
“The United States is already providing significant humanitarian assistance, and we stand ready to further assist the government’s relief and recovery efforts. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the millions of people affected by this devastating storm,” he said.
The Pentagon said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has directed the US Pacific Command to support US government humanitarian relief operations in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
“The initial focus includes surface maritime search and rescue (SAR), medium-heavy helicopter lift support, airborne maritime SAR, fixed-wing lift support and logistics enablers,” it said.
In coordination with the US Agency for International Development and the US ambassador in Manila, the Department of Defense will continue to monitor the effects of Typhoon Haiyan and stands ready to help our ally recover from the storm, the Pentagon said.
The International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde in a statement expressed sadness at the extensive damage and devastating loss of life from Typhoon Haiyan in the central Philippines.
“On behalf of myself and my colleagues at the IMF, I would like to offer our sympathy to those affected by this natural disaster. Our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones, crews undertaking the rescue operation, and with the people of the Philippines as they work to recover from this terrible tragedy,” she said in a statement.
Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the images of devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan coming out of the Philippines are truly heartbreaking.
“The Filipino people have my sympathy and support as they deal with the effects of a storm. The United States can and must do everything in our power to assist our friend and ally in dealing with the devastating consequences of this storm, and to help meet the needs of the Filipino people in addressing this disaster,” he said.