US and British Vessels Heads For the Philippines


US and British vessels were heading to the Philippines as the UN

appealed for aid amid the large-scale devastation caused by Typhoon


The US has deployed an aircraft carrier and navy ships to the

Philippines, while the UK is sending a naval destroyer.

At least 10,000 people are feared to have been killed, and thousands

of survivors desperately require aid.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino has declared a state of national

calamity, reports the BBC.

In a statement, he said the two worst affected provinces, Leyte and

Samar, had suffered massive destruction and loss of life.

A huge international relief effort is under way, but rescue workers

have struggled to reach areas cut off since the storm.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described images of the impact of the

storm as “heartbreaking”.

The UN would launch a large-scale humanitarian plan, and allocate $25m

(?15.5m) “to fund critical relief efforts”, he said.

“Many thousands of people are reported to have died and almost 10

million people have been affected… Let us all show our solidarity

with the people of the Philippines at this time of need,” he added.

One of the most powerful storms on record to make landfall, Haiyan –

named “Yolanda” by Philippine authorities – struck the coastal

provinces of Leyte and Samar on Friday.

It then headed west, sweeping through six central Philippine islands.

Air Force Capt Antonio Tamayo told AP news agency the scene in

Tacloban, one of the worst-hit areas, was “overwhelming”.

`We need more medicine. We cannot give anti-tetanus vaccine shots

because we have none.”

Officials said looting was widespread and order was proving difficult

to enforce. Correspondents say many ordinary people are simply

scavenging for the food and water needed to survive.

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