US aid moves fast to ‘Yolanda’ devastated areas

16 Nov

“Desperate times call for desperate measure.”
quote from LIFE LONG


By Alex P. Vidal

Relief assistance from different corners of the globe has been pouring in with alacrity and dispatch these past days amid reports that the Philippine government appeared to be slow in delivering relief goods to areas affected most by super typhoon “Yolanda” that devastated Central Visayas last November 8.
Foreign journalists from Canada, US, Europe, Japan, Israel, to name only a few, also arrived to give the globe the glimpse and ringside account of the extent of damage wrought by history’s strongest typhoon.
Jim Garamone of Albany Tribune reported that countries around the world are responding to the Typhoon Haiyan-caused devastation in the Philippines, and aid is rushing to the island nation with the U.S. Navy leading the way.
Meanwhile, although the death toll from the typhoon disaster in the Philippines is still uncertain, Anthony Kuhn and Audie Kurnish, reporting for npr, stressed that it is known that hundreds of thousands of people are homeless, lacking food, water and even basic shelter. “Just over a week after Typhoon Haiyan struck, the U.S. aid effort has now kicked into higher gear with the arrival off of the carrier USS George Washington and its support ships off the coast of the worst hit area, the island of Leyte,” they observed.


Garamone reported that “Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Navy’s chief of information, discussed the U.S. military’s humanitarian aid and disaster relief effort, dubbed Operation Damayan, during a discussion at the Defense One Summit here November 15.”
Here’s the complete report: “Kirby told Al Jazeera’s Jamie Tarabay that the military is working in support of the U.S. Agency for International Development, which is leading the U.S. portion of the effort.
“The aircraft carrier USS George Washington and three other U.S. vessels arrived in the Philippines yesterday, and sailors and Marines began delivering food, water and shelter to those affected by the storm. Philippine officials said that more than 4,000 people were killed by the storm, thousands more need medical attention, and millions are without the basics of life.
“The Philippines is a U.S. treaty ally, Kirby said, noting that exercises and operations that U.S. and Philippine service members have conducted together in the past have aided the relief effort.


“‘(The Defense Department’s) rebalance to the Pacific is all about partnerships and trying to find ways to better understand one another and operate together,’ Kirby said. ‘We’ve had a terrific relationship with the government of the Philippines for a very long time, … but when you have an emergency like this, this is not the time to try to build a relationship. At a time like this, you want to leverage the relationship we’ve had for so long, and that’s what we’re seeing here.’
“About 300 U.S. Marines are currently on the ground aiding relief efforts in the Philippines today. Another 900 Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit based on the Japanese island of Okinawa are deploying aboard the USS Germantown and USS Ashland, and are expected to arrive in the Philippines next week.
“Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft have been flying missions in the Philippines, and more of those aircraft are on the way.”

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Posted by on November 16, 2013 in Uncategorized


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