MANILA, Philippines - The United States, European Union, Australia and the United Nations mobilized emergency aid to the Philippines as the scale of the devastation unleashed by Supertyphoon "Yolanda" (or "Haiyan") continued to emerge Tuesday.
The Pentagon sent Marines and equipment while Britain was to send a ship and a transporter plane to assist with the relief effort following the typhoon, which may have killed more than 10,000 people in what is feared to be the country's worst natural disaster.
Even Vietnam, despite coping itself with a mass evacuation programme as a weakened Yolanda swung through its territory Monday, provided emergency aid worth $100,000 ($125,000) and said it "stands by the Philippine people in this difficult situation."
The relief operation was focused on the city of Tacloban on Leyte island, four days after one of the biggest storms in recorded history demolished entire communities across the central Philippines and left countless bodies as well as gnawing desperation in its wake.
Delivering on a promise of quick help from President Barack Obama, about 90 US Marines and sailors based in Japan flew into Tacloban aboard two C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, after receiving a bird's eye view of the immense scale of destruction across Leyte.
They brought communications and logistical equipment to support the Philippine armed forces in their relief operation.
"We are going to move stuff as they direct, as the Philippine government and the armed forces (ask)," Brig.r Gen. Paul Kennedy, the head of the Okinawa-based 3rd Marine Expedition Brigade, said in Tacloban.
Kennedy's men were the advance guard of a Marine operation that in total will encompass up to nine C-130s plus four MV-22 Ospreys-tilt-rotor planes that can operate without runways-and two P3 Orion aircraft for search and rescue.
"That is what I do, I provide capabilities that are not resident here," Kennedy told reporters.
Later Monday, the Marine Corps announced it was sending a further 90 troops tasked with helping a humanitarian assistance survey team on the ground.