World sends emergency relief to battered Philippines

World sends emergency relief to battered Philippines

MANILA - The United States, Australia and the United Nations are mobilising emergency aid to the Philippines as the scale of the devastation unleashed by Super Typhoon Haiyan emerges.

The Pentagon is sending military personnel and equipment 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.

"The United States is already providing significant humanitarian assistance, and we stand ready to further assist the government's relief and recovery efforts," US President Barack Obama said in a statement.

Some 90 Marines and sailors, and two KC-130J Hercules aircraft, left Japan for the Philippines on Saturday, with equipment including tilt-rotor aircraft which can operate without runways, Marines Colonel John Peck said.

The Australian government pledged Aus$10 million dollars (SS$1.17 million), with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop describing the unfolding tragedy as "absolutely devastating" and on a "massive scale".

The sum includes Aus$4 million towards a UN global appeal and Aus$3 million for Australian non-government organisations. The aid will include tarpaulins, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, water containers and health and hygiene kits.

A team of Australian medics will leave on Wednesday via a C17 military transport plane from Darwin to join disaster experts already on the ground, the government said, after it disbursed emergency funds worth US$490,000 (S$611,000) on Sunday.

Philippine rescue teams were said to be overwhelmed in their efforts to help those whose homes and livelihoods were destroyed after Haiyan ravaged large swathes of the archipelago Friday.

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