Malaysia to send 2 planes with aid to Philippines

KUALA LUMPUR - The government is sending aid to victims of super typhoon Haiyan using two military aircraft today.

The first flight will have 11 personnel from the Health Ministry, Foreign Affairs Ministry, Armed Forces, National Security Council, Malaysian Red Crescent Society and Smart team, while the other flight will have 30 volunteers from 1Malaysia Putera Club and media representatives.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said Malaysia was providing aid in the form of medical assistance and transportation.

"Food, tarpaulines and blankets will also be distributed to victims.

"We know that water is an issue, so we are bringing eight units of water purification system, 20 units of mini water purifiers and 200 jerry cans."

Hishammuddin said the length of time for the aid team in Philippines would be determined once it had touched ground zero, as it needed to know the logistics and conditions.

He said the team would be in safe hands as long as the military was involved, following reports of fights and locals stealing food and other items.

Just days after super typhoon Haiyan hit, a new storm called Zoraida threatens the devastated country as it struggles in rescue and clean-up efforts.

"We are monitoring the Zoraida storm, as it will have an effect on our mission, but it will not deter us from moving forward."

MRCS national vice-chairman and national committees for disaster management and ambulance Datuk Dr Bahari Abu Mansor said Red Crescent members would meet their Philippine counterparts.

They have also launched Haiyan Typhoon Donation Box for the public to contribute as the proceeds will be channelled to medical and food supplies.

MRCS also plans to send its very own Rapid Deployment Squad and more volunteers to assist the Philippine Red Cross. Bahari said all donations could be made out in the name of Malaysian Red Crescent Society, Maybank account number 514422102657, while cheques can be forwarded to its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.