The Japanese government revealed on Monday that it was sending an emergency relief team consisting of 25 members to the Philippines in order to assist with the immediate health and recovery concerns following Friday’s devastation from Typhoon Haiyan. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference that two members of the team were from the Foreign Ministry, while the rest were mostly medical staff consisting of doctors, nurses, and pharmacists from Japan Disaster Relief Team.
The immense storm, which was known locally as Super Typhoon Yolanda, ripped through the Philippines’ central region, and caused large-scale destruction and a death-toll that continues to rise each day, with predictions putting it in the thousands. Suga stated that the Japanese government intended to provide as much support as possible to help the disaster-hit areas most in need, as well as to the Southeast Asian nation’s government. Not just Japan, but other countries are quickly responding to the urgency, with the United States sending marines to help with clean-up, Singapore also dispatching an emergency relief team, Australia pledging $9.4 million in assistance, along with the United Nations getting involved.
Among the relief supplies most in need are necessities like food, clean water, and medicine. As basic infrastructure like roads, bridges, and airports have either been destroyed or covered in debris, these items remain cut-off from those who need them most. The U.N. has noted that among the hardest-hit areas is the city of Tacloban, the capital of Leyte province. Rescue workers are still trying to reach other areas that suffered in the destruction, resulting in total casualty numbers still being determined. Philippine authorities are estimating that as many as 10,000 may have been killed, with the typhoon displacing over 600,000 more. Local TV media continues to broadcast images of bodies lying in the streets or floating in the nearby sea, and buildings with missing roofs or areas where homes were completely demolished.
[via Solar News]