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Sunday, November 17, 2013

HMS Daring arrives in Philippines to aid Typhoon Haiyan victims


HMS Daring arrives in Philippines to aid Typhoon Haiyan victims

Alistair Leithead, on board HMS Daring, says the crew have been analysing the area from the air as they prepare to distribute supplies

British warship HMS Daring has docked in the Philippines to help the UK's emergency response to Typhoon Haiyan.
The Type 45 destroyer and her crew arrived at the island of Cebu, in the crisis zone, to help people affected by the disaster.
The UK's international development secretary Justine Greening told the BBC that Britain is likely to commit more money to help victims.
Thousands have been killed and a number of British nationals remain missing.
The typhoon - which had some of the strongest winds ever recorded on land - has killed more than 3,600 people and left about 500,000 people homeless.
The UK has already committed £50m in aid and a public appeal has raised a further £30m.
Ms Greening said large amounts of relief supplies were starting to reach the country after the disaster nine days ago.
She said she expected a further increase in the need for aid in the near future.
'Stepping up supplies'
"I think we're likely to continue to review whether we need to do more," she told BBC Breakfast.
Justine GreeningJustine Greening said large amounts of relief supplies were reaching the country
She said a lot of the focus had been on key cities such as Tacloban, but HMS Daring had been on reconnaissance missions over some of the smaller, more far-flung islands.
"It's likely that we'll see greater need being assessed and therefore it's likely that we're going to be stepping up our supplies and our help for the Filipino people over the coming days and weeks," she added.
HMS Daring has spent the last three days carrying out reconnaissance work in and around the Philippines.
A Lynx helicopter will fly shelter kits, food and medical supplies to remote areas which have not been reached by international relief teams.
Members of the 12-strong medical team from the UK, will also be flown to different areas to treat the injured.
Save the Children said a barge carrying more than 25 tonnes of aid items and household kits was expected to reach the country later.
BBC correspondent Alistair Leithead said the warship was moored two miles (3.2km) off the port and was preparing to set sail to some of the more remote islands.
He said the helicopter crew had been filming and taking photographs of the affected areas and analysing them to see what might be needed.
"I spoke to the commander of the helicopter who's been flying those missions and he said there's a band of about 10-15km (6-9 miles) all the way across where you can see the damage," Mr Leithead said.
A man runs past an uprooted tree as Typhoon Haiyan pounds Cebu CityThe typhoon has killed more than 3,600 people and left about 500,000 people homeless
"It's houses that have been destroyed, it's trees that are down."
He said the Lynx crew had seen people queuing for sacks of rice and and water in Cebu, but nothing in the remote areas.
"So that's what they've identified as being the place that they want to go to, the place that they need to take their supplies of aid," he said.
"They can take salt water and turn it into fresh water, they're bringing containers to fill up so they can give it out to people rather than delivering huge quantities to people."
He said a medical team from Save the Children would go out on the ground and assess whether people needed any immediate help.
Thousands of grieving survivors attended church services in areas devastated by the typhoon earlier.
In many places, including the mostly flattened city of Tacloban in Leyte province, Masses were held in half-destroyed and flooded churches.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said "a number" of British nationals remain unaccounted for but did not confirm how many Britons are missing.
One of those unaccounted for is Colin Bembridge, 61, from Grimsby.
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "We are working with local authorities and international partners to locate British nationals."
Map showing path of Typhoon Haiyan The map shows the path of the deadly typhoon