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Friday, November 15, 2013

RAF aid plane on way to Philippines in relief effort

RAF aid plane on way to Philippines in relief effort

Handout photo issued by the Ministry of Defence of a Royal Air Force 99 Sqn C-17 transport plane as it departs RAF Brize Norton in OxfordshireThe C-17 military transport aircraft is carrying JCB diggers, a forklift truck, two Land Rovers and medical aid

A Royal Air Force transport aircraft loaded with aid has taken off from the UK to help people affected by the typhoon in the Philippines.
The C-17 aircraft, which contains heavy duty vehicles and medical supplies, is part of Britain's emergency response to the disaster.
The aircraft is due to land in the Philippines in around 24 hours.
Typhoon Haiyan, which hit on Friday, has killed at least 3,621 people and displaced more than half a million.
On Thursday, David Cameron said the UK government had now given more than £20m in aid.
Meanwhile, the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) said its UK appeal had raised £23m in its first 48 hours.
The C-17, which took off on Friday morning from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, is being operated by No 99 Squadron.
Its load includes two JCB diggers, two Land Rovers and a forklift truck emblazoned with stickers reading "UK aid from the British people".
Flight Sergeant Tony Rimmer, loadmaster at Brize Norton, said they had been no shortage of volunteers to help load the aircraft.
JCB equipment on aircraftJCB equipment is being transported to help clear the way to hard-to-reach areas
A Land Rover is loaded onto a C-17 aircraft at RAF Brize Norton Land Rovers and other equipment will help reopen roads
Humanitarian aid is loaded onto a C-17 aircraft at RAF Brize Norton The humanitarian aid is expected to reach the Philippines on Saturday
Speaking at Brize Norton, International Development Secretary Justine Greening said the UK was trying to get humanitarian aid through to the people on the ground, and that meant clearing roads to get the logistics operation up and running,
"You cannot do that without the right equipment. We've got the right equipment and we're sending it over," she said.
"I think we'll be working with the Philippines over the coming months, possibly years. Obviously this has been a terrible disaster," she added.
Meanwhile a team of 12 medical experts from the UK, requested by the Philippines Department of Health, has arrived in the country's capital, Manila.
The Royal Navy destroyer HMS Daring is expected to arrive in the Philippines on Friday.
HMS IllustriousHMS Illustrious is being sent to the Philippines to help the aid effort
It is due to be relieved by the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious, which is currently in the Gulf, and is set to arrive on 24 November.
Announcing the move on Thursday, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said the typhoon in the Philippines was an "absolute tragedy" and the country needed long-term help for its people.
He said helicopters from HMS Illustrious would be used to take food and water to people stranded in remote parts of the Philippines, which is made up of more than 7,000 islands.
The carrier, which currently has 900 crew and seven helicopters, has equipment to provide water suitable for drinking,
HMS Daring has more than 200 personnel on board including a doctor, a dentist, engineers and a chaplain. It is also carrying members of the Royal Marines band who, as a secondary role, are trained first aiders.
The ship holds 700 ration packs, can provide more than 20,000 litres of water, and has other equipment including generators and thermal-imaging cameras.
A huge international aid effort is under way, but widespread infrastructure damage is hampering efforts to distribute it to some areas.
US aircraft carrier and other US vessels have already arrived in the Philippines, where the UN estimates 11 million people have been affected by the typhoon.