(Vatican Radio) At least 10,000 people are estimated to have died after a typhoon
ripped across several islands of the Philippines this past weekend, flattening at
least one city. The Philippines government and foreign nations are now working to
help meet the massive humanitarian needs.
Along the typhoon's path, rescuers
continued to pull victims from the rubble. In the city of Tacloban, survivors queued
up at aid distribution points set up by the Philippines military. The Red Cross has
said looting was hampering the aid effort.
The Philippines’ president said
the government has deployed 300 soldiers and officials to help keep order. President
Benigno Aquino said he might declare martial law if needed.
The United Nations
World Food Programme said it planned to airlift 40 tons of supplies, including high-energy
biscuits and communications equipment.
Turkey has promised aid including 1,000
tents. Japan said it would send a team of doctors and nurses. The United States has
sent marines and aircraft to help distribute aid. Australia said it was considering
offering its military to help as well.
"We will obviously stand by ready to
support the Philippines in any way that we can,” said Australian Foreign Minister
Australia announced more than $10 million in aid, adding that
just under half of that would go to a United Nations appeal, and a similar amount
would help Australian charities already working in the Philippines.