U.S. military arrives to assist relief efforts in the Philippines
The USS George Washington aircraft carrier, along with seven other American ships, arrived off of the eastern coast of the Philippines Thursday. The ship brought its crew of 5,500 and 21 helicopters in an effort to provide logistical and emergency support in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines Friday. Accompanying cargo ships transported 1,920 gallons of water and much needed food stores into the city of Tacloban, which was devastated by the storm. The U.S. has pledged $20 million in emergency shelter, food, water and other supplies to help the Philippines recover from the storm.
Seven days after Typhoon Haiyan made landfall upon the islands of the Philippines, the government and relief agencies are still struggling to deliver aid to devastated regions of the nation, where 11 million people have been affected, and more than 600,000 people have been displaced.
As of Wednesday, the official death toll is 2,357 people.
The majority of the deaths and damage occurred in the province of Leyte, including the provincial capital of Tacloban, a city of 220,000. Alfred Romualdez, mayor of Tacloban, explained that fuel has been a major issue in getting aid to his city. “The choice is to use the same truck either to distribute food or collect bodies,” Romualdez, told Reuters. City administrator Tecson John Lim told Reuters that Tacloban only had about 70 of its 2,500 staff working, as many were killed, injured or grieving and unable to work.