Philippine president to camp in hard-hit Tacloban
By USA Today
Published: Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, 7:30 p.m.
TACLOBAN, Philippines — As the U.S. military ramps up aid efforts in the Philippines, President Benigno Aquino III pledged on Sunday to remain in the hard-hit Leyte province until he sees more of that aid reaching survivors.
Aquino is expected to set up camp in Tacloban, the capital of Leyte province, but it is not clear where. Nearly every building in the city was damaged by the Nov. 8 Typhoon Haiyan, which killed 3,974 people, according to the latest official count. More than 1,000 remain missing.
Speaking to reporters during a visit to Tacloban, Aquino said that while there has been some progress in the aid effort, it is not enough.
“We really want to ease the burden of everybody as soon as possible. As long as I don't see any more improvements, we'll stay here,” Aquino said, referring to his official team.
Meanwhile, the Navy is increasing its presence to help open affected areas, said Denny Wetherald, rear admiral with the Amphibious Force U.S. Seventh Fleet. That includes two landing ship docks — amphibious warships that transport and launch landing craft and amphibious vehicles — en route from Okinawa, Japan, Wetherald said in Manila.
The ships, set to arrive Tuesday night, carry bulldozers, earthmovers, jeeps, Humvees and surgical teams, Wetherald said.
U.S. planes continue to ferry Filipinos out of the disaster area.
“It's a pretty moving experience,” said Wetherald of flying from hard-hit Tacloban city to Manila lastweek on a plane packed with people evacuating their storm-wrecked homes.
The U.S. Agency for International Development will take the lead on deciding how long the aid operation, facilitated by the American military, should continue, Wetherald said. “We do this for a living. We can operate for as long as needed.”
The Americans' arrival greatly boosted the relief effort, said Col. Miguel Okol, a spokesman for the Philippine air force.
The 19 C-130 cargo planes, plus other aircraft from the United States, Philippines and other nations, “is just enough, but the struggle lies in the capacity of airports and runways to take in that amount of air assets,” Okol said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ukraine bares teeth as troops repel rebels
- Russian military spending increases
- North Korean embassy officials in London pay visit to salon owner
- U.N. Security Council views purported photos of Syrian war dead
- Iran president ends monthly cash payment to 90 percent of citizens
- Missing plane’s black box batteries feared to have died
- French sweep school’s males for DNA to try to solve rape
- Former Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi to serve time helping seniors
- 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria; militants blamed
- Iran blasts ambassador visa denial
- Pakistani Taliban factions clash, killing dozens