MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED Nov. 12, 10:39 a.m.) - More than a few countries have immediately pledged assistance upon news of the catastrophe from typhoon "Yolanda" in the Philippines.
While some nations are sending monetary donations, most are deploying medical teams and volunteers as well as significant amounts of relief goods and equipment for basic services.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations similarly offered support to the Philippine government on Monday, contacting Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario.
Asean Secretary-General Le Luong Minh said he ready to facilitate ASEAN cooperation and coordination through the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management.
"The ASEAN stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the Philippines in these difficult times and we are ready to show the ASEAN spirit of a caring community to affected populations in the country,” Minh said in a statement.
The US and other governments and agencies are also mounting a major relief effort to help victims of the Philippine typhoon.
Brian Goldbeck, acting ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, issued a disaster declaration to provide an immediate $100,000 for relief efforts. Officials from the U.S. Agency for International Development are deployed around the country to monitor the damage.
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Authorities said at least 2 million people in 41 provinces had been affected by Friday's disaster and at least 23,000 houses had been damaged or destroyed. Large areas along the coast had been transformed into twisted piles of debris, blocking roads and trapping decomposing bodies underneath. Ships were tossed inland, cars and trucks swept out to sea and bridges and ports washed away. - with Associated Press