Philippines Requests Aid in Killer Typhoon’s Aftermath
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 19, 2010 The Philippine government has asked for assistance after Typhoon Megi struck the island nation yesterday with sustained winds of 140 mph, Defense Department officials said here today.
Philippine officials announced that the storm killed at least 13 people, with thousands driven from their homes and more than 3 million left without power.
“The Philippines has submitted a formal request for assistance,” said Pentagon spokesman Marine Corps Col. Dave Lapan. “They’ve indicated a need for fixed-wing aircraft as well as heavy-lift helicopters.”
The U.S. Agency for International Development has sent a team to the Philippines to assess the damage and coordinate what U.S. assets might be needed. “We do have capabilities in the region that can be called upon if necessary,” Lapan said.
Officials said the effort will not draw resources or aircraft from the on-going humanitarian mission to aid flood victims in Pakistan.
The typhoon passed over the island and is on course for southern China and Vietnam and is regaining whatever strength it lost over the Philippines. Officials in China have ordered the evacuation of at least 140,000 people from a coastal area in the storm’s path.
The most recent report from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center said the storm has sustained winds of 115 mph with gusts up to about 145 mph, and waves at 34 feet. Officials said they expect sustained wind speeds to rise to more than 130 mph today, with gusts of more than 160 mph.