Obama affirms support for Philippines’ relief efforts

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U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday called his Philippine counterpart Benigno Aquino III to affirm U.S. support for his country’s relief efforts in the wake of a devastating attack by Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan).

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Obama expressed his “deep condolences” for the lives lost and damage caused by Yolanda, one of the strongest storms to ever hit land, the White House said in a statement.

“President Obama discussed with President Aquino the need for a speedy assessment of what further American resources would be most helpful to assist in the Philippine recovery effort,” the White House said.

Washington was sending, among others, U.S. Marines, the aircraft carrier USS George Washington and other Navy ships as well as US$ 20 million in humanitarian aid to help disaster relief efforts in the Philippines, as Obama directed his administration over the weekend to mount a “swift and coordinated” response.

“In the days ahead, the United States will continue to work with the Philippines to deliver whatever help we can, as quickly as possible,” the White House said.

Haiyan, which hit the Philippines on Friday and Saturday, is believed to have left 10,000 people dead and 660,000 others displaced.

Two U.S. citizens were among the dead, State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said on Tuesday.PNA

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