• Philippines’ Ruby efforts commended by US envoy

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    US Ambassador to Manila Philip Goldberg has commended the Philippine government for its preparedness for the onslaught of Typhoon Ruby (international codename: Hagupit), which struck Eastern Visayas last week.

    On the sidelines of the presentation of the US Department of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence to Coca-Cola Philippines, Goldberg told reporters that “everybody was impressed by the lessons learned [from Typhoon Yolanda]and actions taken by the Philippines” during its response to Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit).

    There was an “understanding of how dangerous these storms are,” and even the United States has learned its lessons from past catastrophes, the envoy said.

    “The Philippine government should be congratulated,” Goldberg added.

    There was an early recognition of what needs to be done, including an “early coordination with international friends.”

    The US government deployed some of its military assets to Eastern Visayas to help communities affected there.

    The official death toll from the typhoon was 18, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

    Over the weekend, 659,446 families or 2,779,248 people were affected by the typhoon after making landfall in Dolores, Eastern Samar.

    More than 200,000 families or 940,290 individuals were still staying with relatives or at 3,186 evacuation centers in nine-typhoon-hit regions.

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