News / Asia

US Moves Ships to Philippines Disaster Area

US Moves Carrier, Amphibious Ships to Disaster Areai
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November 14, 2013
The U.S. military is preparing for a large, drawn out operation in the Philippines, where each day reveals more devastation left by Typhoon Haiyan. The aircraft carrier U.S.S. George Washington is now approaching the Philippine coast, and two amphibious ships are on their way, along with hundreds more American soldiers to help get relief to victims. VOA Pentagon correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
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Luis Ramirez
— The U.S. military is preparing for a large, drawn-out operation in the Philippines, where each day reveals more devastation left by Typhoon Haiyan. The aircraft carrier USS George Washington is now approaching the Philippine coast, and two amphibious ships are on their way, along with hundreds more American soldiers to help get relief to victims. 

Each day uncovers devastation worse than originally thought, and the U.S. military's effort to get relief to victims is growing.  

Several hundred Marines are on the front line, and more help is on the way.  

The Pentagon is mobilizing its assets in the region and getting them to the disaster area as quickly as possible. 

“Our priority for supplying aid is potable water, food, shelter, hygiene products and medical supplies," said spokesman George Little.

With many roads destroyed, getting that aid to victims is proving a logistical nightmare.

Officials say a massive airlift is needed.  

And that's what's coming.  Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the nearest aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. George Washington, to the disaster scene.

On board are 11 helicopters as well as medical facilities. The ship can also produce a million and a half liters of fresh water a day.

More aid is on the way aboard two amphibious ships, the U.S.S. Germantown and U.S.S. Ashland.  They can deliver tons of supplies, personnel, and equipment to remote beaches in otherwise unreachable areas.  

The two vessels, being loaded at the U.S. base in Okinawa, are expected to arrive off the Philippine coast in the next few days.

With each day revealing horrific scenes, officials expect to have 1,000 U.S. military personnel on the ground in the coming days.

  • People line up to be evacuated outside Tacloban airport, central Philippines, Nov. 13, 2013.
  • A survivor wipes his face under a Philippines national flag in Tacloban, central Philippines, Nov. 13, 2013.
  • Members of a Philippines rescue team carry corpses in body bags as they search for the dead in Tacloban, central Philippines, Nov. 13, 2013.
  • A rescue team wades into flood waters to retrieve a body in Tacloban, central Phillipines, Nov. 13, 2013.
  • Typhoon survivors hang signs from their necks as they line up to try to board a C-130 military transport plane in Tacloban, Nov. 12, 2013.
  • Typhoon survivors jostle to get a chance to board a C-130 military transport plane in Tacloban, Nov. 12, 2013.
  • A Philippine air force officer hands out orange slices to typhoon survivors as they line up to board a C-130 military transport plane in Tacloban city, Nov. 12, 2013.
  • Tacloban residents wait for military flights inside the terminal of Tacloban airport, Nov. 12, 2013.
  • Typhoon survivors rush to get a chance to board a C-130 military transport plane in Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines, Nov. 12, 2013.
  • Survivors walk in typhoon ravaged Tacloban city, Nov. 12, 2013.
  • An aerial view of the ruins of houses after the devastation of super Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban city in central Philippines, Nov. 11, 2013.
  • Survivors carry bags of rice from a warehouse they stormed to get food after the typhoon, Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines, Nov. 11, 2013.

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