Thursday, December 18, 2014

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U.S. Marines bringing in food, supplies to the Philippines

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Rochester: U.S. Marines bringing in food, supplies to the Philippines
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PHILIPPINES -- Help is on the way for the Philippines. Marines arrived Monday, bringing in supplies to areas ravaged by flooding.

"Inside of that, you need trucks, you need things to lift palates. So we bring in forklifts, generators sets," said Marine Corps Brig. General Paul Kennedy.

It's the first outside help in what will grow into a major international relief mission since Typhoon Haiyan struck the country Friday. U.S. officials say they're focusing on aid and security to make sure there's no looting or chaos.

Kennedy said, "We will bring in lights, so this runway you are seeing, which can only be used during daylight hours, we will have it available tomorrow. It will have lights, radars up, so there is no problems with air space."

And more planes means more aid to those desperately in need. The Philippine President has declared a State of National Calamity and the numbers show why. A total of 23,000 homes reported damaged or destroyed and more than two million people are affected.

The Marines are working with other agencies bringing food and water to the area.

Kennedy said, "The United States government, first of all, is going to respond to this crisis. It's not going to just be the Marines. But the Marines will be on the edge of this. I have my contingency command post down here. We're working with the Philippines, both their armed forces and national police and will help them in their need."

Relief organizations like the Red Cross and UNICEF are collecting donations now to allow people in the U.S. and abroad to help out.

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