9:51 pm | Thursday, November 14th, 2013
MANILA, Philippines—Naming its humanitarian assistance to the typhoon-ravaged Philippines using Filipino words, the Pentagon, or the United States Department of Defense, has dedicated a special report in its official website on “Operation Damayan.”
“Damayan” is loosely translated “helping each other.”
After Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name Haiyan) barrelled the entire coastal communities in Central Visayas leaving thousands dead, foreign aid poured in the affected areas as global concern for the Philippines grew.
In the case of Pentagon, concern and relief efforts for its partner country manifested even in the cyberspace.
With a customized header for “Operation Damayan,” the US Department of Defense featured news articles, videos and photo essays of American troops who came to the Philippines’ rescue.
From their preparation in Japan for relief operations, the visuals documented the US soldiers giving aid to the survivors of “Yolanda” in the worst hit Tacloban City in Leyte province, where more than 2,000 have been recorded dead.
It also collated statements from US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel alongside the Central Intelligence Agency’s website providing information on the Philippines.
A day after Yolanda battered the country, Obama sent his sympathies to the Philippines in a public statement saying: “Michelle (Obama) and I are deeply saddened by the loss of life and extensive damage done by Supertyphoon ‘Yolanda’. But I know the incredible resiliency of the Philippine people, and I am confident that the spirit of Bayanihan will see you through this tragedy.
“The United States is already providing significant humanitarian assistance, and we stand ready to further assist the Government’s relief and recovery efforts. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the millions of people affected by this devastating storm.”
On Wednesday, Admiral Harry Harris Jr. of the US Pacific Fleet announced that aside from the amphibious ships sent to the Philippines for aid, the US Navy’s hospital ship “Mercy” will also be dispatched as part of the “Operation Damayan.”
Mercy is expected to arrive in the Philippines this December.
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