President Obama Pledges Aid In Wake Of Typhoon

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WASHINGTON (CBS DC/CBS News) – With thousands feared among the dead, President Barack Obama pledged U.S. aide to the Philippines in wake of the deadly typhoon that struck the country.

“Michelle and I are deeply saddened by the loss of life and extensive damage done by Super Typhoon 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,” Obama said in a statement, using the Filipino word for community spirit.

The Filipino government and international relief agencies were trying to get emergency aid to the worst hit areas.  It’s estimated that as many as 10,000 people were killed in Tacloban, the provincial capital.

“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,” Obama added.

Ships and aircrafts have been deployed to support search-and-rescue operations and fly in emergency supplies.  A contingent of Marines, water, and generators have been dispatched to the badly hit areas already.

The once powerful storm was downgraded to a category 1 when it slammed into northern Vietnam.

CBS News reported that roughly 600,000 people were evacuated in Vietnam and that at least six deaths have been reported.  The storm carried winds of 85 mph when it hit near Ha Long Bay.

The Red Cross among a number of other organizations are trying to bring relief to the hardest hit areas.

“This area has been totally ravaged,”  Sebastien Sujobert, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Tacloban, explained to CBS News. “Many lives were lost, a huge number of people are missing, and basic services such as drinking water and electricity have been cut off.”

Other affected islands have indicated at least dozens if not hundreds of more deaths from the powerful storm.

(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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