Thailand sends aid to disaster-stricken Philippines

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Thailand joined the international flotilla coming to the aid of the disaster-stricken Philippines, sending engineers, trucks and food to victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

Adm. Narong Phipatanasai announced the dispatch of the HTMS Angthong and HTMS Sichang from Sattahip Naval Base Nov. 14. The Angthong carried marines from the Royal Thai Navy’s 1st Engineering Division along with road-clearing equipment, heavy trucks, temporary shelters and two mobile medical units. The Sichang carried 500 tons of rice, electric pumps, machines to produce fresh water and two helicopters.

The HTMS Sichang (foreground) and HTMS Angthong (background) are loaded and on their way to help relief efforts in the Philippines.The HTMS Sichang (foreground) and HTMS Angthong (background) are loaded and on their way to help relief efforts in the Philippines.

The ships will take a week to arrive in the Philippines and troops will spend seven days on the ground.

Likely the strongest cyclone ever to hit land, super typhoon Haiyan had officially killed 3,976 Filipinos with authorities estimating another 10,000 may have died. Worst affected were the islands of Leyte and Samar, with cataclysmic damage. Many areas remained inaccessible a week after the Nov. 7 storm and many still had no food or shelter.