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PHL prepares team to help quake, tsunami victims in Japan

March 12, 2011 12:53pm
The Philippine government is organizing a team to be sent to Japan to help in the search, rescue and relief efforts for victims of a devastating magnitude-8.9 quake Friday and the 10-meter-high tsunami that followed it.

Deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte said the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC)’s team may proceed to Japan once it gets the green light.

“From what I understand from Undersecretary (Benito) Ramos of NDRRMC, nag-form sila ng search and rescue team ... pantulong. Narinig ko kanina na ang Philippine Red Cross magpapadala ng contingent. (Pero) ang government team di pa malinaw kailan aalis," Valte said on government-run dzRB radio.

(From what I understand, NDRRMC head Benito Ramos said they are forming a team to send for search-and-rescue operations. I also learned the Philippine Red Cross will send a contingent. At this time I am not sure when the government team will leave.)

“Once Japan is ready to receive our assistance we will be ready to send our people there," she added.

On Friday, President Benigno Aquino III had written Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan relaying the Philippines' sympathies and solidarity with Japan after the quake and tsunami.

In his letter, Aquino promised Kan of help from the Philippines at this “difficult time" for Japan.

“As a close friend and neighbor, Japan has constantly stood by the Philippines, as we dealt with past tribulations wrought by nature. Our extensive and long-standing ties of friendship means that Japan is also home to a vast number of Filipinos, whose welfare also represents a paramount concern. During this difficult time, I assure Your Excellency that the Philippine Government stands ready, to extend any support and assistance within its capability, as Japan strives to cope with the aftermath of this tragic event," he said in his letter.

Department of Foreign Affairs records show a total of 305,972 Filipinos in Japan.

Meanwhile, government-run dzRB reported the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is sending a team to Japan to help in rescue and relief operations there.

The dzRB report said an initial PRC team will include an exert on psycho-social problems; and two dog handlers and two K-9 units to help in search operations.

Also, the PRC team will bring equipment for communication and water treatment. — LBG, GMA News
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