US Soldiers Help 'Pepeng'’ Victims

US forces bringing aid to flooded areas around Metro Manila were deploying troops to the northern part of the country on Friday to help people devastated by Typhoon Parma (local name Pepeng), officials said Friday.

At least four heavy-lift helicopters along with 18 teams of water-borne rescue units are moving to help Filipino forces with rescue efforts in the Ilocos and Cordillera regions on the north of the main island of Luzon, according to the Philippine military.

The Japan-based dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry was bringing two of the aircraft along with other rescue equipment to the area, Gen. Victor Ibrado, the chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, announced on local television.

US forces have been helping Filipino troops bring emergency relief as well as conducting medical missions and clearing rubble from floods caused by tropical storm Ketsana (local name Ondoy), which killed 337 people in and around Manila and displaced more than four million on September 26.

Lt. Col. Ernesto Torres, the spokesman for the Philippines’ National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), told reporters that the US government had “pledged or offered the use of its resources in the Northern Luzon area.”
He said that the Americans had offered helicopters along with 18 watercrafts.

“Based on the agreement last night, they will start the deployment of their personnel this morning [Friday],” Torres added.

Source: The Manila Times