གཟའ་ཕུར་བུ། ༢༠༢༢/༡༢/༠༨

Typhoon Aid Reaches Remote Areas of Central Philippines

Sailors assigned to the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington, Marines assigned to the 3 Marine Expeditionary Brigade, and Philippine civilians unload relief supplies in support of Operation Damayan. ((U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Beverly Lesonik)
International aid is starting to reach remote areas of the central Philippines, 10 days after the region was devastated by super Typhoon Haiyan.

U.S. military helicopters delivered food, water and other supplies to villagers on Leyte island and in other remote communities on Monday. The U.S. aircraft carrier USS George Washington is serving as the hub of the helicopter missions.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said international aid workers have been making a "colossal effort" to reach more people in the disaster zone.

Speaking at a briefing in Manila, OCHA spokeswoman Orla Fagan said 10- to 12-million people needed help to recover from the November 8 storm.

The U.N. agency said relief operations have been hampered by infrastructure problems, including a lack of electricity, poor communication, impassable roads and little access to fuel.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino continued a tour of typhoon-hit areas on Monday, handing out relief goods to residents of Palo on Leyte.

He said he was tempted to "despair" of the situation, but added that doing so would hamper the work of everyone.

Aquino has vowed to stay in the typhoon-battered center of the country until he is satisfied with the progress of the aid efforts.

The Philippine government said the typhoon killed at least 3,974 people and left about 1,200 others missing. Many of them were swept away and drowned in a huge storm surge triggered by one of the strongest cyclones on record to make landfall anywhere in the world.

The U.S. government announced a further $10 million in aid, bringing its commitment so far to $37 million.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.