Washington: US President Barack Obama on Tuesday called his Pilipino counterpart President Benigno Aquino to express his condolences for the devastation caused by Super typhoon Haiyan, one of the largest and strongest storms to ever hit land.
"This morning President Obama spoke with President Aquino of the Philippines to express our deep condolences for the lives lost and damage caused by Super typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda, one of the largest, strongest storms to ever hit land," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters at his daily news conference.
Over the weekend, he said, Obama directed the administration to mount a swift and coordinated response to save lives and provide assistance to alleviate suffering.
USAID and the Department of Defence are providing significant assistance to the people of the Philippines, he said, adding that even before the storm reached land, USAID had deployed a disaster assistance response team to the area.
"After landfall, US Marines were some of the first to help deliver supplies for the relief effort. American aircraft are delivering vital assistance and equipment. The United States is also providing food aid to feed tens of thousands of people in the coming days," he said.
"Additionally, the aircraft carrier USS George Washington and several escort ships are on their way to the Philippines. On arrival, they will help expand search-and- rescue operations, provide medical care and serve as platforms for a base of helicopters working to deliver supplies.
"Our State Department and USAID team on the ground is coordinating with local officials and other organisations, and in the days ahead, the United States will continue to work with the Philippines to deliver -- deliver, rather, whatever help we can as quickly as possible," Carney said.