Washington: Shaken by the images of the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan, US President Barack Obama on Thursday said when friends are in trouble, America helps, as his administration launched a massive humanitarian relief efforts in the Philippines.
"Over the past few days, I think all of us have been shaken by the images of the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan. It`s a heartbreaking reminder of how fragile life is. And among the dead are several Americans. So our prayers are will the Filipino people and with Filipino-Americans across our country who are anxious about their family and friends back home," Obama told reporters at a White House news conference.
"One of our core principles is when friends are in trouble, America helps. As I told (Philippine) President Aquino earlier this week, the United States will continue to offer whatever assistance we can. Our military personnel and USAID team do this better than anybody in the world. And they`ve been already on the ground working tirelessly to deliver food, water, medicine, shelter and to help with airlift," he said.
The aircraft carrier USS George Washington and other ships today arrived in the Philippines to help with search and rescue, as well as supplies, medical care and logistical support, Obama said, adding that more help is on the way.
"America`s strength, of course has always been more than just about what our government can do; it`s also about what our citizens can do. It`s about the bigheartedness of the American people when they see other folks in trouble," he said.
Obama encouraged people desirous of helping the victims in the Philippines to visit the White House website.
"That will offer you links to organisations that are working on the ground in ways that you can support their efforts. Our friends in the Philippines will face a long, hard road ahead, but they`ll continue to have a friend and partner in the United States of America," he said.