US, Japan giving more to help 'Pablo' victims

The United States and Japan are extending more humanitarian aid to the victims of Tropical Cyclone Pablo (Bopha) in the Philippines.

US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. said on his Twitter account early Monday the US government is giving an additional $3 million (P122.88 million) for the victims.

"(Today), the US government is providing additional $3 million to address Typhoon Pablo-related humanitarian needs including support for shelter, logistics, and food," Thomas said.

Initially, the US had extended $100,000 for victims of Pablo, to be given to the Catholic Relief Services.

Meanwhile, Japan is providing an emergency assistance of Y45 million (about P22 million) for the victims of Pablo, the Japanese Embassy said over the weekend.

In a news release posted on its website Sunday, the embassy said the assistance will be coursed through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

"(The assistance will be) in the form of relief items which include tents, jerry cans, sleeping pads and plastic sheeting," it said.

Japan also pointed out both it and the Philippines are "disaster-prone nations."

Earlier, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda sent messages of condolences and sympathies to President Benigno Aquino III, as did Foreign Affairs Minister Koichiro Gemba to PHL Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario.

Japanese defense minister Satoshi Morimoto sent a similar message to Philippine counterpart Voltaire Gazmin.

"The Government of Japan reiterates its commitment in assisting the Philippine Government's disaster management efforts," the embassy said.

Tropical Cyclone Pablo swept through Mindanao and Visayas, and parts of Luzon, before weakening in the Ilocos area Sunday.

As of Sunday evening, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Pablo had caused more than 600 deaths

and P6 billion in damage. — KG, GMA News