Saturday, February 18, 2006

U.S. Military Sends Team to Philippine Landslide Site

The U.S. military's joint task force overseeing a military exercise is sending a survey team to the landslide site in Southern Leyte on Saturday to assess humanitarian situation, reported the Philippine Daily Inquirer on its website.

"We don't want to give help that they don't need," Captain Burrell Parmer, Balikatan (shoulder-to-shoulder military exercise) public information officer, was quoted as saying by the local newspaper.

The task force's team of engineers and medical personnel will take off from the Clark former US airforce base, 50 kilometers north of Manila, aboard a KC-130 cargo plane, said the report.

Parmer did not say how many members are in the team but said it is staffed with "adequate people with the right skills" from the U.S. Army, Marine, Air Force, and Navy, according to the report.

But the landslide in Southern Leyte is not expected to affect the schedule of Balikatan 2006, which is due to start on Feb. 20 in the provinces of Sulu, southern Philippines, Cebu in central Philippines and in the region of Luzon, mainly the Subic Bay former U.S. navy base.

A United States Embassy spokesman said earlier the U.S. navy could send a warship to the coast of Southern Leyte to assist the rescue operation for hundreds, if not thousands, of villagers buried by a landslide Friday.

More than 5,000 U.S. troops are participating in the Balikatan exercise. (Source: Xinhua)

1 comment:

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