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11 countries pledge aid as Ruby batters PH

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 01:33 PM December 07, 2014
A Filipino man leans on a wall as strong winds brought by Typhoon Hagupit slam Legazpi, Albay province, eastern Philippines on Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014.  Typhoon Hagupit slammed into the central Philippines' east coast late Saturday, knocking out power and toppling trees in a region where 650,000 people have fled to safety, still haunted by the massive death and destruction wrought by a monster storm last year. AP/Aaron Favila

A Filipino man leans on a wall as strong winds brought by Typhoon Hagupit slam Legazpi, Albay province, eastern Philippines on Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014. Typhoon Hagupit slammed into the central Philippines’ east coast late Saturday, knocking out power and toppling trees in a region where 650,000 people have fled to safety, still haunted by the massive death and destruction wrought by a monster storm last year. AP/Aaron Favila

MANILA, Philippines–As Typhoon Ruby (international name Hagupit) lashes the Philippines, 11 countries have already pledged to provide emergency assistance, military chief General Gregorio Pio Catapang said.

In a press briefing Sunday, Catapang said the United States, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Canada, United Kingdom, Indonesia, Brunei, China, Malaysia and Thailand pledged to help the country in its relief and rehabilitation efforts.

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“These countries have signified their pledge to assist us,” Catapang said in the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council headquarters inside Camp Aguinaldo.

He added that a team from the Philippine Air Force are in Borongan Airport to assess the situation in the area while Catarman Airport would be used as a temporary hub for C-130 planes to land.

The C-130 planes would stay in Catarman for the immediate distribution of relief goods in Eastern Visayas, where Ruby was first felt.

As of 10 a.m., Ruby was located at 20 kilometers east of Cataingan, Masbate and packing maximum sustained winds of 140 kilometers per hour and gusts of 170 kph.

Ruby made its first landfall in Dolores, Samar on Saturday evening and made its second in Cataingan Masbate Sunday late morning.

Catapang added that military troops are in Borongan and Catarman conducting road-clearing operations.

Also, 30 aircraft of the Philippine Air Force are on standby for possible disaster relief and rescue missions once rains and winds subside.

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TAGS: Armed Forces of the Philippines, General Gregorio Pio Catapang, nation, Ruby
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