UK send RAF aid plane to the Philippines with Destroyer Warship, land clearing Equipments and more than £30 Million aid

The C-17 military transport aircraft is carrying JCB diggers, a forklift truck, two Land Rovers and medical aid / JCB equipment is being transported to help clear the way to hard-to-reach areas

RAF aid plane on way to Philippines in relief effort

An RAF transport aircraft carrying aid for people affected by the Philippines typhoon has left the UK and is expected to reach the country within 24 hours.

The C-17 aircraft, which contains heavy duty vehicles and medical supplies, is part of Britain's emergency response.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) said its UK appeal had raised more than £30m in three days.

Typhoon Haiyan, which hit last Friday, has killed at least 3,621 people and displaced more than half a million.

'Terrible disaster'

The C-17, which took off on Friday morning from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, is being operated by No 99 Squadron.

Its load includes two JCB diggers, two Land Rovers and a forklift truck emblazoned with stickers reading "UK aid from the British people".

Flight Sergeant Tony Rimmer, loadmaster at Brize Norton, said they had had plenty of volunteers to help load the aircraft.

Speaking at Brize Norton, International Development Secretary Justine Greening said the UK was trying to get humanitarian aid through to the people on the ground, and that meant clearing roads to get the logistics operation up and running,

"You cannot do that without the right equipment. We've got the right equipment and we're sending it over," she said.

"I think we'll be working with the Philippines over the coming months, possibly years. Obviously this has been a terrible disaster," she added.

Meanwhile a team of 12 medical experts from the UK, requested by the Philippines Department of Health, has arrived in the country's capital, Manila.

'Delivering essentials'

The Royal Navy destroyer HMS Daring is expected to arrive in the Philippines on Friday.

HMS Daring has more than 200 personnel on board including a doctor, a dentist, engineers and a chaplain. It is also carrying members of the Royal Marines band who, as a secondary role, are trained first aiders.

The ship holds 700 ration packs, can provide more than 20,000 litres of water, and has other equipment including generators and thermal-imaging cameras.

It is due to be relieved by the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious, which is currently in the Gulf, and is set to arrive on 24 November.

Announcing the move on Thursday, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said the typhoon in the Philippines was an "absolute tragedy" and the country needed long-term help for its people.

He said the UK government had now given more than £20m in aid.

He added that helicopters from HMS Illustrious would be used to take food and water to people stranded in remote parts of the Philippines, which is made up of more than 7,000 islands.

The carrier, which currently has 900 crew and seven helicopters, has equipment to provide water suitable for drinking,

A huge international aid effort is under way, but widespread infrastructure damage is hampering efforts to distribute it to some areas.

The DEC's alliance of 14 UK aid charities said donations from the UK public have shot up from £23m at midday on Thursday to £30m on Friday.

The funds will be used to deliver food, water and sanitation equipment, household items and building materials to rebuild essential infrastructure in the ruined areas.

DEC chief executive Saleh Saeed said: "We are so grateful to the people of the UK for their generosity to date.

"But the needs are so great, with hundreds of thousands of people displaced. People desperately need the basics of food, water and shelter. Money raised will go to delivering these essentials and it's important we continue to provide this help."

US aircraft carrier and other US vessels have already arrived in the Philippines, where the UN estimates 11 million people have been affected by the typhoon

BBC News - UK.

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