Philippines typhoon Haiyan: Chile and Mexico to send humanitarian aid
By Dialogo November 19, 2013
The governments of Chile and Mexico have announced plans to send humanitarian aid to the Philippines, where an estimated 3,600 people were killed and about 300,000 were left homeless by typhoon Haiyan.
The Chilean government announced plans to send aid to the Philippines after the typhoon struck on Nov. 8, 2013. Typhoon Haiyan was one of the strong storms ever recorded, with speeds up to 195 miles per hour.
“Our embassy is getting in touch with Filipino authorities to find out what their needs are and how we can collaborate,” Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno said at a press conference Nov. 11. The Filipinos “have faced a disaster of enormous dimensions and we Chileans know what it is to face natural disasters,” Moreno said.
Humanitarian aid and solidarity
The Mexican government announced it will be sending $1 million (USD) in humanitarian aid to the Philippines.
The governments of Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Mexico issued statements expressing “solidarity” with the people of the Philippines.
Chileans in the Philippines
Typhoon Haiyan directly affected a small number of Chileans in the Philippines. The Chilean Consul to the Philippines, María Fernanda Vila, said in a TV interview November 11 that eight of 13 Chilean nationals known to be in the areas worst-affected by Typhoon Haiyan are unhurt.
“They are all safe and sound, but shaken,” Vila told CNN Chile. Vila said the Consulate was attempting to track down the remaining five Chilean nationals.
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera also sent a personal note of condolence to the government of Philippines President Benigno Aquino III to express the Chilean people’s “deepest sorrow” over the tragedy, according to the Chilean government website.
An international response
In promising aid to the stricken Philippines, Chile and Mexico are part of a growing list of countries that have delivered or promised aid. For example, Australia announced a $9.3 million (USD) aid package, including medical personnel and non-food items such as tarpaulins, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, water containers and hygiene kits.
“Given the degree of destruction caused by the typhoon in the Philippines, all international humanitarian aid is important,” said Luis Gomez, a security analyst at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. “The help that Chile and Mexico are providing right now is very important, to a country that desperately needs it.”
New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, the European Commission and other nations and international bodies have also promised millions of dollars in aid. The U.S., meanwhile, is providing $20 million in immediate humanitarian assistance and has sent a team of about 90 Marines and sailors as an initial assistance force.
Chilean natural disasters
Chileans are familiar with the human toll natural disasters can exact. Over the past three decades, earthquakes, tsunamis, storms, floods and other natural disasters have killed almost 1,600 people in Chile, according to international disaster statistics. T
he natural disaster which caused the most damage was an 8.8 magnitude earthquake that occurred off the coast of central Chile on Feb. 27, 2010. The earthquake caused a tsunami. The earthquake and the tsunami killed 535 people, left 25 people missing and left about nine percent of the country’s population homeless.
Julieta Pelcastre contributed to this article.
Well, I disagree, as many do, regarding the expression "natural disaster". For me a disaster is caused by those of us who are anti-nature, we the humans cause the disaster, a typhoon, an earthquake, a landslide, etc. are 98% caused by us....How many nuclear tests have been done in the subsoil? How much pollution have we caused in our air environment? How much logging and destruction of the geological environment have we caused? How many millions of people live in high-risk places? How much poverty is there?