The IDF on Sunday sent a preliminary assessment team of five officers, “experts in the fields of search, rescue, and medicine,” to disaster-struck Philippines where a typhoon is believed to have killed as many as 10,000 people since it hit Friday.
The team, under the Home Front Command, set out “in order to closely form a situation assessment and infrastructure evaluation that would determine the best rapid response the IDF could offer to the Government of the Philippines,” the military said in a statement.
Israel’s emergency medical, ambulance, disaster and blood bank service, Magen David Adom (MDA) was reportedly considering sending a team to assist the International Red Cross working in the Philippines.
The IsraAID team, supported by the AJC and Jewish communities in North America, will be comprised of medical, trauma and relief professionals.
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) announced Saturday that it too would contribute to disaster relief efforts by collecting funds for the Philippines.
“Responding to a quickly rising death toll and catastrophic destruction, JDC staff experts are consulting with local authorities, the Filipino Jewish community, and global partners to assess the unfolding situation on the ground and ensure survivors’ immediate needs are addressed,” the organization said in a statement Saturday.
“These efforts are especially poignant for us given the Philippines’s life-saving actions during the Second World War when the country offered safe haven to more than 1,000 Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazi onslaught. It is our privilege today to honor that historic debt,” said Alan H. Gill, JDC’s Chief Executive Officer.
Typhoon Haiyan hit the eastern seaboard of the Philippines on Friday and quickly barreled across its central islands, packing winds of 235 kph (147 mph) that gusted to 275 kph (170 mph), and a storm surge of 6 meters (20 feet)…..