Indonesia ready to help typhoon Haiyan victims

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia is prepared to help the victims of super typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines with logistical assistance and volunteer help through the Ministry of Social Affairs.

"The Ministry is ready to prepare whatever it may need," said the Ministrys Director of Natural Disaster Victim Protection, Margo Wiyono, here on Friday.

Earlier, the ministry distributed 500 boxes of instant noodles, 1,000 food packages, 1,000 packages of side dishes, and 1,000 blankets to victims of the typhoon.

The assistance is part of the aid from the Indonesian government for Haiyan super typhoon victims, which struck the Philippines on Friday, November 8 and, according to Philippines government data, took the lives of 2,357 people.

The Indonesian government has distributed over two million U.S. dollars worth of aid, in the form of one million U.S. dollars in cash, and the remainder in goods and logistical support. Some 75 tons of assistance have been delivered to the worst-hit areas.

The Indonesian aid was transported using three C-130 Hercules aircrafts from the Ministry of Defence, departing on Wednesday, November 13.

The three Indonesian Hercules planes were carrying 36.6 tons of food, medicines, generators, and blankets from Halim Perdanakusumah Airbase in Jakarta, making three flight sorties.

"According to the report, our aid arrived yesterday and we are currently exploring whether aid can also be brought by ship. We are now waiting for instructions," he added.

Regarding sending Indonesian volunteers to the disaster area, Margo said officials are still discussing this, as currently only experts are needed, particularly due to communications problems.