Typhoon Haiyan: British expats and tourists join aid efforts

10,000 people are estimated to have been killed by super storm

British expats and tourists in typhoon-devastated Philippines have joined recovery and aid efforts in the wake of the super storm that has left thousands dead.

The help from Britons on the ground comes as the Government pledged £6 million in immediate aid.

About 10,000 people are estimated to have been killed after Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the Asian nation three days ago.

The islands Leyte, Samar and the northern part of Cebu copped the worst of the storm. About four million people had been affected, the country's national disaster agency said.

Sunderland man Tim Harding said he was one of many foreigners who were volunteering at a Manila Red Cross centre in the storm's aftermath.

Mr Harding said he had planned a holiday to the nation's capital with his wife, who was originally from the Philippines, but it had instead become a volunteer mission.

“And that's OK to be fair,” he told the Press Association from Manila today.

“It's good to see everyone getting on, doing a job where race, nationality, income level, nothing matters at all.

“There's only one priority here and that's to get together, get stuck in and do the greater good.”

Mr Harding said he would help wherever he could for the next few weeks and it was a mindset shared by other foreigners hailing from not only the UK, but elsewhere in Europe and the world.

He said there were mixed emotions in the recovery centre, with many locals also helping out to take their minds of the devastation.

“There's a lot of panic going on here,” he said.

“Although we just got some good news a few minutes ago that a three-year-old child had actually been rescued in the debris at a place in Tacloban city.

“There was a big cheer that went up.”

Mr Harding likened the mood to what would have been felt during the London Blitz during World War II.

“You've got people worried about their families in the harder-hit areas, but everyone is coming together and just helping out, you know?” he said.

Meanwhile, the UK Government is implementing a £6 million rapid response to the crisis.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said NHS experts had been flown with shelter and water purification kits to hardest-hit Tacloban.

Corpses had reportedly been found hanging from trees and scattered on pavements in the seaside city. Many people were also buried in flattened buildings.

The minister said the British response was being coordinated by aid agencies, which were already on the ground.

But organisations are being hampered by widespread devastation. Emergency workers have been restricted by blocked roads and damaged airports as they raced to deliver tents, food and medicines to eastern Leyte Province.

“The first thing is to get the logistic routes open so we can start to get those life-saving supplies to people,” Ms Greening told ITV's Daybreak.

“We need then to work on the ground to get some semblance of order and start to put families back together.

“We've already got flights booked so we can get more supplies out and, of course, working hand in hand with Save the Children, so we can partner up with those key NGOs that can deliver on the ground.”

Filipino expats living in the UK are also banding together to help amid fears for loved ones caught up in the devastation back home.

Emma Bibal, director for Filipino charity Bahay Kubo Housing Association, said she and fellow expats had been trying to contact loved ones while they watch the “heartbreaking” developments unfold from afar.

Ms Bibal said although her family was safe, others in London's Filipino community, particularly with family in the hardest-hit areas, were yet to receive the same good news.

“It's very worrying,” she said.

“We've all seen the clips on the news, so we know just how bad it is.”

Ms Bibal said she would be meeting with other Filipino support groups tomorrow to work out how they could best coordinate fundraising efforts.

The Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC), a co-operative of more than a dozen leading UK charities, is expected to launch an appeal to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis in the Philippines.

The group of 14 NGOs, which includes the British Red Cross and Oxfam, has previously raised upwards of £1.1 billion in response to massive human tragedies.

DEC was able to encourage donations of more than £72 million following the 2010 floods in Pakistan, £107 million for the earthquake in Haiti and a record-breaking £392 million after a tsunami devastated much of south east Asia in 2004.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
News
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
news
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Lettings and Sales Negotiator - OTE £46,000

£16000 - £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Home Care Worker - Reading and Surrounding Areas

£9 - £13 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a s...

Recruitment Genius: Key Sales Account Manager - OTE £35,000

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn