Philippines sends C-130 to deliver aid to quake-hit Indonesia

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - The Philippines deployed on Wednesday one of its Air Force C-130 planes to Indonesia to deliver humanitarian aid for the victims of the recent earthquake and tsunami.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who led the send-off ceremony at Villamor Air Base, apologized for the Philippine government’s delayed response.

“We could’ve reacted earlier had we not had a disaster here in the Philippines,” he said, referring to the recent Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut), the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the Philippines this year.

He said Indonesia requested for humanitarian assistance last week.

The Philippine C-130 plane will be limited to transporting aid and a humanitarian team, and will not be engaged in retrieval operations.

The Philippine plane will deliver relief items to Balikpapan, Indonesia. The donations include a water filtration system, generator sets, tents, and sleeping kits.

A second C-130 sortie is scheduled to deliver aid on Oct. 15.

Office of Civil Defense deputy administrator Nicanor Faeldon will lead the 25-man delegation to Indonesia.

The magnitude 7.5 earthquake and an ensuing tsunami in Central Sulawesi last Sept. 28 left at least 2,000 people killed as of Tuesday.

Last week, the Philippines also offered financial assistance to Indonesia through the Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

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