US embassy donates $50K for immediate 'Ondoy' relief

United States Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney has offered to give $50,000 (roughly P2.3 million) as immediate disaster relief assistance for the damage brought by tropical storm ‘Ondoy’ in the country.

In a statement sent to media Saturday evening, Kenney informed Philippine National Red Cross chair Sen. Richard Gordon that the said funds will be coursed through the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance of the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

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"The damage this storm has caused is heartbreaking," US Embassy spokesperson Rebecca Thompson said in the statement.

According to Thompson, embassy officials are in touch with officials of the National Disaster Coordinating Council to determine what other aid the US may offer.

NDCC chair Gilberto Teodoro Jr. has declared a state of calamity in 25 provinces in Luzon and Metro Manila.

Teodoro said local governments in places under a state of calamity are allowed to mobilize resources needed for rescue, evacuation and relief operations.

The provinces are Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, Rizal, Quezon, Isabela, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Benguet, La Union, Ilocos Sur, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Mindoro Oriental, Mindoro Occidental, Marinduque, Camarines Norte, and Bataan.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), the heavy downpours spawned by typhoon "Ondoy" in a span of six hours on Saturday resulted in the highest recorded rainfall in 42 years. – Joseph Holandes Ubalde, GMANews.Tv