Defense aircraft to Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan northeast of Taiwan
Typhoon Haiyan northeast of Taiwan. 16 October 2001Jacques Descloitres / MODIS Land Rapid Response Team / NASA/GSFC

The government sends a defense aircraft to the Philippines. The unit of the Royal Air Force will probably leave Thursday from Eindhoven Airport.

The aircraft will transport relief supplies of the cooperating organizations, such as medicines, tarpaulins, jerrycans and material for drinking water and to water purifiers.

The deployment of the aircraft is in addition to the amount the government previously made available for the relief effort.

Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Minister Ploumen is shocked by the images from the Philippines. She calls the scale of the tragedy and the suffering of the victims and their families unimaginable, and wants everybody to do what they can to help.

Ploumen's colleague, Hennis-Plasschaert adds that Defense can also make a difference in the Philippines.

Foreign Affairs keeps in touch with the United Nations and the European Union concerning further assistance.

There are 23 Dutch in the Philippines with whom the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs can no get in touch. Earlier numbers talked about 16 Dutch.

Foreign Affairs does not consider them missing, because the lack of contact could be due to technical conditions.

The ministry also attributes the increase in the number of Dutch who are out of reach to the wider circle from which the messages arrive. Initially only anxious relatives responded, but now reports come in from people who were following other people on Twitter and Facebook, and have not seen any new messages in the past few days.

So far one Dutch fatality as a result of the hurricane is certain.  A 69-year-old Diemen local was on a diving holiday in the west of the country.