Obama 'deeply saddened' by Philippines devastation - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Obama 'deeply saddened' by Philippines devastation

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WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says he and his wife, Michelle, are "deeply saddened" by the deaths and damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines this weekend.

Obama says the United States is providing "significant" humanitarian assistance and is prepared to further assist relief and recovery efforts.

Haiyan struck the eastern seaboard of the Philippines on Friday and quickly barreled across its central islands, packing winds that gusted up to 170 miles per hour. The death toll has climbed into the thousands, and about 4 million people were affected by the storm.

Obama praised the Philippine people for their "incredible resiliency."

The typhoon that slammed into the Philippines on Friday is shaping up as one of the deadliest natural disasters on record there. It will be days before the full extent of damage is assessed, but officials say as many as 10,000 people are believed dead in one city alone.

The storm left corpses hanging from tree branches, scattered along sidewalks and among flattened buildings. In its aftermath, looters have raided grocery stores and gas stations in search of food, fuel and water.

The storm surge created a 20-foot wall of water and some areas still have not been reached because they are cut off by flooding and landslides.

The Philippine interior secretary says "all systems, all vestiges of modern living - communications, power, water - all are down."

A massive relief operation is underway, but the Philippine National Red Cross says its efforts are being hampered by looters.

President Benigno Aquino III says he's considering declaring a state of emergency or martial law.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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