By Argyll Geducos
President Duterte is one with Japan and has offered any humanitarian assistance the Philippines can provide after the country was ravaged by Typhoon Hagibis, the strongest typhoon to hit the Land of the Rising Sun in decades.
According to public broadcaster NHK, at least 18 people have been killed while more than a dozen went missing after “Hagibis” paralyzed Tokyo and surrounding areas, caused rivers to overflow, and left almost half a million homes without power.
“On behalf of the Filipino people, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte expresses his deep sympathy to the people and government of Japan for those who perished, were injured, or found themselves homeless in the aftermath of the stongest typhoon to hit Japan in decades,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said Sunday evening.
“As we offer our prayers, the Office of the President has likewise asked the Department of Foreign Affairs to get in touch with its Japanese counterpart for possible humanitarian assistance we can provide,” he added.
In his statement, Panelo said the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo is closely monitoring the situation and is coordinating with the members of the Filipino community in typhoon-affected areas in Japan.
Typhoon Hagibis made landfall on the island of Honshu Saturday evening. A magnitude-5.7 earthquake also shook Tokyo shortly after.
According to NHK, rescue efforts were in full force Sunday with thousands of troops, boats and helicopters deployed to the flooded areas. Rescue crew reportedly dug through dirt in other areas to try to get people out from homes buried by landslides.
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo convened an emergency meeting of relevant ministers and dispatched the minister in charge of disaster management to the worst-hit areas.
He also offered condolences to the families of those who died and said the government was working to save people’s lives and property.
President Duterte said he will go to Japan next week for the enthronement ceremony of new Japanese Emperor Naruhito.