Rescue SA ready to help Philippines

Anywhere between 10,000 and 20,000 people are feared dead after Typhoon Haiyan struck on Friday.

The body of a dead man is seen at the bay of Tacloban on 10 November 2013 amid the wreckage caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Picture: Noel Celis/AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Rescue South Africa on Tuesday said it is ready to offer whatever assistance authorities in the Philippines require.

The group started tackling the logistics of deploying a mission to the south-east Asian nation.

Anywhere between 10,000 and 20,000 people are feared dead after the devastating Typhoon Haiyan struck on Friday.

According to the United Nations, an estimated 660,000 people have also been displaced and many have no access to food, water or medicine.

The disaster is the worst in the country's history.

Countries from around the globe are mobilising to assist, offering relief aid and medical support.

Rescue SA's Ian Scher says they're on full standby.

"At the moment, I'm waiting for prices on charter planes. I'm starting to notify different members that have assisted us in the past to give them a heads up that we may be on a mission."

Scher says the organisation will need funding support from individuals and corporates.

The team will be able to offer rescue or body recovery operations as well as medical assistance.

Rescue SA has previously worked on operations in Haiti and Japan after massive earthquakes in both countries.

Meanwhile, a US aircraft carrier and four US navy ships set out to the Philippines earlier on Tuesday to accelerate relief efforts.

The Pentagon says the nuclear-powered George Washington should arrive within two to three days.

South African aid organisation Gift of the Givers Foundation also pledged its support, saying it would donate R2 million worth of relief to victims of the super typhoon.