US sends Marines to help Philippines after typhoon

A team of about 90 US Marines and sailors headed to the Philippines on Sunday, part of a first wave of promised US military assistance for relief efforts after a devastating typhoon killed at least 10,000 people, US officials said.

Thousands of homes lie destroyed near the fishport after super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city Credit: Reuters

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel this weekend ordered the US military's Pacific Command to assist with search and rescue operations and provide air support in the wake of super typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded.

The team of US forces from the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade left for the Philippines from a US base in Okinawa, Japan, aboard two KC-130J Hercules transport aircraft, the Marines said in a statement.

Two Florida-based Navy P-3 Orion surveillance aircraft, which had been on a six month rotation to Misawa, Japan, have been prepositioned in the Philippines to assist with search and rescue operations, the Marines said.