Tony Abbott has written to Philippines President Benigno Aquino to offer Australia's thoughts and prayers in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
Source
AAP
11 Nov 2013 - 9:38 AM  UPDATED 11 Nov 2013 - 10:32 AM

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has offered the Philippines' leader more disaster support after the devastating Typhoon Haiyan.

The government pledged almost $400,000 in immediate humanitarian aid after Haiyan slammed into the Philippines on Friday, killing more than 10,000 people.

But Mr Abbott says the government is prepared to do more.

"I join my fellow Australians in expressing our deepest sympathies to the people of the Philippines in the wake of the terrible loss of life and damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan," the prime minister said in a statement on Monday.

"I have written to the President of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III, to pass on our thoughts and prayers to the Philippine people and to offer further disaster support if and when it is needed."

Australian man Kevin Lee, a former priest who blew the whistle on child sex abuse cover-up in the Catholic church, was among those killed.

Mr Abbott said the government was providing consular assistance to his family and The Department of Foreign Affairs was investigating whether more Australians were affected.

DFAT says Australians concerned for the welfare of family and friends in the region, should first attempt to contact them directly.

If that is unsuccessful they should call DFAT's 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on 1300 555 135 or +612 6261 3305.

Speaking at a major international humanitarian forum in Sydney, foreign minister Julie Bishop said the government expected to announce more aid for the Philippines.

"The Australia government has provided initial emergency relief supplies and two Australian disaster experts are on the ground, a third on the way and we're working with Filipino authorities on a further aid package to be announced hopefully early this afternoon," she said on Monday.

Ms Bishop extended condolences to the people of the Philippines and the family of former Sydney priest Kevin Lee, who died in storm.

Mr Lee founded the Padre Pio parish in Glenmore Park, in western Sydney, but moved to the Philippines after leaving the priesthood.