More than a year after the onslaught of Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, Plan International is closely monitoring and is ready to respond to another strong typhoon poised to make landfall this weekend.
Typhoon Hagupit, known locally as ‘Ruby’, is expected to make landfall on Saturday and to follow an almost identical path across multiple provinces in central Philippines that Haiyan took a year ago.
The typhoon is expected to generate high winds, heavy rain and storm surges of up to four metres, all threatening lives, properties and crops. The storm is currently off the coast of the Philippines and is packing winds of around 240 km/h.
Fifty-six provinces have now been put on ‘critical’ alert by the national disaster risk reduction agency, with many areas, including six Plan International programme areas, expected to experience powerful winds and intense rainfall.
“Another typhoon is the last thing that they need,” says Carin van der Hor, Plan International’s Country Director in the Philippines, of the people in communities recovering from Haiyan.
“Though children in these areas have become more aware and more prepared for storms, they remain worried and fearful of the catastrophic aftermath of such calamities.”
Plan has helped more than 1.3 million people in 1,300 villages who survived last year’s devastation from Typhoon Haiyan.
“We are monitoring Typhoon Hagupit and keeping updated on all developments. Our Plan emergency response staff who are already on the ground are always ready to make a quick assessment that can guide us if there is a need to respond and if so, how best we can respond.”
In preparation for an aid response, Plan has pre-positioned in Eastern Samar water kits and hygiene kits that will benefit 15,000 individuals, tarpaulins for shelter of about 5,000 people, and more than 3,400 infant kits. Plan staff are also increasing preparedness among communities by coordinating with local disaster risk reduction and management councils and disseminating messages and information for preparedness.
“We know from more than 50 years of experience working in the Philippines that when disasters hit, they always hit the most vulnerable the hardest. Children are always badly affected by disasters like this so we always work to ensure that girls, boys and their caregivers are prioritized for immediate assistance,” Van der Hor adds.
Plan International is one of the Philippines' longest-serving aid and development organizations, with a special focus on helping marginalised children across the country to access their rights to health, education, livelihoods, disaster risk management and protection.
Plan is one of the oldest and largest children's development organisations in the world, founded 75 years ago, working in 50 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas and supported by 21 donor countries. Plan is independent, with no religious or political affiliations.
Media contact: Adam Cathro, Plan International in Australia, Media Relations Manager, 0488 202 945