October 20, 2016: typhoon haima leaves 800-kilometre path of destruction across northern philippines

Plan Philippines Country Director Dennis O’Brien and Communications Manager Ernesto Almocera are in the Philippines and available for interview now via Jessica Lomelin - mobile: +95 (0)94 5492 0754 - skype: jessicanicole621 Jessica.Lomelin@plan-international.org

Parts of the Northern Philippines have suffered massive flooding, landslides and severe structural damage to homes, schools, evacuation centres and government buildings, as slow-moving but dangerous Super Typhoon Haima continues to cut an 800 kilometre swathe of destruction.

An estimated 2.8 million people have been directly impacted. Plan International Philippines response teams are preparing to depart for the most affected areas this afternoon, with emergency aid on hand.

Due to extensive power failures, the extent of the damage – or number of casualties – is still not clear.

Plan International Philippines Communications Manager Ernesto Almocera says the typhoon is still pounding the northern parts of the country and is expected to stay in the region until at least 10pm local time tonight (1am 21/10 AEST).  

“In terms of the intensity of the typhoon, it is almost similar to Haiyan in wind strength, but this one is actually larger in diameter, spanning 700 to 800km across,” Mr Almocera said.

“There has been a very large power failure, the communications lines are down, people are still grappling with the winds and strong rains.  

“The storm winds started to hammer the Cagayan region at 9pm last night. The eye of the storm hit them at 11pm and remained there until 6am with 205 kilometre an hour winds. The typhoon is moving slowly. Now it is on the western side of the island and expected to leave in the evening.

 “There are reports of houses damaged in Cagayan and Isabela, massive flooding, landslides, and critical condition of the dams for overflowing. So far there have been no reported incidents no official deaths recorded.”

Mr Almocera said information was slow to emerge from the typhoon affected municipalities, as cyclonic conditions remain and widespread blackouts cause delays. Government buildings were flooded and evacuation centres damaged, he said.

Plan International Philippines is currently preparing truckloads of supplies for the two most affected municipalities, Isabela and Cagayan. Assessment teams will distribute sanitation kits, shelter repair kits and temporary shelters.

Plans supplies include 2000 water kits, 3000 hygiene kits, 500 infant kits, and 2000 shelter repair kits.

Editors’ notes:
Information about Plan’s emergency appeal can be found here: https://www.plan.org.au/give/children-in-crisis  

Plan is one of the oldest and largest children's development organisations in the world, founded 79 years ago, working in 51 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas and supported by 21 donor countries. Plan is independent, with no religious, political or governmental affiliations.

Media contact in Australia: Jane Gardner, Media Relations Manager, 0438 130 905 or jane.gardner@plan.org.au