Children at Risk After Philippines Earthquake
Thousands of families remain in urgent need of support after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck the Central Visayas region in the Philippines on Tuesday morning.
“Plan's emergency response team is in Bohol, one of the most affected areas, to assess and respond to the most urgent needs of children and their families. Reports are coming through of the real extent of damage this earthquake has caused. We are concerned about the impact this is having on the children whose lives are disrupted and have no roof over their head to sleep tonight,” said Carin van de Hor, Plan International’s Country Director in the Philippines.
An estimated 400,000 families, in particular children who remain most at risk in a disaster, require urgent assistance to access clean water and shelter as their homes and water systems were destroyed in the earthquake.
“Children are always badly affected by disasters like this; some will lose their lives, or lose parents, siblings and extended families. Everything that is familiar and safe is disrupted or destroyed, including homes, schooling, and family livelihoods. These children will also have seen things that no child should have to see,” said Carin van der Hor.
Plan is assessing the situation in Bohol and will respond immediately to the most urgent needs, including distribution of water purification kits and jerry cans to around 1,000 families most in need.
The earthquake, which was felt across Visayas and Mindanao, has killed at least 107 people and has also caused significant structural damage to buildings and roads, while 853 aftershocks were recorded, according to the most recent data from the government.
Cham, a villager in Cebu, told Plan staff: “I don’t know how to feel. My nana and brother will have no place to stay tonight.”
Rami, an eyewitness now separated from his family in Bohol, said: “I feel bad; I can't go home to help because the Tubigon pier is damaged and closed. My dad, grandpa, and mother will be staying with other people at the town's plaza tonight. Our house is completely wrecked.”
Carin van der Hor has stressed that: “Since children are most vulnerable in disaster situations, our relief efforts will be focused on children.”
Information for Sponsors
Plan International USA will contact sponsors directly if we receive any news about individual sponsored children. If you are planning a visit or have any particular concerns around this issue, please contact our Donor Relations staff at 1-800-556-7918.