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Plan Emergency Response Team on Standby as Earthquake Rocks Philippines

Plan International’s emergency response teams are on standby for deployment in the Philippines after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Central Visayas region earlier this morning.

The earthquake, which was felt across Visayas and Mindanao, has killed at least 73 people and has caused significant structural damage to buildings and roads, while aftershocks are still being felt.

Several Plan staff witnessed the earthquake, including Rachelle Nuestro, Plan Philippines project manager. "We were having breakfast this morning here in Tacloban City when we felt the ground shaking. It was so strong that we ran out of the fast food store. Outside, I saw power lines swaying," she said.

Erly Ocasiones, former program manager for Plan Philippines, in Cebu, also felt the impact of the earthquake. "The earthquake felt very strong as did the aftershocks. Houses started swaying and people were very afraid. My house swayed and suffered damage from the earthquake,” he said.

Plan’s team is now ready to respond to the emergency and the child rights organization will be focused on responding to the needs of children.

Carin van der Hor, Plan’s Country Director in the Philippines, says:

Plan's emergency response team is ready to travel to affected areas to respond to the needs of children and their families. Relief goods including water purification kits and jerry cans are ready for immediate distribution, if required. Since children are most vulnerable in disaster situations, our efforts will be focused on children.

The Philippines, located in the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, an area of major seismic activity, is prone to large earthquakes and tsunamis.

Plan International is one of the Philippines' longest-serving aid and development organizations, with a special focus on helping marginalized children in 420 communities across the country to access their rights to health, education, livelihoods, disaster risk management, and protection.

Plan has worked in the Philippines for more than 50 years and has extensive experience responding to natural disasters and other crises, deploying teams of technical experts to support the immediate delivery of clean drinking water, food, medical supplies, shelter, educational resources, and psychosocial support. Plan is also recognized for its expertise in protecting emergency-affected children from abuse, exploitation, neglect and violence.

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.


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