MANILA – Plan International Philippines is deploying an Emergency Response Team to determine the immediate needs of children and communities living in areas affected by the 6.7-magnitude earthquake that struck Surigao City, Surigao del Norte in Mindanao on Friday, February 10th.
The epicenter of the earthquake was almost nine miles northwest of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte, at a depth of almost seven miles, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.
Based on the latest report from the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, four people have died and 109 people suffered injuries. More than 300 houses, along with major roads and bridges, are damaged, impacting access for humanitarian aid as particular areas have become impassable for heavy vehicles. The main airport is also closed due to extensive damage to the runway.
Residents in Surigao City and neighboring towns are experiencing frequent power outages and are reporting a scarcity in water supply.
Ryan Lander, Plan International Philippines Deputy Country Director for Programs said: “Our main concern is the safety and well-being of the children and girls in the affected area, as they are the most vulnerable in these situations.
"We are deploying our response team to assess the situation and will continue working in close coordination with government officials and in-country humanitarian organizations. Plan International will support the government to determine urgent needs of children and their families and will offer humanitarian aid, if requested."
At least 30 aftershocks were felt in Caraga Region yesterday, with some shocks measuring as high as 4.1 in magnitude strength. Classes remained closed today as the Department of Education assesses the extent of school damage caused by the earthquake.
"Children are in distress due to the earthquake and the aftershocks. Some of the children even sleep under tables at night, together with their parents because they are afraid of the aftershocks,” says Manuel Limjoco Jr. of the Department of Education - Division of Surigao del Norte.
Plan International Philippines has a program area in Central Mindanao, which is relatively near the communities affected by the earthquake. Philippines is located along a typhoon belt and the so-called ‘Ring of Fire,’ a vast Pacific Ocean region where earthquakes and volcanic activities occur.
About Plan International USA
Plan International USA, part of the Plan International Federation, is a child-centered development organization that believes in the promise and potential of children. For more than 75 years in over 50 developing countries, Plan has been breaking the cycle of child poverty. Everything Plan does – from strengthening health care systems to improving the quality of education, to advocating for increased protection and beyond – is built with, and owned by, the community. The result is a development approach designed to improve the lives of the youngest members of the community for the longest period of time. For more information, please visit PlanUSA.org.