Plan Ireland on the ground, ready to respond as typhoon hits the Philippines  


Plan Ireland is on the ground and ready to respond to Typhoon Hagupit, which is expected to slam into the Philippines Saturday evening local time, bringing with it destructive winds of up to 230 km/h and storm surges as high as a one-story building.

The typhoon, known locally as Ruby, is expected to make landfall over Eastern Samar, where Typhoon Haiyan hit last year. It is expected to follow a similar path to Haiyan, the biggest storm ever to make landfall and which killed thousands and left swathes of the Philippines devastated. The latest typhoon is expected to affect around 13 million people.

Around 24,000 families in Eastern Samar have now been evacuated, and power outage has been reported over Tacloban City, now described by local Plan staff as “a ghost town”. Tacloban is the biggest city in the region, and bore the brunt of last year’s devastation at the hands of Typhoon Haiyan.

Most of Tacloban has been without power since mid-afternoon today. Plan has prepositioned relief items on the island, including thousands of water kits, hygiene kits, tarpaulins and infant kits.

Carin van der Hor, Plan Ireland’s Country Director for the Philippines said;

“Obviously we have been here before and we are ready for Typhoon Hagupit. We have prepositioned aid right where it will be needed after the storm and we stand ready to respond to any devastation or destruction it might bring,”

“This typhoon is the last thing the people of the Philippines, particularly Samar, need. We have all worked so hard to get back on our feet after the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan and have made enormous progress. It’s heartbreaking to think that so much of that work is threatened,” van der Hor says.

Plan is also concerned about the children who will be caught up in the impact of Typhoon Hagupit.

Plan Ireland, Disaster Response Manager, Dualta Roughneen has just returned from the Philippines.

The children of the Philippines have already been through so much, and it looks like they are about to experience another frightening and devastating typhoon.”

“High levels of stress in the aftermath of a natural disaster can affect children’s development, and there is little more stressful than a major typhoon just a year after experiencing the biggest storm ever to make landfall.”

“The children who went through Haiyan are only just recovering and will need a great deal of extra support to ensure that this latest typhoon does not become a major setback for them.”

“We stand ready to come to the aid of children caught up in this typhoon. After Haiyan, we supported the recovery of hundreds of thousands of children and we are ready to continue that crucial work. No child deserves to go through something like this twice, and we will do all we can to help,”

Plan International is one of the Philippines’ longest-serving humanitarian and development organisations, with a special focus on helping marginalised children across the country to access their rights to health, education, livelihoods, disaster risk management and protection.