Manila (19 October) – Child rights and humanitarian organisation Plan International is preparing to respond as Super Typhoon Haima approaches the Philippines, bringing powerful winds, heavy rain, storm surges and the threat of flash flooding.
The typhoon is intensifying in strength and is expected to make landfall in the Cagayan region early morning tomorrow, Thursday 20 October. An estimated 1.9 million people living in three regions are in the direct path of the Typhoon.
Ernesto Almocera, Communications and Advocacy Manager for Plan International in the Philippines, says the region is prone to typhoons, but one of this size and scale has not been seen since Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013.
“This typhoon is headed for the same area that was hit by Typhoon Sarika on Monday, however that typhoon was relatively weak in comparison. Haima is now categorised as a super typhoon with a sustained wind strength of 210 kilometres per hour.
“It is not uncommon for the Philippines to get typhoons – we are expecting another 12 typhoons by December – but one of this strength and size is uncommon,” said Almocera.
As communities brace for the impact of Super Typhoon Haima, Plan International is preparing to respond alongside national government officials, non-government organizations, UN agencies and partners. Plan International is part of a multi-agency coordination effort to respond to the typhoon.
Once Typhoon Haima makes landfall, Plan International teams will deploy an emergency response team to affected areas and assess immediate needs.
Plan International will dispatch emergency supplies, including thousands of water, hygiene and shelter kits, to ensure that children and those most affected will have emergency shelter, water, and sanitation relief.
“Right now there are flashes of wind, but the rain is already strong,” says Ronald Martin, a farmer from Baggao Cagayan, a municipality in the path of Haima. “We were told about the rivers rising and where to go in case of evacuation,” said Martin.
Plan has worked in the Philippines for more than 50 years, supporting marginalized children access their rights to health, education, livelihoods, disaster risk management and protection. Plan has responded to numerous emergencies across the disaster-prone country in the last five years providing food, medical supplies, health materials and psycho-social support. Most recently, Plan has responded to Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful typhoons on record, made its first landfall near Guiuan municipality of Eastern Samar, Eastern Visayas region of the Philippines on November 8, 2013