Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Emergency aid workers from children’s charity Plan International are heading to areas affected by Typhoon Utor, which hit the Philippines overnight.
The typhoon made landfall at Casiguran in Aurora province, early this morning (Monday), with gusts of up to 120mph.
At least one person is dead and dozens of fishermen are missing. Thousands of people are stranded in ports on the island of Luzon and about a thousand more have been evacuated from the Bicol region.
"Early reports are starting to come through of the damage that this typhoon has caused," says Plan International's Country Director in the Philippines, Carin van der Hor.
"So far material damage to houses and other structures has been reported. However, because communications have been down since last night, we have not had any reports from the areas where the typhoon made landfall.”
Plan has sent a team to the affected regions to assess and respond to the needs of people there. They will be carrying purifying drops so that affected families can access safe drinking water.
Further deployments will be made if necessary.
“When disasters hit, they always hit the most vulnerable the hardest. 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,” Ms van der Hor added.
The Philippines is extremely vulnerable to typhoons and storms. An average of 20 typhoons hit the country every year, with two or three causing serious damage.
For more information on Plan’s work or to make a donation call 0800 526 848 or visit www.plan-uk.org