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MANILA 15 October 2013: Humanitarian organisation Plan International’s emergency response teams are on standby for immediate deployment in the Philippines after a shallow 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Central Visayas region at 8.12 am Tuesday.
The quake, which was felt across Visayas and Mindanao, killed at least 4 people and did significant structural damage to buildings and roads. Initial data from USGS showed there were 2 earthquakes, both centred in Bohol. The quake was followed by two aftershocks, each measuring 5.0 on the richter scale.
"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 and people along the street. It was really strong," said Rachelle Nuestro, Plan Philippines project manager.
Erly Ocasiones, Plan Philippines former programme manager, in Cebu, said, "The earthquake felt very strong and the aftershocks also felt strong. Houses started swaying and people were very afraid. My house was damaged. My house swayed and the wall frame all toppled. My mother's fridge opened and all the jars inside fell out."
“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,” said Carin van der Hor, Plan’s Country Director in the Philippines.
“Since children are most vulnerable in disaster situations, our efforts will be focused on children.”
The Philippines is prone to large earthquakes and tsunami, located in the Pacific “ring of fire”, an area of major seismic activity.
Plan International is one of the Philippines' longest-serving aid and development organisations, with a special focus on helping marginalised 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 recognised for its expertise in protecting emergency-affected children from abuse, exploitation, neglect and violence.
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