As Typhoon Bopha continues in its track towards the Philippines the residents of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro provinces in Mindanao are doing their best to avert disaster - according to Plan International.
People in the villages are getting ready as Bopha is expected to make landfall over the Philippines on Tuesday by which time it is expected to intensify into a Super Typhoon. Meteorologists say the typhoon will pack winds reaching 200 kilometres per hour and will bring heavy rains over an area of up to 700 kilometres.
In the village of Canitoan in Cagayan de Oro, local government officials are putting to use the disaster preparedness training provided by children’s organisation Plan International. They are reminding local residents of different alert levels and required response.
Joshoa Tabocloan, village head of Canitoan said: “We called on a meeting of all the residents to remind them that Typhoon Bopha will be stronger than Typhoon Washi (local name: Sendong) so we should all be prepared. We reminded them, especially the children, of the disaster preparedness trainings that Plan has conducted for us to make us better prepared in times like this.”
He said the names of members of the local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council were posted in the village hall and other public places within the community, so residents will know whom to approach if they need any assistance.
Cagayan de Oro and Iligan were the two most devastated provinces when Typhoon Washi hit the Philippines in 2011. Washi killed around 1,200 people and caused a damage of USD 32 million in agriculture and property. Over a thousand people have remained missing.
“We expect to have zero casualty this time because we are better prepared,” Tabocloan said.
Plan launched a one-year, US$1.5M disaster response to Iligan and Cagayan de Oro in the aftermath of Typhoon Washi. Response included WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), shelter, school supplies, and disaster preparedness training to some 3,833 children in 11 villages.
Plan International’s Country Director in the Philippines Carin van der Hor said: “We are continuously monitoring the situation and our field staff are updating us of all developments. In times like this, Plan is always ready to make a quick assessment which will guide us if there is a need to respond and if so, how best we could respond.”
“We have more than five years of disaster response experience in the country, and our response is focused on education and child protection in emergencies. Our first response can also consist of WASH, if needed.”
On an average 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year, with two or three of them devastating. Typhoon Bopha is the 16th to enter the country this year.
For more information about Plan’s work in the Philippines, including previous disaster responses, go to http://plan-international.org/where-we-work/asia/philippines
Plan’s Country Director in the Philippines Carin van der Hor is available for interviews.
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