AID workers for Plan International are heading to the scene of a massive storm that tore through the Philippines.
Typhoon Bopha battered the island of Mindanao yesterday (Tuesday) with winds of up to 130mph.
The death toll has risen to over 250 as huge amounts of rain triggered mudslides in remote villages.
“There are also hundreds of people missing,” says Plan’s country director in the Philippines, Carin Van Der Hor. “As many as 250 or 300 depending on who you speak to.”
The storm slowed before it reached landfall, then cut a swathe up the Compostela Valley.
“This area has seen a lot of devastation and this is where the death toll is rising,” says Ms Van Der Hor.
“Although wind speeds slowed slightly as it made landfall, this meant it dumped more rain which resulted in mudslides which bury people and villages.
“You can clear a fallen tree pretty easily but a mudslide is far more difficult and there are areas cut-off."
Emergency response workers for Plan have been deployed to some of the worst-hit areas.
The children’s charity is preparing a relief effort including clean water, shelters and hygiene kits.
Plan staff will set up temporary schools for thousands of children who fled their homes, and the charity will help lead on child protection initiatives.
“It’s a poor, rural area of farmers and their families who didn’t have much before the storm hit,” adds Ms Van Der Hor.
The charity has worked on disaster-response in the Philippines for the past five years.
For more information on Plan’s work visit www.plan-uk.org
For more information or media interview requests please contact Plan UK
0203 217 0233
Notes to editors
1) Plan is a global children’s charity. We work with children in the world’s poorest countries to help them build a better future. A future you would want for all children, your family and friends. For 75 years we’ve been taking action and standing up for every child’s right to fulfill their potential by:
· giving children a healthy start in life, including access to safe drinking water
· securing the education of girls and boys
· working with communities to prepare for and survive disasters
· inspiring children to take a lead in decisions that affect their lives
· enabling families to earn a living and plan for their children’s future.
We do what’s needed, where it’s needed most. We do what you would do. With your support children, families and entire communities have the power to move themselves from a life of poverty to a future with opportunity.
2) Plan UK is a member of The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), an umbrella organisation for 14 leading humanitarian aid agencies.
3) We work with children in 50 of the world’s poorest countries to help them build a better future.
4) Plan was founded by British journalist John Langdon-Davies in 1937 to rescue orphans and other vulnerable children from the Spanish Civil War.
6) We have over 100,000 sponsors in the UK, generating £24 million a year, and 1 million sponsored children worldwide
7) Sponsorship starts at £15-a-month and, rather than going to individual children and their families, funds projects to improve schooling, health, nutrition and livelihoods across communities.
8) Plan's activities are guided by the principals of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and other internationally-recognised human rights treaties, and is informed by the local context and knowledge of the country and region.