Plan International is responding with relief supplies in communities hard-hit by super typhoon Rai (Odette). Along with partners, we are geared up to provide emergency response to communities submerged with floodwater and with no power in Visayas and Mindanao.
Super typhoon Rai (Odette) began passing over the Sulu Sea, between the Cuyo and Cagayancillo islands in Palawan early Friday morning, 17 December. Rai (Odette) has made landfall 8 times so far, causing massive floods and leaving a trail of destruction through areas in Surigao del Norte, Dinagat Islands, Southern Leyte, Bohol, Cebu, and Negros Oriental.
Risks to children
“Children are among the most vulnerable when disaster strikes, especially now with the risk of COVID-19," says Plan International Philippines Country Programme Manager for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Telesforo Laplana. “It is important to address the specific needs of children and ensure that families and communities are also protected from the risk of COVID-19 amid the emergency response.”
Plan International’s Emergency Response Team is ready to be deployed in affected areas, and has prepared over 10,000 lifesaving non-food items, such as menstrual hygiene management kits, hygiene, shelter, and water kits prepositioned for distribution to families in the most affected areas of the typhoon. “We are coordinating with national and local government agencies, UN bodies and other humanitarian and non-government organisations to assess the needs of affected communities and families, especially children and young people,” adds Laplana.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reports that the typhoon has affected 12 out of the country’s 17 regions. The most devastated are Regions 6, 7, 8 and 10. Flooding and damaging winds have been reported in several provinces and cities, namely: Cagayan de Oro City, Cebu City, Misamis Oriental and Negros Oriental.
Extensive typhoon damage
In Bohol, according to officials, Rai (Odette) has caused around €88.4 million (PHP5 billion) worth of damages in the province. Siargao Island, where the typhoon made its first landfall remains isolated as the communication networks are currently still down. Surigao City (est. population of 150,000) has already expressed its need for aid as their mayor expects severe damages. Southern Leyte, an area previously covered by Plan International Philippines, has also suffered extensive damages due to flood and heavy wind.
Super typhoon Rai (Odette) brought heavy rains and flooding that displaced thousands of Filipinos over large areas of Visayas and Mindanao. There are early reports that at least 3 people have been killed, but the death toll is expected to rise.
During the NDRRMC Press Briefing on Friday morning, officials admitted that information on damage and casualties is incomplete at this point, as they are unable to contact staff to verify information. The typhoon is still affecting various areas.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Philippines have identified 15.9 million people were living in the affected areas.
Plan International is deploying a Rapid Gender and Needs Assessment Team for Southern Leyte and closely monitoring the situation and coordinating with staff, partners, and communities on the ground, ready to respond.