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Plan International Philippines deploys team after 6.7-magnitude earthquake

Manila (13 February) – Plan International Philippines has deployed an Emergency Response Team to determine the immediate needs of children and communities affected by the 6.7-magnitude earthquake that struck Surigao City, Surigao del Norte in Mindanao on Friday, February 10.

Plan International staff with Department of Education Division Chief assess the extent of the damage and immediate needs of children and their families.

According to the state bureau Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, the epicenter of the earthquake was 14 kilometers northwest of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte, at a depth of 11 kilometers.

4 people have died and 109 persons have sustained injuries based on the latest report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council.

More than 300 houses, along with major roads and bridges were damaged, disrupting access for humanitarian aid and making areas impassable for heavy vehicles. The main airport also closed due to extensive damage to the runway.

Residents of Surigao City and neighboring towns experience frequent power outages, and others report scarce water supply.

Our main concern is the safety and well-being of children and girls

Ryan Lander, Plan International Philippines Deputy Country Director for Programs said: “Our main concern is the safety and well-being of children and girls in affected areas, as they are the most vulnerable in these situations.”

“We are deploying our response team to assess the situation. We will continue working in close coordination with government officials and in-country humanitarian organizations. Plan International will support the government to determine urgent needs of children and their families and will offer humanitarian aid, if requested,” Lander adds.

At least 30 more aftershocks were felt in CARAGA Region two days after the earthquake, with some measuring as high as 4.1 in magnitude strength.

We will continue to work in close coordination with government officials and in-country humanitarian organizations

As of 13 February, classes remain suspended while the Department of Education assesses the extent of school damage.

"Children are distressed by the earthquake and the aftershocks. Afraid of the tremors, some of them even sleep under the tables at night, together with their parents,” says Manuel Limjoco Jr. of Department of Education - Division of Surigao del Norte.

Plan International Philippines has a program area in Central Mindanao, which is in close proximity from the communities affected by the earthquake.

Philippines is located along a typhoon belt and the so-called ‘Ring of Fire,’ a vast Pacific Ocean region where earthquakes and volcanic activities occur.