After making landfall a total of 5 times, Typhoon Melor passed over central and western Philippines causing widespread damage. The storm left the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Friday.
Some of the areas most severely damaged by Typhoon Melor include the province of Northern Samar, which is still recovering from Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. Plan International’s initial relief and assessment efforts have been based from Catarman, Northern Samar, which has faced extensive damage to infrastructure and public buildings.
“I am quite scared… My father used a rope to ensure that the roof can withstand strong winds. We also prepared a flashlight and we placed all of our valuables inside a sack so we can just carry that in case of emergency,” 17-year-old Zigzag told Plan International staff in Occidental Mindoro Province.
Emergency aid distribution, including shelter, hygiene, water, and infant health materials started last week alongside rapid assessments of the overall damage and additional aid required. Plan International staff in Northern Samar reported significant damage to houses and schools, with sanitation a major unmet need.
Plan International is aiming to support 4,000 families in Northern Samar by delivering aid to sectors such as educaiton, health, livelihoods and child protection.
Child protection priority
Dennis O’Brien, Country Director of Plan International Philippines, says: “The Philippines is accustomed to seeing several typhoons each year, and there is amazing resilience and fortitude among the children and the communities who suffer the brunt of these storms.”
“However, each storm leaves extensive damage in its wake, both to public buildings like schools, families’ houses, and can leave emotional scars on children who may suffer displacement, separation from their families, and threats to their health and safety. Working to ensure children’s protection, health, and safety are restored is one of Plan International’s immediate priorities after a storm like Melor hits.”
“Plan International’s teams are already on the ground and in some of the communities that were the hardest hit by the typhoon. We’ll be working with communities and coordinating with government agencies and other NGOs to ensure that aid gets distributed to those in urgent need as quickly as possible.”
Plan International Philippines has programmes and field offices in several of the areas affected by Typhoon Melor.
Another Tropical Depression, Onyok, formed in the West Pacific, Southeast of the Philippine Islands, late last week and caused heavy rains in Northern Mindanao, Davao and Caraga, displacing more than 3,000 families. No casualties were reported.
Representatives from Plan International Philippines are available for interviews by phone or skype.
Photography and testimonials from affected areas are available upon request.
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