Typhoon Melor continues to cause damage in the western Philippines. After making landfall a total of 5 times on 14 December, the storm passed over the Central Philippines causing widespread damage. The storm is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Friday.
Plan International is monitoring forecasts of a new Tropical Depression forming in the West Pacific, Southeast of the Philippine Islands. This system could develop into a typhoon this week, and Plan International Philippines is monitoring the situation closely.
Some of the areas most severely damaged by Melor include the province of Northern Samar, which is still recovering from Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. Plan International’s initial relief and assessment efforts will be 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.
Dennis O’Brien, Country Director for 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.”
Emergency aid distribution, including shelter, hygiene, water, and infant health materials will commence this week alongside rapid assessments of the overall damage and additional aid required.
Plan International has programmes and field offices in several of the areas affected by Typhoon Melor.
Representatives from Plan International are available for interviews by phone or skype.