Philippines: Plan International deploys response team to Surigao following 6.7-magnitude earthquake in east Mindanao

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

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.

Based on the latest report from the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, 4 people have died and 109 persons have faced injuries. More than 300 houses, along with major roads and bridges are damaged, disrupting access for humanitarian aid and making areas impassable for heavy vehicles. The main airport is also closed due to extensive damage to the runway.

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

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

“We are deploying our response team to assess the situation and work 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 aftershocks were felt in CARAGA Region yesterday (Sunday), with some shocks measuring as high as 4.1 in magnitude strength.

As of 13 February, classes remain suspended as the Department of Education assesses the extent of school damage caused by the earthquake.

"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 to 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.


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