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Earthquake and tsunami in Japan

March 11, 2011 – Plan International is closely monitoring the situation in the Pacific Basin region following today’s devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan, and has activated its emergency response teams in Indonesia and Philippines.

In Indonesia, an emergency response team is on standby and Plan has a warehouse fully stocked with 5,000 family kits available for immediate distribution. Assessment teams have been deployed in Philippines and Plan staff are evacuating people from low lying areas of the country.

The earthquake, which seismologists say is unprecedented in size in Japan’s history, has triggered a devastating tsunami which has caused widespread damage throughout the country.

Plan office and communities in the affected regions are believed to be safe and unaffected by the earthquake and tsunami.

Teams are on standby in other countries where Tsunami warning/alerts have been issued. These include Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru. They are available to help communities likely to be affected by a tsunami that, if strikes, is estimated to hit the region in the next few hours.

“In the Philippines, Plan is working with local government and communities to evacuate people from the low-lying areas. The history of disasters show that children are more vulnerable and often take the brunt,” says Plan’s Disaster Response Co-ordinator, Unni Krishnan.

“While rescue and relief will be the immediate priorities, Plan’s experience of working on disaster risk management issues underscore the vulnerability of some of these countries and thus the need to invest in disaster preparedness and disaster risk reduction measures,” states Unni.

One of Plan’s core areas of work in these countries is disaster risk management work, especially working with children and communities.

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