Earthquake in Japan: ACF Responding to Tsunami Threat in Philippines

Action Against Hunger’s disaster prevention programs install early warning systems to help at-risk populations evacuate
Tsunami-swamped airport in Japan
Tsunami-swamped airport in Japan. Photo credit: © REUTERS/KYODO, courtesy

CATANDUANES, PHILIPPINES—In response to the threat of tsunamis resulting from the 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan, the international humanitarian organization Action Against Hunger | ACF International has launched emergency measures with local and national authorities to help more than 45,000 people evacuate from at-risk areas of Catanduanes, an island province of the Philippines.

Highly prone to natural disasters, the Philippines has worked to prioritize a series of risk management projects, and the current evacuations were made possible by the early warning systems that Action Against Hunger installed last year as part of this broader natural disaster prevention framework. “Action Against Hunger worked closely with the populations in the villages and barangays, installing radios and signal repeaters and preparing evacuation plans in the case of typhoons, tsunamis and other natural disasters, which made today’s warnings possible,” states Manila Suresh Murugesu, Action Against Hunger’s Water & Sanitation Coordinator in the Philippines.

“At the moment the population has not begun to panic and is following the instructions provided by local authorities over the radio,” explains Eric Fort, Country Director for Action Against Hunger in the Philippines. “Our own staff have now also taken refuge in the evacuation centers.”