|Save the Children: 25,000 Children and their Families Seek Shelter from Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines|
Francine Uenuma 202.640.6810 (O)
Colleen Barton Sutton 703.203.7843 (M)
|Women and children arriving in the evacuation center in Camaman-an Elementary School. More than 170 families have now taken refuge in the school in Cagayan de Oro. There are about 1000 evacuation centers across Mindanao. Save the Children photo.
WESTPORT, Conn. (Dec. 4, 2012) — At least 40 lives have been lost and as many as 25,000 children and their families have sought shelter in evacuation shelters after Typhoon Bopha barrelled across Mindanao in the Philippines, says Save the Children.
Packing winds of up to 210km/h, Typhoon Bopha may have caused widespread damage, and seven provinces in Mindanao are known to have been affected. The island of Mindanao is still recovering from Typhoon Washi, which struck a year ago, killing more than 1,000 people.
"Many of the children in Mindanao are just coming to terms with the devastating aftermath of Typhoon Washi," said Anna Lindenfors from Save the Children in the Philippines. "To have experienced another typhoon of such magnitude will be very frightening."
"We are especially worried about children who are now greatly distressed by Bopha's torrential rains and flooding," added Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children. "Save the Children has 32 staff members in four districts in Mindanao and they stand ready to meet the needs of affected children and families, in the event that the impact of Bopha is devastating. We can mobilize pre-made aid packages and set up Child-friendly spaces for traumatized children, should the need arise."
The Philippine Government, together with local government units, response teams and international NGOs are well prepared for the impact of Bopha, stressing the importance of disaster preparedness from the national to community levels.
Save the Children has been working in the Philippines since 1981 and has decades of experience responding to emergencies in the Philippines. The aid agency mounted large-scale emergency responses to Typhoon Washi in 2011 and Typhoon Ketsana in 2009.
Prone to natural hazards such as landslides and floods, the Philippines experience an average of 20 tropical storms a year and is located in a major earthquake zone where there are also active volcanoes.
Save the Children is the leading independent organization for children in need, with programs in more than 120 countries, including the United States. We aim to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives by improving their health, education and economic opportunities. In times of acute crisis, we mobilize rapid assistance to help children recover from the effects of war, conflict and natural disasters. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
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