Philippines: Three Million Children Affected by Mindanao Earthquakes

Save the Children deploys rapid response team to meet the needs of communities

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (Nov. 1, 2019)—An estimated 3.2 million children have been affected by at least five powerful earthquakes in the southern Philippines over the past three weeks, with two strong quakes recorded just today. More than 180 classrooms have been completely destroyed, according to the government. Thousands of people have been made homeless. 

Distressed children on the affected island of Mindanao need urgent support. Video clips and photos posted on social media show children panicking from fear, those who have lost consciousness, and children being brought to hospitals with injuries. 

“Most of the 3.2 million children affected are in conflict-affected and marginalized parts of the Philippines where access to emergency services is scant,” said Albert Muyot, chief executive officer of Save the Children Philippines. “Our team is already on the ground to assess the situation, determine the extent of damage, and provide vital support to the affected communities.

“Save the Children is ready to set up temporary classrooms so children don’t miss out on school. These learning centers provide much-needed respite for children, some of whom may have lost everything, and provide a safe space for them to play and receive support. We recognize the specific vulnerabilities of children in the face of natural disasters and we are doing everything we can to help them resume classes to establish normalcy in their routine and overcome their shock and emotional distress.”

Save the Children teams have deployed to the provinces of North Cotabato and Davao del Sur following the magnitude 6.6 earthquake that hit the town of Tulunan, on Thursday. Since then, two more powerful earthquakes have hit Mindanao.

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