A girl attends to her siblings at an evacuation center in Davao del Sur, Philippines on October 31, 2019. Around 200 families are said to have evacuated here after their homes were either damaged or destroyed by the magnitude 6.6 earthquake that hit the neighboring province on October 29, 2019. A fifth earthquake has struck the same region on December 15, putting children's lives at risk once again. Photo credit: LJ Pasion/Save the Children, Oct 2019.

A girl attends to her siblings at an evacuation center in Davao del Sur, Philippines on October 31, 2019. Around 200 families are said to have evacuated here after their homes were either damaged or destroyed by the magnitude 6.6 earthquake that hit the neighboring province on October 29, 2019. A fifth earthquake has struck the same region on December 15, putting children's lives at risk once again. Photo credit: LJ Pasion/Save the Children, Oct 2019.

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Facts & Figures: Philippines' Mindanao Island Earthquakes

The safety of thousands of children is at risk following the fifth powerful earthquake to strike Mindanao Island in the Philippines since October.

On Sunday, December 15, 2019, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit towns in the region’s largest city, Davao.

In October, a string of powerful earthquakes shook Mindanao island within two weeks of one another in the southern Philippines.

On Tuesday, October 29, 2019, a magnitude-6.6 quake struck the country's southern provinces damaging buildings and sadly, claiming the lives of at least 5 people. The integrity of several buildings and homes on the island had already been weakened by what experts are calling a “fore shock” or precursor 6.3-magnitude earthquake that struck on October 16.

On Thursday, October 31, a 6.5-magnitude aftershock was felt. Experts also believe aftershocks may be felt until the end of December.

Earthquakes are common in the Philippines due to its location along the Pacific Ring of Fire. Save the Children has a long history of working to help children in Philippines, including responding to natural disasters.

Learn more about our work for children and families in the Philippines, including facts about the recent earthquakes and how you can help survivors

FAQs: What you need to know about earthquakes in the Philippines

What is the intensity of the December 15 Mindanao earthquake and where did it strike?
How many people have been affected by the December Philippines earthquake?
What is the intensity of the October Philippines Mindanao island earthquakes and where did they strike?
How many people have been affected by the October Philippines Mindanao island earthquakes?
How is Save the Children responding to the Philippines Mindanao island earthquakes?
What is the history of Save the Children’s response to natural disasters in the Philippines?
Does Save the Children have sponsorship programs in the Philippines?
How does Save the Children help families and children impacted by natural disasters?
How can I help children and families impacted by an emergency?

What is the intensity of the December 15 Mindanao earthquake and where did it strike?

The earthquake that struck the southern Philippines island of Mindanao on Sunday, December 15 had a 6.8 magnitude. It was the fourth earthquake above a 6 magnitude in the last two months to hit this part of Mindanao.

How many people have been affected by the December earthquake?

The earthquake has affected an initial 25,630 people, including children and families. It is estimated that approximately 12,760 people are taking temporary shelter in multiple evacuation centers across the region.

Frightened by the intensity and frequency of multiple earthquakes, affected children are showing signs of distress, and are terrified to reenter their homes, schools and community buildings due to fear of getting injured or being killed if a strong aftershock hits again.

What is the intensity of the October Mindanao earthquake and where did it strike?

The earthquake that struck the southern Philippines island of Mindanao on Sunday, December 15 had a 6.8 magnitude. It was the fourth earthquake above a 6 magnitude in the last two months to hit this part of Mindanao.

How many people have been affected by the recent Philippines Mindanao earthquakes?

An estimated 4.4 million people live in the towns and cities that sustained strong tremors on Sunday, according to the Pacific Disaster Center. 1.37 million are children aged 14 years old and below.

Frightened by the intensity and frequency of multiple earthquakes, affected children are showing signs of distress, and are terrified to reenter their homes, schools and community buildings due to fear of getting injured or being killed if a strong aftershock hits again.

How is Save the Children responding to the Philippines Mindanao island earthquakes?

“Save the Children is coordinating with the local government on the ground to assess the situation of children and their families so we can respond to their urgent needs, like providing shelter and food,” said Alberto Muyot, CEO of Save the Children Philippines.

In the days and months following an emergency, our teams in the Philippines will prioritizing the needs of displaced and out-of-school children.

“This latest earthquake could prolong the displacement of families,” said Jerome Balinton, humanitarian manager of Save the Children Philippines. “The impact of the previous earthquakes and the 6.9 magnitude earthquake on Sunday will add to the burden already being felt by communities who have not yet fully recovered. Children remain particularly vulnerable.”

Thanks to our donors, Save the Children’s emergency response can work to ensure children have access to safe and productive learning spaces so that boys and girls in the Philippines can remain in school and don’t miss out on critical school time.

Our child protection teams are also focused on providing children with increased access to emotional support services so that they can to process their feeling about the devastating earthquake and being to heal.

We are also supplies families with urgent relief supplies such as food, water, hygiene kits and protective tarps. Some families have lost everything. These supplies can help restore a sense of normalcy to children and are critical to their emotional and physical recovery.

What is the history of Save the Children’s response to earthquakes?

Save the Children has a long history of responding to natural disasters, including earthquakes, typhoons and tsunamis.

On April 25, 2015, the largest earthquake to hit Nepal in 80 years struck with a powerful magnitude of 7.8. Not even three weeks later, on Tuesday May 12, a 7.3-magnitude quake struck the already devastated country. Together, the two earthquakes caused the deaths of nearly 9,000 people and injured nearly 22,000 more.

Thousands of homes, schools, health facilities and communities were destroyed, leaving children and families vulnerable, hungry and in desperate need of emergency assistance.

Through the generous support of our donors, Save the Children provided vital aid to 580,000 people, including 352,000 children. Learn more about Save the Children’s emergency response in Nepal following the 2015 earthquake.

More than eight years have passed since the devastating Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami that destroyed the northeastern coast of Japan on March 11, 2011. Thousands of families lost everything – their homes, their livelihoods, their schools – and countless lost family members and friends.

Save the Children provided emergency supplies to families impacted by the devastating disaster, as well as opened child-friendly spaces to provide children who had lost their homes, their schools and their sense of security an opportunity to feel safe again and play with other children.

Learn more about Save the Children’s work in Japan.

Does Save the Children have Sponsorship programs in the Philippines?

Since 1981, Save the Children in the Philippines has worked with local communities and organizations to design Sponsorship programs for boys and girls.

Our programs work to make a healthy and safe environment where children can learn and grow. In 2018, your support allows us to work with early childhood teachers in the Philippines so young girls and boys can have a more equal learning experience right from the start.

Learn more about our Child Sponsorship programs around the world, including how to sponsor a child in the Philippines.

How does Save the Children help families and children impacted by natural disasters?
Children are always most vulnerable during a crisis and in the midst of a natural disaster like the 2019 Philippines earthquakes. While no one knows when the next earthquake, flood or typhoon will strike, we do know children are severely affected by natural disasters. They also suffer greatly during conflict, drought and disease outbreaks.

Save the Children’s natural disaster response and emergency response programs help protect vulnerable boys and girls during disasters and their aftermath.

How can I help children and families impacted by an emergency?

Children should be protected in the aftermath of disaster and in the midst of war. That's why Save the Children is working to help children living in crisis and conflict. You can help us serve children in the U.S. and around the world.

Donate to the Children's Emergency Fund today.

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