Typhoon Haima tears through Philippines leaving homes damaged, roofs ripped off school buildings and trees uprooted

Thursday 20 October 2016

Save the Children to provide education support for children in most affected areas

Hundreds of thousands of people have been affected by Typhoon Haima which tore through the Philippines overnight, with reports of widespread devastation including flattened homes, damaged schools and toppled trees.

With winds gusting at up to 315km/h, Haima was the most powerful storm to enter the Philippines’ territory since Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, which killed more than 7000 people. However, thankfully Typhoon Haima weakened from a category 5 storm to category 4 just before making landfall, and is now tracking west towards Hong Kong and mainland China.

“Certainly tens and thousands of homes have been damaged,” Save the Children Country Director in the Philippines Ned Olney said.

“Families have been displaced and we are concerned about the safety and protection of children during this time. Vulnerability of children is always at its highest during a crisis like this. We are working with the local and national authorities to identify the families and areas with the greatest needs.”

More than 90,000 people in Luzon were evacuated before the storm struck, while at least seven regions suspended all school classes. Meanwhile 92 schools have been used as evacuation centres, and there have been reports of widespread power outages and impassable roads.

Save the Children teams are en route to the worst affected areas to assess the damage, and will provide whatever assistance is required.

“We need to be on the lookout for secondary impacts. With dams releasing water, we anticipate flooding not only in areas centrally hit by the typhoon, but also in low-lying areas of northern and central Luzon,” Mr Olney said.

“At this stage it looks like the government will be able to meet the immediate needs of those impacted by the typhoon, and so it’s likely we will provide vital education support to help children get back to school as quickly as possible.

“The classroom is commonly the best place for children after experiencing a distressing event like a typhoon as it’s a safe space to see their friends and teachers and to regain a sense of normality. The sooner children can get back to class the better.”

Save the Children has a long history responding to disasters in the Philippines, including typhoons Koppu in 2015, Hagupit in 2014 and Haiyan in 2013.

Spokespeople available for interview:

Ned Olney, Save the Children Country Director in the Philippines, currently in Manila. Please contact Kim Rodriguez on +63 917 553 6957 or via Kim.Rodriguez@savethechildren.org to set up interviews with Ned.

Jeff Gregorio, Save the Children’s Emergency Response Team, currently en route to the affected area. Jeff can be contacted on +63 917 644 2231 or via Jefferson.Gregorio@savethechildren.org.

For other media inquiries contact:

Joan Del Mundo (en route to affected area) on +63 917 8733 448 or Joan.Delmundo@savethechildren.org

Evan Schuurman (Bangkok) on +66 989 725 908 or via evan.schuurman@savethechildren.org


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