1 November 2019 - Philippines

PHILIPPINES: Three million children affected by Mindanao earthquakes

Photo shows damage to the Bacungan Elementary School in Magsaysay, Davao del Sur by the 6.6 magnitude earthquake on October 29th 2019.

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

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.

Albert Muyot, chief executive officer of Save the Children Philippines said:
"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. 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 centres 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.

 

NOTES TO EDITORS:

  • A strong shallow earthquake with a magnitude of 6.6 struck North Cotabato in Mindanao at 09:04am (local time) on 29 October 2019. The earthquake's epicenter was in Tulunan, North Cotabato – the same epicenter of the magnitude 6.3 earthquake that hit on 16 October. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology warned of aftershocks and damage in affected areas.
  • The earthquake has affected the provinces of Davao del Sur in Region XI; and the provinces of North Cotabato, South Cotabato, and Saranggani in Region XII. As of 6am on 30 October, at least five people have been confirmed dead: a 15-year-old male student who died after getting hit by debris while evacuating to safer ground in the town of Magsaysay in Davao del Sur; a 66-year-old man who also got hit by debris in Koronadal, South Cotabato; a 22-year-old father and his 7-year-old son wo died due to rockslide in Arakan in Cotabato, and a 23-year-old female who died due to falling debris in Tulunan, North Cotabato.