Three million children affected by Mindanao earthquakes: Save the Children deploys rapid response team to meet the needs of communities

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01 November 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 just two strong quakes recorded today. More than 180 classrooms are said to be completely destroyed.

Save the Children Philippines has deployed an assessment team in North Cotabato and Davao del Sur following a magnitude 6.6 earthquake that hit the town of Tulunan, on Thursday, the second strong temblor that jolted parts of Mindanao in weeks.

Atty. Alberto Muyot, chief executive officer of Save the Children Philippines said a total of 3.2 million school-aged children were affected in the series of five strong earthquakes, most of them in the conflict and marginalized areas in in Region XI, Region XII, and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

“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,” said Muyot in a statement.

Based on figures from the Department of Education, a total of 3.2 Million learners were affected by the magnitude 6.6 strong earthquake as they suffer from psychosocial stress, miss out on school due to damaged classrooms, and being displaced from their homes.

These children live in the conflict-affected areas in BARMM, Davao, and SOCCSKSARGEN regions.

“We recognize the specific vulnerabilities of children who are facing the impact of disasters,” said Muyot.

Save the Children Philippines has prepositioned items such as teaching kits and temporary learning spaces (TLS) that can be dispatched at any time to support the Department of Education to help learners resume classes in safe learning environment.

“Save the Children is ready to set up temporary classrooms so children don’t miss out on school. These learning spaces 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,” said Muyot.
Save the Children Philippines will also set up child-friendly spaces (CFS) to provide psychological first aid to children who suffer from psychosocial stress.

“We are doing everything we can to help them resume classes to establish normalcy in their routine and overcome their shock and emotional distress,” Muyot added in a statement. Save the Children Philippines has reached out to corporate and individual donors to send cash donations to help scale up its assistance to children and their families affected by earthquakes.



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.

Corporate and individual donors may visit to send in donations.

The following Save the Children Philippines staff are available for media interview: Mr. Jerome Balinton, Humanitarian Manager who is leading the assessment for Mindanao Earthquake
Ms. Vivien Grace Martin, Director of Sponsorship Programs who is currently in North Cotabato together with the assessment team
Mr. Lean Pasion, Information and Communication Coordinator who is also documenting the assessment of Save the Children Philippines in Mindanao

For media interview request, please email or contact the following:

LEI TAPANG, Campaigns and Media Coordinator | Save the Children Philippines
Mobile: +63 917 873 3448
Midland Bldg., 1040 EDSA, Magallanes Village Makati City

ESTRELLA TORRES, Head, Media and Communications | Save the Children Philippines
Mobile No: +63 917 3011240
Skype: star.torres5
Midland Bldg., 1040 EDSA, Magallanes Village Makati City

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