Typhoon Nock-Ten is tearing across the Philippines cutting power to millions and sparking fears for people living in coastal communities and low-lying areas. There is a risk of moderate to severe flooding, even landslides, warns Save the Children.
The category 4 storm intensified significantly before making landfall in the Philippines on Christmas Day, tracking across the country and packing damaging winds over 250km/h.
Save the Children’s Country Director in the Philippines is Ned Olney. A veteran humanitarian aid worker whom has responded to many disasters in the Philippines including Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 believed it was too early to know whether the typhoon has caused extensive damage noting that Save the Children was ready to mount a relief operation, if asked to by the Government of the Philippines.
“This morning as we are waking up here in Manila we’re particularly worried about families living in basic housing and in coastal communities, many of which were also at risk from the dangerously high storm surge,” Mr Olney said.
“Today many communities in the Philippines will be waking up to assess the damage and destruction.
Typhoon Nock-Ten brought sustained winds of more than 185km/h, making landfall in the eastern province of Catanduanes at 6.30pm local time yesterday, north of Tacloban city which was badly impacted by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.
“This is a very dangerous storm and was much stronger than we were initially expecting. It has the potential to cause widespread damage,” Mr Olney said.
“We know the storm also has the potential to have a huge impact on children, preventing them from going to school because their classrooms are damaged or being used as evacuation centres. But we also must be aware of their emotional needs, and provide additional psychosocial support as necessary.”
Save the Children has large stockpiles of relief items in strategically located warehouses across the country, including thousands of emergency shelter kits, hygiene kits, water and sanitation items, and essential household items.
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. The aid agency has been working in the country since 1981.
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