There are fears for more than 450,000 children in the Bicol region of the Philippines after being battered on Sunday by reports of the strongest storm of the year to make landfall, warns Save the Children.
Widespread damage is being reported along parts of Luzon island’s east coast. At least one town has suffered extensive damage, compromising communication lines and access for aid agencies sent to assess the damage.
Save the Children has deployed a team of humanitarian and child protection experts to the affected provinces of Camarines Sur and Albay to conduct a rapid assessment on the impact of Super Typhoon Goni on children and their families.
Aid workers underwent urgent COVID-19 tests prior to travelling, to ensure they were virus-free; further highlighting the new and complex challenges faced by aid agencies during the pandemic.
The CEO of Save the Children in the Philippines Atty. Alberto Muyot said: “We are very concerned that towns may have been cut off and destroyed during the weekend's storm. It is vital that we do a rapid assessment of the humanitarian needs so that our relief supply lines meet the needs of children and their families.”
Notes to editor
- Typhoon Goni is classified as this year’s most powerful storm to hit the Philippines since Haiyan that killed more than 6,300 people in 2013, as a category 5 typhoon.
- Based on initial assessement by the Philippine government, the hardest hit provinces are Catanduanes and Albay. According to their figures, there are 372,653 affected families or 2,068,085 individuals in 12 regions including Bicol region.
- Presently there are 2,039 families sheltering in evacuation centres in Bicol region.
- The province of Catanduanes sustained horrendous impact with 80-90 per cent of houses damaged by the typhoon, particularly those in the coastlines. Livelihoods have been disrupted and strong winds toppled power and communication lines.
- On Monday, Save the Children Philippines deployed an eight-person humanitarian aid team and child protection experts to the affected provinces of Camarines Sur and Albay to conduct a rapid assessment on the impact of Super Typhoon Goni for children and their families.
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