Manila, October 19, 2015 — The UN children’s agency, UNICEF, is on high alert after Typhoon Koppu (Local name Lando) made landfall in the Philippines on Sunday morning. The slow moving typhoon has brought torrential rain and strong winds, causing floods, landslides, flying debris, power outages, downed communication lines, and damaged roads and bridges.
According to reports today from the Government of the Philippines, 55,554 persons have been evacuated. More than 12,125 families are now staying in 136 evacuation centers; 104,299 people have been displaced.
Approximately 15 incidents of flooding were reported in Pangasinan, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Bulacan. Assessments planned over the coming week will confirm numbers and the extent of the impact as communication with affected communities is also restored later in the week. UNICEF notes the Government’s preparedness and early action in pre-emptive evacuation and wide spread public information have minimized damage to life and property. The Government has activated response clusters.
In any disaster, children are the most vulnerable. UNICEF activated its emergency preparedness measures days before the typhoon struck the archipelago.
“UNICEF’s first priority is to ensure children are safe and protected. Following a typhoon, children face risks from contaminated water sources, lack of food, epidemics such as cholera, hypothermia, diarrhea and pneumonia. Secondly, we must ensure that the rhythm of children’s lives are restored and that they get back to school as soon as possible,” UNICEF Philippines Representative Lotta Sylwander says, “Typhoon Koppu’s slow moving path includes mountainous and hard-to-reach areas, we are concerned about the well-being of all affected children. UNICEF is ready to move with response as soon as asked by the Government.”
While reports from affected areas are trickling in, UNICEF’s emergency experts foresee needs in restoration of safe water supply for flooded areas, health and nutrition specifically support for breastfeeding mothers and new born children, and resumption of children’s education. UNICEF has prepositioned supplies for about 12,000 families which include water purification tablets, hygiene kits, medicines, school supplies, therapeutic food, tents and generators.
Typhoon Koppu is the 12th tropical cyclone to enter the Philippines this year. The country typically experiences over 20 typhoons a year. This year is predicted to bring more intense typhoons in the latter part as a result of the El Niño phenomenon. Currently, there is another Typhoon, named Champi, looming on the Philippines.
To donate to UNICEF Canada’s general emergency fund, please go to unicef.ca or call 1-877-955-3111.
UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.
UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.