Mindanao Earthquake

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

Type: Story

 An estimated 3.2 million children have been affected by at least five powerful earthquakes in Mindanao 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, North Cotabato on Thursday, the second strong temblor that jolted parts of Mindanao in weeks.

“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 Atty. Alberto Muyot, chief executive officer of Save the Children Philippines.

Atty. Muyot said most of the children affected are in Region XI, Region XII, and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) which are conflict-affected and marginalized areas.

“Access to emergency services in these areas are scant,” 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.

“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 learners 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 boys and girls who suffer from psychosocial stress.

“We are doing everything we can to help establish normalcy in children’s 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 https://donate.savethechildren.org.ph/campaign/children-mindanao-need-your-help to send in donations.
- The following Save the Children Philippines staff are available for media interview:

  1. Mr. Jerome Balinton, Humanitarian Manager who is leading the assessment for Mindanao Earthquake
  2. Ms. Vivien Grace Martin, Director of Sponsorship Programs who is currently in North Cotabato together with the assessment team
  3. Mr. Lean Pasion, Information and Communication Coordinator who is also documenting the assessment of Save the Children Philippines in Mindanao

- Photo credit to LJ Pasion, Save the Children Philippines

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
Email: Lei.Tapang@savethechildren.org
Midland Bldg., 1040 EDSA, Magallanes Village Makati City

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

Website: www.savethechildren.org | Facebook: SavetheChildrenPH
Instagram: savethechildrenph | Twitter: SaveChildrenPH


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Save the Children Philippines has been working hard every day to give Filipino children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn, and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for and with children to positively transform their lives and the future we share.

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Coverage: Regions I, II, III, IV-A, IV-MIMAROPA, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, CARAGA, CAR, and NCR
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