TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 9, 2012) - Millions of children and their families in northwest Philippines are at risk of damage caused by widespread flooding, heavy rains and strong winds as Typhoon Bopha threatens to lash densely populated coastal areas for a second time in less than five days.
Typhoon Bopha killed nearly 600 people and left hundreds more missing last week when it barrelled across the east coast of the Philippines. Over five million people have been affected with nearly 400,000 people forced to seek shelter in evacuation centres after their homes and livelihoods were destroyed.
The typhoon headed out into the South China Sea but has changed direction and is expected to make landfall in the next few hours. Downgraded to a tropical depression, Bopha could still pack winds up to 60km/h, bringing havoc to vulnerable communities in the coastal regions of Ilocos and Luzon.
Save the Children's Anna Lindenfors in the Philippines said, "It has been a terrifying week for millions of children affected by the killer typhoon. Children in Luzon who have seen the extent of the destruction in Mindanao in the news will be frightened at what is headed their way and may well become fearful and anxious."
Ms Lindenfors says Save the Children is particularly concerned for children following a natural hazard like a typhoon. "They are smaller and more easily swept away in floods and landslides and are at risk of being separated from their families."
Families in low-lying and mountainous areas along the west coast have been alerted to possible flash flooding and landslides due to heavy rain and strong winds. In coastal areas, fishermen have been advised not to venture out to the sea today.
"We urge all families to follow the advice and instructions of authorities," said Anna Lindenfors.
In Mindanao, devastated by last week's killer typhoon, Save the Children has set a target of getting relief items such as blankets, mosquito nets and toiletries to 14,000 families including 42,000 children. Save the Children is also setting up child friendly spaces and temporary learning areas in evacuation centres so that children can play and talk about their experiences as well as prepare school-age children to resume classes when the semester starts next year.
The children's charity is prepared to respond to the needs of children in Ilocos and Luzon, if there is a need for a large-scale humanitarian response.