With Super-Typhoon Mangkhut (local name Ompong) expected to make landfall in Northern Luzon on Saturday, at least five million Filipinos are facing threats of strong winds, heavy rains, flooding, landslides, displacement and risk loss to life, home and livelihood. Nearly half of them are children.
UNICEF expresses its deep concern for children and families at risk and re-affirms its commitment and readiness to provide support to the Philippine Government in reaching vulnerable and affected populations.
The areas in the path of typhoon are Isabela, Batanes, Cagayan and Babuyan Islands, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, Apayao, Abra, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, La Union, Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Aurora and Tarlac. Local governments have mobilised pre-emptive evacuation of populations in high-risk and low-lying areas.
Storm signal number 3 has been raised in Isabela province; while signal 2 has been raised over much of the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon regions. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), as of 11.00am today, Mangkhut, locally named Ompong, is at 470km east of Baler, Aurora Province; packing sustained winds of up to 205 kilometre per hour at its centre and a gustiness of 255 km/h. Landfall is expected Saturday morning on Isabela Province, with water surge feared to rise up to 7 metres.
“Children are the most vulnerable in any emergency situation. UNICEF stands ready to provide support and assistance to the Philippine Government; and to local government units in the affected areas to respond to this brewing storm. We also call on parents and local communities to heed the governments’ call to evacuate to safe spaces, to ensure populations – especially children, pregnant mothers, and vulnerable families – are safe from possible damage brought about by ‘Ompong’,” UNICEF Representative Lotta Sylwander said.
UNICEF has prepositioned emergency supplies for about 12,500 families to respond to needs for safe drinking water, sanitation, hygiene, nutrition, education, and child protection.
Posing major risks to life and safety, Mangkhut/Ompong is also feared to destroy or damage houses, schools, health centres, roads and bridges, and crops and farmland at the beginning of harvest season in Cagayan, a major agricultural area.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF East Asia & Pacific and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/eap