MANILA, (September 14, 2018) – With Super-Typhoon Mangkhut (local name Ompong) expected to make landfall in Northern Luzon on Saturday, at least 5 million Filipinos are facing threats strong winds, heavy rains, flooding, landslides, displacement and risk loss to life, home, livelihood and agriculture. Nearly half of them are children.
UNICEF expresses deep concern for children and families at risk and re-affirms commitment and readiness to provide support to the Philippine Government in reaching vulnerable and affected population and in all aspects of humanitarian and emergency response work.
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 mobilized pre-emptive evacuation in the provinces in the path of the typhoon, alerting residents in high-risk and low-lying areas and helping them prepare and evacuate.
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 11:00 AM today, Mangkhut, locally named Ompong, is at 470 kilometers east of Baler, Aurora Province; packing sustained winds of up to 205 km/h at its center and a gustiness of 255 km/h. Landfall is expected Saturday morning on Isabela Province, with water surge feared to rise up to 7 meters.
The U.N. and UNICEF in the Philippines are closely monitoring the situation, ready to assist the Government in any and all capacities that [the Government] will be requested for.
“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 affected people’s needs for safe drinking water, sanitation, hygiene, nutrition, education, and child protection. The agency is also ready to distribute supplies on very short notice and activate partners for more emergency supplies for immediate distribution. Additionally, UNICEF has a cross-sectoral contingency already developed for areas on projected typhoon track.
Posing major risks to life and safety, Mangkhut/Ompong could also destroy or damage houses, schools, health centers, roads and bridges, and crops and farmland at the beginning of harvest season in Cagayan, a major agricultural area.
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The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. UNICEF USA supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when no children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.