More than 180,000 people are affected by many families requiring humanitarian assistance after a series of powerful earthquakes struck Cotabato province in Mindanao, Philippines.
IFRC Philippines Head of Country Office Chris Staines said:
“People in the affected communities were already vulnerable before the earthquakes and now they are in urgent need of shelter, safe drinking water and food. The earthquakes’ epicentres were recorded near Tulunan, Cotabato, but many locations in these mountainous areas have been affected. Because access is difficult we expect the full extent of the damage to become clearer in the coming days as we reach more communities. The Red Cross is scaling up our efforts to ensure no one is left behind.”
Mindanao has been shaken by three consecutive earthquakes within the same location on 16, 29 and 31 October 2019, each compounding the effect of the previous one. According to authorities, the death toll from the last two earthquakes is now at 21 with over 400 people injured and an estimated more than 35,000 people displaced. Many families have been left homeless due to the destruction of their houses
The Philippine Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) are appealing for 1.85 million Swiss francs. Through this appeal, Red Cross staff and volunteers will support approximately 35,500 people with health, water sanitation and hygiene, livelihoods, shelter and cash grants. The affected communities will also receive immediate first aid and psychosocial support.
Philippine Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon said:
“People are left anxious by the earthquakes and the ongoing aftershocks. Families do not feel safe returning to their homes. Since the first earthquake hit, our volunteers and staff have been working around the clock to provide not only relief items and safe drinking water but also psychosocial support to help families cope with their fears.”
IFRC is the world’s largest humanitarian network, comprising 190 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies working to save lives and promote dignity around the world. www.ifrc.org