Affected families staying in evacuation center at Batangas City Sports Complex.
Photo by LJ Pasion/Save the Children
In Photos: Over 20,000 children among those evacuated amid Taal unrest
Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - January 14, 2020 - 6:09pm

MANILA, Philippines — Among the evacuees who were living in the danger zone around Taal Volcano were an estimated 21,000 children, a humanitarian group said.

In a press statement, Save the Children Philippines called for urgent support focusing on the children. After conducting assessments in the towns of Agoncillo, Talisay, Laurel and San Nicolas in Batangas, the organization warned that the affected children were "likely to suffer long-term developmental, physical and psychological setbacks."

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in a report said that there were around 459,300 living in the danger zone. According to the latest update by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, a total of 8,896 families—38,203 persons—were seeking shelter in 198 evacuation centers. 

"More than 900 people are sleeping on the cold, hard surface without mats. Due to sudden evacuation, people were not able to bring blankets, hygiene essentials, mosquito net, and supplies for babies such as diapers," Jerome Balinton, humanitarian manager for Save the Children Philippines, said.

"Small children are suffering from respiratory diseases such as coughs and colds due to close proximity to so many other people. With over 200 volcanic earthquakes reported since Sunday, families have no idea when or even if they will be able to return to their homes. This uncertainty can be devastating for children.”

As seen in photos provided by Save the Children in a release, even toddlers are forced to make do with the cramped conditions of these centers as the country continues to reel from the effects of Taal's eruption. 

(Photos by LJ Pasion/Save the Children)

(Photos by EC Toledo / Philstar.com)

TAAL VOLCANO ERUPTION 2020
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