‘Pablo’ makes Philippines most disaster-affected nation

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Monday, April 8, 2013

MANILA -- Massive death and destruction caused by Typhoon "Pablo" (international name: Bopha) last December has made the Philippines as the most disaster-affected country in the world in 2012, a group said on Monday.

Based on data from government agencies and news articles, the Citizens’ Disaster Response Center (CDRC) said 2,360 Filipinos died due to natural disasters (1,067 from Pablo alone) while China came in second with 771 fatalities.

Twelve million Filipinos were also affected by typhoons, flood, earthquakes, armed conflict, fire, and landslides, which caused over P39.9 billion in damages. On top of these incidents was the havoc brought by Pablo in Southern Mindanao, a region that is rarely visited by tropical storms.

"The government definitely needs a lot more to improve in terms of disaster preparation especially in areas like Mindanao which never used to experience strong typhoons before," CDRC deputy executive director Carlos Padolina told Sun.Star.

Padolina said natural and human-induced disasters that occurred in the country grew by nine percent to 471 last year as majority of these disasters were caused by flood (143 incidents) that affected 7.8 million people.

To recall, a large part of Luzon including Metro Manila was inundated last August because of the southwest monsoon.

The CDRC official also noticed the increasing trend in the number of affected people in the last five years. He said the strong tropical storms that the Philippines experienced in recent years have contributed a lot to this trend. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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