Disasters left P285 B worth of damage in 5 years

Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - September 19, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Disasters that hit the country since 2010 have left about P285 billion in damaged properties and claimed the lives of more than 13,000 persons, official government records show.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) data also recorded over 52,000 persons injured and about 2,800 missing because of natural and man-made incidents as of July 31, 2015.

Not yet reflected in the five-year statistics are the effects of Typhoon Ineng, which hit the northern part of the Philippines last August and left about P4.4 billion in damage to agriculture, 33 people dead and 24 others injured.

The Philippines is one of the countries most vulnerable to natural disasters because it is within the so-called Ring of Fire and along the Pacific typhoon belt. About 20 tropical cyclones, five to seven of which are destructive, visit the country per year.

The Global Climate Risk Index 2015 published by Greenwatch also rated the country as among the countries most affected by natural hazards.

Partly because of its extensive experience in handling disasters, the Philippines will host the Senior Disaster Management Officials Forum in Iloilo from Sept. 22 to 23. The event aims to promote cooperation in preparing for and responding to disasters and will be attended by representatives from the 21 member-economies of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). 

Impact of disasters

In the data obtained by The STAR, the property damage caused by disasters from 2010 to July 2015 amounted to P285.72 billion, roughly 10 percent of the P3-trillion national budget for next year.

The biggest damage was recorded in 2013 when Typhoon Yolanda – considered the most powerful storm to make landfall in recorded history – ravaged the Visayas. It was also the year when the Zamboanga crisis and the magnitude 7.2 earthquake tested the disaster response programs of the government and the resilience of Filipinos. 

Property damage totalled P25.28 billion in 2010, P25.29 billion in 2011, P50.02 billion in 2012 and P78.73 billion in 2014.

The highest number of fatalities was also recorded in 2013 with 7,458, of which 6,300 were due to the onslaught of Yolanda. A far second is the year 2012, the year when Typhoon Pablo struck the Davao region and left 2,128 dead.

The NDRRMC also recorded 766 and 2,021 disaster-related deaths for 2010 and 2011 respectively. Last year, 536 lives were lost.

ASIA PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION BILLION DAVAO GLOBAL CLIMATE RISK INDEX NATIONAL DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND MANAGEMENT COUNCIL NBSP SENIOR DISASTER MANAGEMENT OFFICIALS FORUM TYPHOON INENG TYPHOON PABLO TYPHOON YOLANDA YEAR
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