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Philippines among countries most impacted by extreme weather since 2000 â report
Rescuers pull a rubber boat carrying residents through a flooded street after Typhoon Vamco hit in Marikina City, suburban Manila on November 12, 2020.
AFP/Ted Aljibe

Philippines among countries most impacted by extreme weather since 2000 — report

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - January 28, 2021 - 3:20pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines, an archipelagic country that is regularly exposed to tropical cyclones, was among the countries most affected by extreme weather events from 2000 to 2019, an environmental think tank said in a report.

According to Germanwatch’s Global Climate Risk Index, the Philippines ranked fourth in the list of countries most impacted by climate-related catastrophes in the past 20 years. The risk index analyzed and ranked to what extent countries and regions have been affected by effects of storms, floods and heatwaves.

Between 2000 and 2019, there were 317 extreme weather events that hit the Philippines.

Puerto Rico, Myanmar and Haiti were the worst hit countries in the 20-year period.

“Countries like Haiti, the Philippines and Pakistan are repeatedly hit by extreme weather events and have no time to fully recover before the next event hits,” said Vera Kuenzel, Germanwatch’s senior advisor for climate change adaptation and human rights.

“Thus, strengthening their resilience must not only address adaptation, but also provide necessary support for dealing with losses and damages,” she added.

In 2019, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Bahamas were the countries that suffered most from extreme weather events.

The Philippines ranked 17th in the Climate Risk Index for 2019. During that year, Typhoons Tisoy (Kammuri) and Ursula (Phanfone) struck the country.

Developing countries

Over 475,000 people lost their lives as a direct result of the extreme weather events globally between 2000 and 2019, Germanwatch said in its assessment released ahead of the Climate Adaptation Summit.

The think tank calculated that these disasters have cost the global economy $2.56 trillion.

Eight of the 10 most affected countries are developing nations with low or lower middle income per capita.

“Poorer countries are hit hardest because they are more vulnerable to the damaging effects of a hazard and have lower coping capacity,” Kuenzel said.

Other countries included in the long-term climate risk index were Mozambique, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Thailand and Nepal.

Storms

In 2019, storms and their implications such as precipitation, floods and landslides were the major cause of losses and damages.

The Philippines is particularly exposed to the threats of tropical cyclones. Last year, the country was battered by the world’s strongest storm in 2020.

Climate change is exacerbating the country’s exposure to disasters. As the planet continues to heat up, leading to a rise in sea surface temperatures, the Philippines is being subjected to more disastrous and more frequent cyclones. — with report from Agence France Presse

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