Extreme weather events and related disasters in the Philippines, 2004–08: a sign of what climate change will mean?

Authors

  • Graciano P. Yumul Jr.,

    1. Professor at the National Institute of Geological Sciences, College of Science, University of the Philippines, and Undersecretary for Research and Development at the Department of Science and Technology, the Philippines
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  • Nathaniel A. Cruz,

    1. Division Chief at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, Department of Science and Technology, the Philippines
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  • Nathaniel T. Servando,

    1. Deputy Administrator at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, Department of Science and Technology, the Philippines
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  • Carla B. Dimalanta

    1. Associate Professor at the National Institute of Geological Sciences, College of Science, University of the Philippines, the Philippines.
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Correspondence
Dr Graciano P. Yumul, Jr., Professor, National Institute of Geological Sciences, University of the Philippines, Quezon City 1101, Philippines. Telephone: +63 2 4822856; fax: +63 2 9296047; email: rwgmails@yahoo.com

Abstract

Being an archipelagic nation, the Philippines is susceptible and vulnerable to the ill-effects of weather-related hazards. Extreme weather events, which include tropical cyclones, monsoon rains and dry spells, have triggered hazards (such as floods and landslides) that have turned into disasters. Financial resources that were meant for development and social services have had to be diverted in response, addressing the destruction caused by calamities that beset different regions of the country. Changing climatic patterns and weather-related occurrences over the past five years (2004–08) may serve as an indicator of what climate change will mean for the country. Early recognition of this possibility and the implementation of appropriate action and measures, through disaster risk management, are important if loss of life and property is to be minimised, if not totally eradicated. This is a matter of urgent concern given the geographical location and geological characteristics of the Philippines.

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