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It's official: PHL had most number of natural disasters in 2011

April 26, 2012 12:44pm
The Philippines topped the list of countries most frequently hit by natural disasters in 2011, the Citizens’ Disaster Response Center has reported.

In a news release last Tuesday, CDRC’s deputy executive director Carlos Padolina cited records from the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), showing that of the 302 natural disasters worldwide, 33 hit the Philippines.

CDRC is a partner of CRED, a World Health Organization collaborating center based in Brussels, Belgium, which maintains the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT: The International Disaster Database).

Also, Padolina said that if human-induced disasters (armed conflict and fire) were included, the total number of calamities in 2011 would reach 431, an increase of more than 50 percent from 2010's 202.

Padolina said CDRC maintains its own disaster database that monitors both natural and human-induced disasters.

The 2011 disasters affected more than three million families, or 15.3 million people, and caused over Php26 billion in damage to properties.

In contrast, 2010's disasters affected only 6.75 million people.

The Philippines also placed third on the list of countries most affected by natural disasters in 2011 and 5th in 2010.

Padolina said the Philippines’ ranking did not come as a surprise since last December's Typhoon Sendong (Washi) was one of the worst disasters in the world in 2011. 

Of the 1,924 killed in the Philippines in 2011 disasters, 1,400 were due to Typhoon Sendong. Only Japan, hit by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011, had more fatalities. 

“The challenge for us is to reduce the impact of disasters on our lives,” Padolina said. “No matter how frequent these calamities might occur, as long as we are prepared, we can bounce right back.”

CDRC is a non-government organization that pioneered and continues to promote community-based disaster management in the Philippines. It operates nationwide through a network of regional centers and people’s organizations. — Ralph Angelo Ty /LBG/HS, GMA News 
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