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Pablo, world's deadliest disaster in 2012

January 11, 2013 5:06pm
Typhoon Pablo (Bopha), the devastating storm that racked up almost 2,000 deaths as it crashed through southern Philppines last December, has been ranked the world's deadliest catastrophe for 2012, according to a recent study.
A research paper titled "2012 Global Catastrophe Recap" by Impact Forecasting of reinsurance intermediary Aon Benfield recorded 1,901 dead or missing after Pablo made at least three landfalls over Mindanao, Visayas and Palawan and incurred a cost of up to P42 billion in terms of damage to agriculture, infrastructure and private properties across 34 provinces, including the heavily-battered Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley.
"Economic losses to agriculture, infrastructure and private property were P37 billion ($802 million), with an additional 
P5 billion ($122 million) needed for the rehabilitation of farms. In Palau, Bopha caused an additional $20 million in damage," it said 
"The cyclonic weather that Southeast Asia and the South Pacific experienced during December has had a devastating effect on local populations," Impact Forecasting president Steve Jakubowski was quoted in Insurance Times UK.
"(T)he impact of a weather system such as Super Typhoon Bopha on the Philippines places an even greater strain on regional recovery efforts and the availability of sufficient government aid,” Jakubowski added.
Hurricane Sandy
On the other hand, Hurricane Sandy, which hit the East Coast of the United States in October, was the most destructive catastrophe of 2012, with estimated cost of damage of $62 billion or around P 2.5 trillion —an amount bigger than the entire 2013 Philippine national budget.
Sandy also left a trail of devastation in Canada, the Bahamas, and the Carribean with estimated losses of $ 2.5 billion or P 101 billion.
But despite the high economic damage Sandy cost, it killed only about 132 individuals in the United States, and around 122 in the Carribean, Bahamas and Canada.
Quinta, after Pablo
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council's last update on Pablo indicated the cyclone left 1,067 dead, 2,666 injured and 834 missing.
It also left P36.949 billion in damage, the NDRRMC said.
Aon Benfield noted Pablo was followed by Quinta (Wukong), which also devastated parts of Mindanao.
Disasters all over the world
In Europe, at least 277 people were killed as an active winter weather pattern engulfed more than 15 central and eastern countries.
New Zealand encountered its deadliest tornado in 60 years, with the twister hitting the west Auckland suburb of Hobsonville. At least three people were killed.
The New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defense estimated total damages at NZD11 million ($9.1 million).
Also, it noted flooding was prevalent across parts of Asia, with Sri Lanka sustaining the worst effects.
It said at least 42 people were killed after flooding and landslides impacted nearly every section of the country while nearly 30,000 homes were damaged or destroyed.
In Indonesia, three people were killed in West Sumatra’s Solok Selatan district after rains prompted a landslide where more than 2,000 homes were destroyed.
In Iraq, Baghdad sustained its heaviest rains in at least 30 years, triggering floods that left at least four people dead.
Asian catastrophes
The Aon Benfield report said that, in Asia, Pablo topped the list of disasters in terms of deaths, structure damage and total damage at 1,901-plus, 225,000-plus and $1.04 billion respectively.
Also, the Philippines figured in the list twice due to Tropical Cyclone Quinta, which caused 24+ deaths, 6,439+ damaged structures, and $5.5 million in damage.
Other disasters in Asia in December included the quakes in Iran, Japan and China, flooding in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Iraq, and winter weather in India. — TJD, GMA News
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