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PHL in top 3 countries most affected by climate-related catastrophes – study


The Philippines is in the Top 3 countries most affected by climate-related weather catastrophes in 2012 according to Berlin-based environmental organization Germanwatch.
 
The organization presented its ninth annual Global Climate Risk Index at the climate summit in Warsaw, Poland.

According to the risk index, the Philippines came in second only to Haiti in terms of "relative and absolute number of human victims, and relative and absolute economic damage" caused by natural disasters.
 
"The unfolding human tragedy caused by super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) will only be captured in future reports. The Global Climate Risk Index 2014 tells the story of a country constantly battered by climate-related catastrophes," Sönke Kreft, team leader for International Climate Policy at Germanwatch said in a press statement.
 
The 2014 Global Climate Risk Index is based on climate-related catastrophes in 2012. "The most recent available data from 2012 as well as for the 20-year-period 1993-2012 were taken into account for the preparation of this index," the group said in its stateement. 
 
Heavy monsoon rains caused widespread flooding in Metro Manila and Luzon in August 2012.
 
 
Pakistan, which ranked third on the index, has been in the Top 3 in the past three years, Germanwatch said. Monsoon floods in Pakistan killed 480 and affected five million people in 2012 according to the Hindustan Times.
 
Germanwatch said their data shows "for the last 20 years the 10 most affected countries are without exception developing nations - with Honduras, Myanmar and Haiti taking the worst brunt during the period 1993-2012."

Despite that, climate-related weather disasters in developing countries are sometimes overlooked. 

"The landfall of Hurricane Sandy in the US-dominated international news in October 2012. Yet, it was Haiti - the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere - that suffered the greatest losses from the same event," Kreft said.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Hurricane Sandy destroyed 27,000 homes in a country still recovering from Tropical Storm Isaac earlier that year, and 7.0-magnitude earthquake in 2010.
 
Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change are in Warsaw this month to work on finding strategies to lower emissions that contribute to climate change, which has been blamed for changing rain patterns and for extreme weather events. — JDS, GMA News
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