MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines ranked third in the list of countries most hit by natural disasters in 2010, a report from the Citizens’ Disaster Response Center said.
A total of 14 natural disasters visited the country last year, placing the country at 3rd next to India with 16 and China with 22.
The number was down by 46% from the 26 disasters in 2009, which then included the deadly tropical storm Ondoy and typhoon Pepeng. The Philippines topped the list then.
CDRC is a partner of the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, a World Health Organization collaborating center based in Brussels, Belgium, which maintains the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT: The International Disaster Database).
CDRC Deputy Executive Director Carlos Padolina said, however, that if human-induced disasters were included, the total would reach 202. These redounded to the death of 239 people and caused over P25 billion in damages.
More than 1.29 million families were affected, or a total of 6.75 million people. This was lower, however, compared to the 13.6 million affected people in 2009.
Padolina said that this can be attributed primarily to the fact that the country did not experience disasters as destructive as Ondoy or Pepeng.
Padolina said that despite the obvious decrease in disaster figures last year, the challenge to slide down from the top ten list of countries most affected by natural disasters still remains.
“We shouldn't be content with just a slight decrease in the number of affected population. We should in fact strive to be taken off the list completely,” Padolina stressed. "And we can do this by being prepared."