MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines had the highest number of natural disasters among all countries last year, a non-government organization said Tuesday.
Based on the records of the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), 33 natural disasters struck the country in 2011, according to Citizens' Disaster Response Center (CDRC) deputy executive director Carlos Padolina.
A total of 302 natural disasters happened worldwide in the same year, Padolina said in a press statement.
If disasters caused by people such as armed conflict and fire are included, the total number of disasters in the country in 2011 will reach 431.
It shows an increase of more than 50% from 2010, he added.
Natural and human-induced disasters affected more than 3 million families or 15.3 million people, and caused over P26 billion in economic losses in 2011, CDRC said in a report.
Padolina said the Philippines' ranking did not come as a surprise because Tropical Storm Sendong (Washi), one of the worst disasters to hit the country, happened late last year.
In terms of casualties, the Philippines came second to Japan with 1,924 people killed. More than 1,400 died because of tropical storm Sendong.
"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."