Disasters’ 10-year toll in PHL: 463-billion damage, 12,000 lives

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NATURAL extreme events and disasters cost the Philippine economy nearly half a trillion pesos between 2010 and 2019, according to data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Wednesday.

PSA data showed that these extreme events and disasters cost the economy P463 billion and caused as much as 12,097 deaths in 10 years.

The agriculture sector was the worst hit, accounting for 62.7 percent or P290 billion of the damage; the highest number of Filipinos (7,056) perished because of Supertyphoon Yolanda and the Bohol earthquake in 2013.

“An extreme event is one that is rare within its statistical reference distribution at a particular location while a disaster is often described as a result of exposure to an extreme event,” PSA explained.

In terms of the economy, apart from agriculture, the sectors worst hit were infrastructure and private/communications, accounting for 23 percent or P106 billion and 14.3 percent or P66 billion, respectively.

The year that Supertyphoon Yolanda and Bohol earthquake hit recorded the highest costs to the economy between 2010 and 2019. That year, extreme natural events and disasters cost the economy P106.667 billion.

This was followed by 2018 when disasters such as the eruption of the Mayon Volcano and several strong typhoons such as Tropical Cyclone Ompong cost the economy P67.622 billion.

In terms of casualties, apart from 2013, the year when many Filipinos died of natural calamities was in 2011 when there was a total 1,557 deaths. This was largely due to Typhoon Sendong in December which alone killed 1,268 Filipinos.

This was followed by 2012 when the country suffered major typhoons such as Typhoon Pablo which killed 1,248 Filipinos. In that year, there were a total of 1,386 Filipinos who died from these extreme events.

“Among the major disasters from 2010 to 2019, meteorological disasters posted the highest number at 120 incidents followed by geophysical disaster and climatological disaster at 16, and 2 incidents respectively,” PSA noted.

The data was collected from the Compendium of Philippine Environment Statistics (CPES) data on extreme events and disasters which comes from the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) reports.

Image credits: Mark Timbal/NDRRMC


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