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Abnormal weather events in 2009, increased precipitation and disastrous impacts in the Philippines

Yumul, Graciano P., Jr., Dimalanta, Carla B., Servando, Nathaniel T., Cruz, Nathaniel A.
Climatic change 2013 v.118 no.3-4 pp. 715-727
El Nino, climate change, disasters, drought, ecosystems, hurricanes, land use, people, rain, risk, risk management, support systems, variance, Philippines
The Philippines has recently experienced distinct changes in the weather patterns with disastrous results. These changes which were distinctly felt in 2009 included: 1. too much precipitation throughout the year; 2. some areas received a lot of rain while other parts of the country went through dry spell and drought conditions; and 3. abnormalities and variance in weather patterns (e.g. multiple entry of a tropical cyclone during an El Niño event; longer duration of tropical cyclone; deviations from the normal tropical cyclone path). The country, with its disaster risk management program in place, has managed to bring down the cost of damage and number of casualties due to weather-related disasters. However, in some instances, disaster risk response was made difficult due to other factors (e.g. degraded ecosystem, ill-managed land use and risk denial by people and communities). In general though, the resiliency and ability to recover by the people devastated by these disasters and the availability of community-based support systems provided the best means of coping with these catastrophic events. This is important as climate change is projected to bring more variations in the country’s weather and climate patterns which, as of now, are already adversely affecting the people.