As Typhoon Haiyan recovery efforts continue and the country prepares for a new typhoon season, President Benigno Aquino of the Philippines has stressed the importance of mounting “a focused international effort to address the threats posed by climate change, and to build communities that are resilient in the face of disaster.”
He was speaking earlier this month at the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in Manila, “Post-Haiyan/Yolanda – A Way Forward,” hosted by the Philippines, co-hosted by the European Union, Japan and Switzerland, and co-sponsored by Belgium, German, Hungary, Indonesia, Spain, Sweden and Viet Nam.
President Aquino described Typhoon Haiyan as unlike anything the country had previously encountered. The most intense storm the country has experienced claimed 6,201 lives with 1,785 people reported missing. Over 16 million people were affected.
“The Philippines sees some 20 storms a year. Not only have they become more powerful, they have also begun shifting tracks, hitting areas that are not normally frequented by typhoons,” he said.
President Aquino highlighted the importance of science in strengthening resilience as he opened the ASEM Conference which produced the Tacloban Declaration and was attended by more than 280 officials and representatives from ASEM Partners, UN , civil society, academia and the private sector.
His emphasis on “available, accessible and affordable” disaster risk information emerged as one of the key themes in the Conference’s closing 'Post-Haiyan Tacloban Declaration’.
The government is deploying Doppler radar for better estimates of rainfall with incoming cyclones; early-warning systems in major river basins are being integrated as part of the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards project; hundreds of hydro-meteorological gauges are being installed countrywide; and a new website is providing the public with real-time weather information.
“These efforts go hand in hand with training our personnel working with the local communities in the use and maintenance of these new technologies,” President Aquino said.
For the complete article, please see United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.