PH suffers P132.2-B damages from 14 cyclones in 40 years

The Philippines, yearly visited by 20 tropical cyclones, some of them supertyphoons, reportedly suffered damage worth P132.299-billion from 14 top disastrous tropical cyclones (DTCs) that slammed the country from 1970 to 2010.

The names of the deadly typhoons may sound familiar with majority of Filipinos, especially to those who suffered the most from the path of the typhoons.

Most damaging among the DTCs in the 40-year period was typhoon "Pepeng" that slammed through Northern Luzon from Sept. 30 to Oct. 10, 2009.

The cost of "Pepeng" devastation that wrought havoc on agriculture and infrastructure reached P27.296 billion.

Typhoon "Frank" followed, with P13.500 billion worth of damage in 2008.

More data showed typhoon "Juan" wrought havoc worth P11.500 billion in 2010; tropical storm "Ondoy" with P10.952 billion in 2009; typhoon "Ruping" with P10.846 billion in 1990; and typhoon "Rosing," P10.799 billion in 1995.

The rest of the top 14 DTCs in terms of damage were typhoon "Kadiang," P8.752 billion in 1993; typhoon "Loleng," P6.787 billion in 1998; typhoon "Milenyo," P6.606 billion in 2006; typhoon "Reming," P5.448 billion in 2006; typhoon "Unsang," P5.636 billion in 1988; typhoon "Iliang," P5.375 billion in 1998; typhoon "Cosme," P4.700 billion in 2008; and typhoon "Caloy," P4.320 billion in 2006.

Government officials, private sector leaders, and journalists, among others, were briefed about the figures during one of the series of round-table discussion (RTD) organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), through its 20 attached agencies, to highlight and bring to government and public awareness various issues, concerns, and problems.

In a recent RTD organized by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) on climate change and variability, Dr. Flaviana D. Hilario, deputy administrator for research and development of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), presented Climate Trends/Projections in the Philippines.

She cited the 14 DTCs' damages and at the same time gave out the Top 13 DTCs in terms of casualties from 1951 to 2010.

Her presentation showed that the combined deaths from the 13 DTCs reached 14,353 people.

Hilario's paper noted that typhoon "Uring" had the most killed - 5,101 - from Nov. 1 to Nov. 6, 1991.

Her data further showed that typhoon "Nitang" in 1984 came second with 1,019; typhoon "Trix" followed at third place with 995 fatalities in 1952.

Others with the most deaths in the same period included typhoons "Amy" - 991, 1951; "Rosing" - 936, 1995; "Undang" - 895, 1984; "Sisang" - 808, 1987; "supertyphoon Reming" - 734, 2006; "Titang" - 631, 1970; "Winnie" - 593, 2004; "Sening" - 575, 1970; "Frank" - 557, 2008; and "Ruping" - 508, 1990.

Hilario cited that the Philippines, being an archipelago that is made up of low lying small islands, is "highly susceptible to flooding and storm surges."

She said 70 percent of the country's cities and municipalities are coastal areas.

From 19 to 20 tropical cyclones hit the Philippines every year, she added.

Figures of death and destruction wrought by typhoons "Sendong," "Pedring," and "Quiel" in 2011 and "Pablo" in 2012 were not included in the data.

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