Saturday, December 26, 2009

Flooding in 2009: The Philippines feels climate change

Helen Flores in via the Philippine Star: A total of 22 cyclones entered the Philippines this year, two of which killed hundreds and destroyed nearly P40 billion in property and agricultural assets. The weather bureau described 2009 as “one of the worst years in terms of (typhoon) devastation.”

Nathaniel Cruz, deputy administrator of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), said three of the 22 tropical cyclones that entered the country this year displayed “unusual characteristics” caused by climate change.

Typhoons “Ondoy” (Ketsana), “Pepeng”(Parma), and “Santi” (Mirinae) killed hundreds, affected millions, and destroyed billions worth of property and agricultural assets. On Sept. 26, Ondoy dumped 410.6 millimeters of rain in Metro Manila and nearby provinces in just nine hours, breaking the single-day record of 334 millimeters in July 1967. Ondoy killed 464 people, affected some 4.9 million families and damaged P11.1 billion in property and agriculture.

Pepeng, the strongest tropical cyclone to enter the country this year, battered central and northern Luzon for 11 days. It entered the Philippine area of responsibility on Sept. 30 and exited on Oct. 10. Pepeng, which entered the country barely a week after Ondoy crippled the metropolis, killed 465 people and damaged P27.2 billion in infrastructure and agriculture.

…In just two months, eight tropical cyclones entered the county, an “abnormal” occurrence, according to Cruz. The country is usually visited by four to six tropical cyclones from September to October. Tropical cyclones that visited the country this year were rain-producing and had unusual tracks….

Cyclone Ketsana earlier this year

1 comment:

John said...

Those were horrible typhoons and they impacted so many people. What's even more disturbing though is that these typhoons were abnormal. If we saw 8 in two months, what can we expect for 2010?