Philippines third in list of countries hit by natural disasters

Posted on March 29, 2011

THE PHILIPPINES was among the list of countries most frequently hit by natural disasters last year, highlighting the need for the government to allocate more resources to prepare for such events, nongovernmental organization Citizen’s Disaster Response Center (CDRC) said yesterday.

Citing the International Disaster Database from the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), CDRC said in its Philippine Disaster Report for 2010 released yesterday that the Philippines was among the top 10 countries with the most number of reported natural disasters, ranking third with a total of 14 reported events last year.

The Philippine rank in last year’s report, CDRC said, was an improvement as it topped the list in 2009 with 26 reported disasters.

The International Disaster Database showed China ranked first with 22 natural disasters reported last year. India was second at 16.

Other countries and their ranks are the United States, 12 natural disasters; Indonesia, 11; and Australia, Mexico and Russia, all with eight reported events.

Rounding up the list were Vietnam and Pakistan, both of which were struck by seven disasters.

CDRC is a partner of CRED, a World Health Organization collaborating center, which maintains the International Disaster Database.

Carlos C. Padolina, CDRC deputy executive director, said in a telephone interview yesterday that the data only shows the Philippines’ vulnerability to natural disasters, thus the need to beef up disaster preparedness.

"The budget for responding to disasters is very small. The government should allocate more funds for disaster management to be able to respond to disasters," he said.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Executive Director and Undersecretary Benito T. Ramos was unavailable for comment. -- Louella D. Desiderio