The Philippines

9 September 2016

A disaster hotspot is an area, which experiences two or more types of hazards with a vulnerable population. The Philippines is a disaster hotspot around which can experience around 7 different types of hazards; tropical cyclones, strong winds, flooding, landslides, droughts, seismic and volcanic activity and tsunamis. Also the Philippines is affected by la Nina which intensifies the hazard. The Philippines is a collection of over 7000 islands in south East Asia.

It is between 5o N and 20o N of the equator making the Philippines in the band of tropical cyclones. The Philippines is also based on an active convergent plate boundary- Philippines plate being subducted beneath the Eurasian plate. The Philippines experiences between 19-21 tropical cyclones a year, and the most occurring disasters are flooding and typhoons. Between 1905 and 2007 72 floods killing 2,700, effecting 11. 25 million people occurred, and 241 typhoons killing 35,983 and effecting 86 million people occurred.

The Philippines Essay Example

It is a lower-middle-income country, and most of the population is poor, and there is a high population density (91 million in 2007), these two factors make the population vulnerable because when a hazard strikes there is more people that could be effected and they have less substantial housing and have less money to prepare for the hazard or to help when the hazard strikes. Many people in the Philippines live on coastal lowlands; these people are at risk from tsunamis and flooding.

Also many people live on hill slopes, which are at risk from landslides, which are triggered by heavy rain/earthquakes. And due to the rising population demand for settlements of vegetation means increased removal of vegetation for farming increasing landslide and flood risk. Mount Pinatubo’s volcanic eruption in June 1991 in the Philippines had devastating impacts; 4300 was injury/death toll, 350 people died, 80,000 hectares of farmland was buried under ash disrupting the lives of 500,000 farmers and their families, the economic losses was US$710 million on agricultural property.

The Philippines used management of the hazard risk such as an 30km exclusion zone set up around the volcano, 200,000 people were evacuated, and two weeks before the eruption a video outlining the risks of pyroclastic flows and lahars was produced which reduced the death/injury toll. The Philippines is definitely a disaster hotspot, seeing as many types of disasters affect it, with a poorer population, more damage is likely to be caused effecting more peoples lives making the Philippines more vulnerable to natural hazards.

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