Philippines

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The International Charter “Space and Major Disasters” has been activated on 18 September after Typhoon Manghut hit the northern coast of Luzon in the Philippines with winds of up to 180mph. This has made Manghut one of the strongest storms in decades.

The high winds also churned rough seas as it moved across Luzon, producing 30 feet-high waves, damaging forest, dragging electricity supplies and harming a farmland in Cagayan.

Mass evacuations, restricted travel and school closures have helped to manage the situation across the Philippines, with the army on standby to assist relief efforts.

On 16 September, Manghut was making its way to southeastern China after moving all across the Phillippines.

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Publishing date 19/09/2018
The International Charter Space and Major Disasters has been activated for volcanoes in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. The activations have been requested by the Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC), a UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office. In the Philippines, Mount Mayon, the country’s most active volcano, has been spewing lava since 13 January, leading to evacuations of over 40,000 residents from nearby villages. Authorities have has raised the alert level to four on a scale of five, indicating that an imminent eruption is expected within days, and expanded the exclusion zone to 8km around the volcano. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) acts as the project manager for this Charter activation. In Papua New Guinea, a long-dormant volcano on Kadovar island erupted again on 22 January, after the first eruptions earlier this month. Thousands of residents from the surrounding islands near the country’s northern coast have been evacuated. The project manager for this… more
Publishing date 23/01/2018

A 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck the island of Mindanao in the Philippines on 10 February 2017. According to the Cable News Network of the United States (CNN), more than 6 people were killed, about 120 were injured and more than a thousand homes have been destroyed. A state of calamity has been declared at the Surigao City, where access to electricity and water was lost.

The International charter was activated on 13 February 2017 by the Philippines’ Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on behalf of Asia Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC). 

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Publishing date 15/02/2017

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will train government and community officials as well as volunteers in the Philippines and Bangladesh in the use of satellite-based tools to face natural disasters.

The officials will learn how to combine satellite-based hazard maps with local government maps of vulnerable areas to better assess potential natural disaster. ADB will also teach them to use the open source tool OpenStreetMap and smartphone apps to collect information for pre-disaster planning, evacuations and timely delivery of relief.

“Countries which are vulnerable to catastrophes need more information-based disaster risk management and response tools to prepare better before disasters strike, and to respond better after earthquakes, floods or typhoons hit,” said Yusuke Muraki, infrastructure specialist of ADB’s Regional and Sustainable Development Department. 

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Publishing date 24/04/2015

More than 50 percent of the most exposed cities in the world for natural disasters are located in Philippines, China, Japan and Bangladesh, according to a recent publication by the global risk analytics company Verisk Maplecroft.

The 5th annual Natural Hazards Risk Atlas (NHRA) shows that of the 100 cities with the greatest exposure to natural hazards, 21 are located in the Philippines, 16 in China, 11 in Japan and 8 in Bangladesh. The combined risk of tropical storms and cyclones, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis and severe storms or extra-tropical cyclones, among others, has placed the small capital city of Port Vila, on the isolated South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, on top as the world's riskiest ones.

The Philippines is the most exposed country with eight cities among the ten most risky at global level due to a high risk of tropical storms, earthquakes and landslides.…

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Publishing date 09/03/2015

The Philippines will spend US$11 million to produce maps as part of a US$489 million climate change fund that will help the country prepare for natural disasters. This inclucdes updating their data and assessing how vulnerable communities are to natural disasters, as the website FutureGov reports, based on an announcement of the Department of Budget and Management.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau will get US$2 million to update their data and assess how vulnerable communities are to natural disasters. This will include 70 cities and 166 coastal settlements.

Publishing date 12/02/2015

The International Charter Space and Major Disasters was activated on 4 December 2014 in order to assist the Philippines to face Typhoon Hagupit, known locally as Ruby.

The mechanism to provide satellite-based emergency maps was triggered by UNITAR/UNOSAT, on behalf of UN OCHA Philippines.

The Typhoon made landfall in the Philippines on 6 December. At that time it had weakened from Category Five, the highest category on the Saffir-Simpson scale, to Category Three. Notwithstanding, hundreds of thousands of people had to be evacuated and took refuge in emergency shelters or moved to safer locations during the storm.

In November 2013, the Category Five Typhoon Haiyan had devastating effects on the country, leaving over seven thousand dead and millions homeless.

This time, the early evacuation plan combined with a less destructive Typhoon prevented major losses of human lives and vital infrastructure.

Publishing date 06/12/2014

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the Philippines has elaborated geohazard maps for 131 out of the 171 cities and municipalities that were hit by the typhoon Haiyan -known as Yolanda by local communities- on 8 November 2014.

Close to eight out of every ten localities that were devastated by Typhoon Yolanda's floods and landlides can now benefit from a geohazard map delineating potential disaster areas. The maps have a scale of 1:10,000 and are being disseminated to the local government units of the nine provinces affected by the typhoon.

The achievement of 1:10,000 scale geohazard maps is part of the Philippine Development Plan on climate change mitigation and adaptation of the Aquino administration. The value of the latest mapping system in comparison to the older version is that it offers more accurate information, fostering fast-tracking relief and development operations, such as disaster…

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Publishing date 11/11/2014

According to a report from the International Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) of the Norwegian Refugee Council, almost 22 million people were forced to flee their homes due to disasters triggered by natural hazards in 2013. These numbers could increase as urban populations grow, the report says.

The majority of displaced people were in Asia (19 million) because of floods, storms and earthquakes. In the Philippines, typhoon Haiyan alone displaced 4.1 million people, a million more than in Africa, the Americas, Europe and Oceania combined. According to the report, developing countries were most heavily affected by disaster-triggered displacements, accounting for more than 85 per cent of displacements.

Publishing date 18/09/2014

The Department of Science and Technology  of Philippines (DOST) has achieved the Light Ranging and Detection Technology (LiDAR) mapping of the three major river basins in Western Visayas.

As part of the Disaster Risk Assessment, Exposure and Mitigation (DREAM) project, the mapping will assess the risk of flooding in Jalaur River, Panay River and Ilog-Hilabangan River in Negros Island.

The DREAM-LIDAR project, in collaboration with the University of the Philippines, attempts to generate updated, detailed 3D flood hazard maps for the flood-prone and major river systems in the country.  As a starting point, the high resolution maps will be used to finalize Flood Forecasting Models, which will eventually be included in a comprehensive portal giving real weather picture of the country…

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Publishing date 28/07/2014

On 15 and 16 July 2014 Typhoon Rammasun swept across the southern Philippine islands of Luzon as a category 3 storm. The typhoon made landfall with 200 km dropping 200 millimeters of rain on Luzon, Samar, and Panay.  Official have attributed 20 deaths to Rammasun’s high winds blowing down trees and power lines but claim that the damage could have been worse. Applying lessons learned from Haiyan 8 months prior more than 400,000 people evacuated their homes in the storm’s path.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired an image of the storm at 1:00 p.m. local time on 15 July 2014, right before it made landfall in the Philippines. Additionally, the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) captured the heavy precipitation of more than 200 millimeters (8 inches) of rain on parts of Luzon, Samar, and Panay, Philippines.

As of 16 of July the typhoon was expected to regain strength as it crossed the warm…

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Publishing date 17/07/2014

On 26 May 2014, the Yolanda Rehabilitation Scientific Information Center (YoRInfoCenter)  was launched  by the  Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The information center will be providing scientific data to the national  agencies and humanitarian organizations to aid in the rehabilitation of the Eastern region of Visayas that was ravaged by typhoon Yolanda, also known as typhoon Haiyan, in November 2013.

In partnership with DOST, the University of the Philippines' DREAM Project and DENR’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR_MGB) the YoRInfoCenter will provide all available data including satellite images, high resolution hazard maps to aid in systematic rehabilitation efforts.

“The maps are used in locating the damaged areas, in knowing if an establishment still exists, and in creating the rehabilitation plans. Hazard maps are created to provide early…

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Publishing date 27/05/2014

The Information and Communications Technology Office of the Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST), together with the technology provider IBM launched the Intelligent Operations Centre (IOC) near Quezon City. The new facility is equipped with technology that will allow the Government to monitor and forecast weather, and thus be better prepared for disasters.

DOST Secretary Mario Montejo hopes the new technology will help its country to solve disaster management challenges. The Centre will enhance awareness and information sharing. During emergencies the IOC will analyze real-time data from social media and GPS systems. 

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Publishing date 25/03/2014

The Philippines is a country frequently affected by volcanic eruptions and seismic activities as it is located on the circum-Pacific seismic belt. Futuregov.asia now reported that the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has developed a wide-area disaster prevention system to detect volcanic and seismic activity by using seismic intensity meters and tide indicators, as well as offering disaster countermeasures.

Futuregov reported: "The system, scheduled to begin operating in February 2015, gathers sensor data from the strong-motion seismographs and tide indicators located throughout the Philippines at the PHIVOLCS via satellite-based communication. The system will enable the Institute to constantly monitor volcanic and seismic activity and to promptly convey the information to the relevant ministries and agencies in the event of an earthquake."

Publishing date 17/03/2014

The season over the Atlantic Ocean was considerably quieter than the typhoon season over the Western Pacific Ocean.

New maps posted on the NASA Earth observatory website show the tracks and intensity of the tropical storms in both basins this year.

In the Atlantic occurred just 13 tropical storms, none of them developed to major hurricanes, for the first time since 1994. It was one of the least active seasons of the last 60 years. The strong outbreaks of dry and stable air that originated over Africa could be a good explanation for this low activity.

In the Western pacific in 2013 different agencies noted between 28 and 31 tropical storms and from 13 to 16 typhoons – six of them reached super typhoon strength. The season this year was close to the most active one in 1964 with 39 tropical storms.

Nearly 30% of world’s tropical storms build in this region. The trend for the cyclones is to get larger and more intense while crossing the Pacific. The Philippines…

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Publishing date 09/12/2013

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired am image of Super Typhoon Haiyan over the Philippines on 8 November 2013. The image was acquired at 2:10 p.m. local time (5:10 UTC), when winds were estimated to be 270 km/h (165 mph). On 7 November, NASA had already captured the storm from Space before it made landfall.

NASA reported: "Super Typhoon Haiyan (locally named Yolanda) made its first landfall at 4:40 a.m. local time (20:40 Universal Time) on November 7. Preliminary reports suggested the storm roared ashore near Guinan (Samar Province), where ground stations recorded sustained winds of 235 kilometers (145 miles) per hour and gusts to 275 kilometers (170 miles) per hour. According to remote sensing data from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, sustained winds approached 315 kph (195 mph) just three hours before landfall, with…

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Publishing date 11/11/2013

On 27 November 2013, the Philippine government will launch their new open government data portal: data.gov.ph, as abs-cbnnews reported. The site will serve as repository for public national government datasets that can be easily accessed by the public.

The portal will be managed by the Open Data Task Force composed of Office of the Presidential Spokesperson, the Department of Budget and Management, and the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO). It will use easy-to-access file formats such as plain text files and comma-separated values for spreadsheets, compared to PDF files that are difficult for data analysts to process.

Publishing date 31/10/2013

The GIS software provider Esri published an interactive earthquake map of Bohol and Cebu, Philippines, to help government organisations in their disaster response efforts, following a 7.1 magnitude earthquake that wreaked havoc in the central island of Bohol on 15 October 2013, as futuregov.asia reported. The map is based on earthquake data from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Futuregov further reported: "The interactive map allows users to view the earthquake locations, shaking intensity, population, and social media posts from Flickr, Twitter and Youtube."

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Publishing date 21/10/2013

In the context of its climate change adaptation efforts, the Philippine government has begun producing 3D flood hazard maps to help make better planning decisions about flood risks, as trust.org reported. The Philippines are a country heavily affected by devastating floods and strong precipitation.

“We consider this new map as relevant especially as a tool to make local land use plans truly based on risk - not only historical risks but future risks based on rainfall scenarios. We cannot be planning long term development based on yesterday's event, but must factor in future climate risks,” said Mary Ann Lucille Sering, secretary of the country’s Climate Change Commission.

 

Trust.org reported: "The maps, which will provide up-to-date scientific data and analysis on local-scale flooding and climate risks, are being created using 3D technology as part of the Climate Change Commission’s efforts to adapt the Philippines to the…

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Publishing date 26/09/2013

“Along with other countries in the region, the Philippines is increasingly relying on technology in its preparedness and response as a key programmatic tool in reducing the impact of disasters while saving as many lives as possible”, stated David Carden, Head of OCHA Philippines, in the course of an event bringing together Filipino mobile operators with humanitarian partners to improve their ability to prepare for and respond to natural disasters in June in Legazpi City, Philippines. “Technology’s role in disaster management is growing, and as the ‘info-ecosystem’ becomes more complex, a better understanding of how the global community can work together is essential,” Carden continued.

The National Telecommunications Company reported a total 94.2 million cellular mobile phone subscribers in the Philippines from an estimated population of 105 million in 2011. It is, therefore, a critical step for the Government and major mobile…

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Publishing date 06/09/2013

On 19 August 2013, the activation of the International Charter has been requested by the Asia Disaster Reduction Centre (ADRC) to provide satellite products of the capital city of the Philippines, Manila, which has been flooded by monsoon rains caused by Tropical Storm Trami. Even though the Philippines is a common victim to tropical storms, this has been reported as the worst of the year, resulting in 5000 people evacuated, at least three reported killed and several missing.

Given the damages caused by Typhoon Utor the previous week and the ones that Tropical Storm Trami is currently causing, the province of Manila has been declared in state of calamity, where water levels have reached knee height in some areas and as high as waist in some parts of Cavite, close to Manila. Considering the danger and the forecast that the storm will continue until 21 August, schools and offices have been shut down in the city centre.

Publishing date 19/08/2013

The members of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Region 2 (RDRRMC-2) in the Philippines are observing the National Disaster Consciousness Month this July.

Office of the Civil Defense Regional Director Norma Talosig, the RDRRMC-2 chair, said that all members of the council and other stakeholders will join a kick-off ceremony on July 1 where a thanksgiving mass, hataw exercises, and fun walk will start the month long celebration.

She said that during the weeks of the July, several disaster-related trainings will be conducted in different local government units, rescue groups, and other organizations to equip and capacitate them on disaster response.

“This is our effort to continuously educate and capacitate the public to reduce risk on any disaster eventually. We need to impart on them the right moves they will do whenever there are disaster especially on earthquakes, floods and others,” she said.

Publishing date 27/06/2013

The website Futuregov Asia reported that the Philippines are planning to improve their disaster mitigation efforts by adopting an Indonesian mapping and planning tool: "The Department of Science and Technology revealed plans to adopt InaSAFE, a disaster mitigation technology from Indonesia, to its Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazard (NOAH) project in a bid to improve disaster planning and preparedness in the country. InaSAFE, or Indonesia Scenario Assessment for Emergency, is an open source software that produces realistic natural hazard impact scenarios to help decision makers in their disaster planning, preparedness and response activities.

It combines data from various authoritative sources to provide insights into the likely impacts of future disaster events. The software is focused on examining, in detail; the impacts by a single hazard would have on specific sectors. It gives users a heightened situational…

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Publishing date 27/05/2013

Super-typhoon Bopha (locally called Pablo) that hit the Philippines on 4 December 2012 was one of the worst storms the region had ever seen. The category 5 storm produced wind speeds of up to 195mph. It was the world's deadliest typhoon in 2012, killing 1,067 people, with 800 left missing and 6.2 million people affected. The cost of the damage are estimated to reach $1bn.

The amount and intensity of storms in the Philippines might reflect changes caused by the current climatic trends, the Newspaper Guardian suggests. The authors point out that scientists are also registering steadily rising sea levels around the Philippines, and a falling water table which appears to increase the likelihood and incidence of extreme weather events. "Extreme weather is becoming more frequent, you could even call it the new normal," says Mary Ann Lucille Sering, head of the Philippine government's climate change commission.

As a consequence, Philippine disaster risk managers…

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Publishing date 19/02/2013

In early December 2012, Bopha made landfall in the southern Philippines as a powerful typhoon. Bopha weakened to a tropical storm after passing over the southern Philippines, but regained typhoon strength over the South China Sea on December 7. On December 8, Unisys Weather reported that Bopha was headed back toward the Philippines.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image on December 8, when Bopha was situated over the South China Sea, just off the Philippine island of Luzon.

After regaining strength over the South China Sea, Bopha again weakened to a tropical storm on December 8, and to a tropical depression on December 9. As the storm wound down west of the northern Philippines, authorities assessed the damage in the southern Philippines. On December 10, 2012, the United Nations’ Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) reported that at least 647 people had been killed, and…

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Publishing date 12/12/2012