Impacts of Extreme Weather Events to Human Security (Coastal and Water Ecosystems)

More than temperature, the resulting climate change-induced rainfall brought heavy damages in the country. The Philippines’ location in the western side of the Pacific makes it highly exposed to frequent typhoon visits. Based on vulnerability studies, the most vulnerable regions to typhoons in the country are the National Capital Region, Southern Tagalog, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, the Cordillera Administrative Region and Bicol Province. 

A more recent study suggests that Visayas and Mindanao are likewise becoming more at risk due to increasing number of typhoons entering the southern part of the country (David et al., 2013). We will never forget that horrifying onslaught of Typhoon Haiyan, locally known as Typhoon Yolanda, the strongest typhoon to ever hit the country at maximum speed of 230 kilometers per hour. It took about 6,340 lives with over a thousand missing. The excessive rainfall in 2004, 2006 and 2008 caused massive landslides and floods, in Aurora and Quezon in 2004 (Cruz et al., 2005) and Iloilo in 2008. Excessive rainfall also caused the remobilization of lahar deposits, resulting in the avulsion of rivers and flashfloods such as in 2006 in Legazpi City and its vicinity due to Typhoon Reming. 

Heavy rains also trigger excessive flooding that can destroy communities along riverbanks, sources of livelihood such as fishponds and agricultural lands, vital infrastructure such as roads and bridges. This is particularly true in municipalities located along major river basins particularly the Cagayan River Basin, Pampanga-Agno River Basin, Bicol River Basin and the Jalaur River Basin in Iloilo. 

Lastly, excessive rainfall also triggers landslides as experienced in Guinsaugon in Southern Leyte and Masara in Compostela Valley in 2006 and 2008, respectively (Yumul et al, 2011). The 2012 ADB study Addressing Climate Change and Migration in Asia and the Pacific, said that the Philippines is among the most vulnerable countries to climate change and it is ranked 5th in terms of individuals affected by sea level rise. At least 13.6 million Filipinos may have to relocate to higher elevations due to sea level rise according to the same study.