When Typhoon Koppu hit The Philippines at the weekend, the carnage and destruction was not as bad as what was first predicted. And credit can be given to the communications between agencies in the country as well as regular updates from weather bureau PAGASA and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, local governments, the private sector, the Red Cross and other organisations.
The head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Margareta Wahlström, praised the Philippines Government for its disaster response strategy and efforts to reduce mortality and the numbers of people affected by the typhoon.
“The communication of early warnings in the Philippines has improved significantly since Typhoon Haiyan claimed over 6,000 lives in November 2013. Last December, major loss of life was averted by large-scale evacuations in the face of Typhoon Hagupit,”.
Government agencies have been successful in reducing loss of life through the effective communication of early warnings and organizing targeted evacuations in the areas most affected by Typhoon Koppu.
On Friday, President Benigno Aquino made a televised warning, the first time he had done so since Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, which killed more than 6,300 people. President Benigno Aquino’s address to his people on Friday was significant and important in alerting the population to this natural disaster.
According to reports, Koppu is the strongest cyclone to make landfall in Luzon since Super Typhoon Juan (Megi) in 2010.
Exactly five years ago yesterday, Juan hit Northern Luzon provinces, leaving at least 11 people dead and damage to agriculture amounting to P1 billion.
The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 storms each year, many of them are deadly.
“The Philippines is the most storm-exposed country in the world and its expertise in disaster risk management can be usefully adopted by other countries trying to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction adopted in March this year as a global blueprint for reducing disaster losses,”said Margareta Wahlström