The Philippines braces for yet another typhoon on Tuesday, November 12, as WWF got wind of another storm arriving.  We have to prepare for future typhoons by implementing  a business risk assessment and management of climate impact plan according to WWF.

Press Release:

It’s as if the hand of God came down to smite everything in Tacloban. In this ravaged city, there is nothing but silence. Cars are overturned, leafless trees toppled. Roofs have been ripped from homes, while a ship sits grounded amidst houses. Then there are the bodies – hanging from trees, entombed within crushed homes. There is no power. Looters are everywhere.”

Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) smashed into the Central Philippines on 8 November 2013, making landfall five times. Winds reached 330kph, making it the strongest typhoon in the country’s history. Despite extensive warnings and preparations, towns and cities in Leyte and Samar were flattened.

Thousands are feared dead, though only about 300 bodies have so far been recovered. Four million people in six provinces have been affected by shearing winds and tsunami-like storm surges.

Sitting along the Pacific typhoon belt, the Philippines is considered one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. With impacts ranging from extreme weather events and periodic inundation to droughts and food scarcity, climate-spurred disasters have been a constant reality that millions of Filipinos have had to face. About 20 typhoons batter the country yearly, causing millions in damage and taking hundreds of lives.

Strong typhoons like Yolanda used to come every few years,” explains WWF-Philippines Vice-chair and CEO Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan. “Then they came every year. Now we’re experiencing them regularly. What befell Tacloban is just a more powerful version of other storms that hit the nation this year. Typhoon Yolanda is the country’s 24th typhoon for 2013.

Ground zero for Typhoon Yolanda, Tacloban is among 12 cities assessed by WWF and the BPI Foundation for climate change vulnerabilities. The publicly-available study, entitled Business Risk Assessment and the Management of Climate Impacts, aims to help city-planners and decision makers assess climate impacts, identify opportunities and decide on life-saving sustainability strategies to allow Philippine cities to retain their economic viability in a climate-defined future.

The study’s first two phases covered the cities of Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Dagupan, Iloilo, Laoag and Zamboanga from 2011 to 2012. The cities of Angeles, Batangas, Naga and Tacloban were assessed for 2013.

As important as providing relief goods and medical services are to make major Philippine cities climate-resilient. Climate change effects are becoming more and more unpredictable and there’s no way to know which town or city will get hit next,” warns Tan. WWF also fights to curb fossil fuel emissions in more developed nations – the primary cause of climate change.

Years of development can be undone by one storm. Can we afford to be ill-prepared when the next calamity approaches?” asks Tan. Meanwhile, the Philippines braces for the next storm, Typhoon Zoraida, expected Tuesday.

Results of the First Two Phases of Business Risk Assessment and the Management of Climate Impacts can be downloaded at: