Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, the Category 5 storm that hit central Philippines one week ago with its 195 mph winds and 13 foot storm surges, was the first storm of this magnitude to ever make landfall. But it certainly won’t be the last.
The Philippines lies in a very volatile area in the Pacific’s Ring of Fire, and ranks as the third most disaster prone country in the world, with the constant threat of volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, typhoons, and earthquakes ever looming. To make matters worse, decades of deforestation, large-scale mining, and stripping the land of its natural elements have eroded the country’s capacity to weather these storms. And climate change is exacerbating this already dire situation.
A warming planet has created rapidly rising sea levels and warmer waters for the low-lying country resulting in destructive storm surges and high-powered typhoons, as we saw with Haiyan. If the climate continues to change at this rate, scientists say that storms will become stronger with average intensities increasing by 11 percent by the end of the century.
And it is environmentally vulnerable nations who will continue to bear the brunt of climate change if we don't do anything about it.
Find out more about Typhoon Haiyan and climate change on our People-to-People blog. Also listed are ways to help survivors of the storm and resources on how to find loved ones in the typhoon-affected areas of the Philippines.
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