Typhoon Maysak: A New Challenge to The Philippines and The World
By admin April 4, 2015

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Typhoon Maysak is moving west-northwest and expected to hit on the Philippines over the Easter weekend. This storm has already killed four people and destroyed hundreds of homes on some western Pacific Ocean islands. However, it is losing strength with wind speeds decreasing from 160 kilometers per hour to 120 kilometers per hour. Meteorologists believe that Maysak could become a tropical storm when it reaches the Philippines.

An average of 20 typhoons hit The Philippines every year. In November 2013, Super typhoon Haiyan, having killed more than 6,000 and injured more than 27,000 people, was among the strongest storms ever recorded. Even now, 16 months after this catastrophe, the areas hit hardest by Haiyan severely have yet to recover fully, leaving some areas in a highly vulnerable situation. For example, many Filipinos make a living fishing, and prefer to live by the coast rather than inland where it is safer from storms.

As a result, the government and NGOs are taking the incoming Maysak very seriously. The national government issued a statement for local officials in the potential stricken area to be well prepared. Save the Children is closely monitoring the situation and trying to make necessary preparations in case of emergency. It has procured emergency supplies for 10,000 families including hygienic items and water kits. According to Ned Olney, Country Director of Save the Children Philippines “It’s still too early to know what this storm will do, but we would ask everyone to heed safety warnings and prepare as if this storm is going to be a big one. In this situation, you can never be too cautious.”

Preparations are crucial to minimizing the loss from natural disasters. Under the leadership of UN, aid agencies like Plan International, Save the Children, the Red Cross are now working on diversifying incomes of Filipinos and increasing the sustainability of the infrastructure. It is hoped that the new income structure could relieve the stress on fishing and agricultural industry endangered by frequent natural disasters.

Cyclone Pam that hit Vanuatu earlier in March is believed to have brought a greater challenge of logistics than typhoon Haiyan. Cyclone Pam destroyed buildings, infrastructure and crops across the nation. People are now in desperate need of food and necessities. However, the lack of transportation to the nearly 80 scattered islands and remote villages across the country makes it difficult to distribute supplies to those in need in time.
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Ahead of his departure from Japan, Vanuatu President Baldwin Lonsdale said in comments: “Climate change is contributing to the disaster in Vanuatu,” “We see the level of sea rise, changing weather patterns, all these things are happening everywhere.“, after attending the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai. In this conference, 187 UN Member States agreed on the Sendai Declaration and Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. It is believed that the conference made the world rethink the challenges ahead and would help to reduce the loss from natural disasters. The pro-active reaction by the government and NGOs to the approaching typhoon Maysak is a case in point.

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