Eight of the 10 most disaster-prone cities in the world are in the Philippines, research conducted by risk analysis firm Verisk Maplecroft said.
Over 1,300 cities were analyzed in its 5th annual National Hazards Risk Atlas (NHRA), “selected for their importance as significant economic and population centers in the coming decade”. Of the 100 cities with the greatest exposure to natural hazards, 21 are located in the Philippines, 16 in China, 11 in Japan and 8 in Bangladesh.
At most risk
The Philippine cities included in the list, with their corresponding rankings, are:
- Tuguegarao in Cagayan (2nd)
- Lucena in Quezon Province (3rd)
- Metro Manila (4th)
- City of San Fernando in Pampanga (5th)
- Cabanatuan in Nueva Ecija (6th)
- Batangas (7th)
- San Carlos – (no province specified in the report) (9th)
- Naga in Camarines Sur (10th)
Other cities outside the Philippines in the top 10 are Port Vila in Vanuatu, ranked 1st; and Taipei in Taiwan, 8th.
Dr. Richard Hewston, Principal Environmental Analyst at Verisk Maplecroft, had this to say about the study:
“With foreign investment continuing to flow into countries highly exposed to natural hazards, those which are unable to demonstrate robust resilience may lose an element of their competitiveness. Company decision-making over sourcing locations or market entry is increasingly influenced by issues such as strength of infrastructure and institutional robustness.”
The analysis considers the combined risk posed by tropical storms and cyclones, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, severe storms, extra-tropical cyclones, wildfires, storm surges, volcanoes and landslides.
The message then is pretty clear:
If the Philippines wants to compete on a global scale in the long term, then the risk of natural disasters isn’t a problem as long as there is enough resilience in place to deal with the fallout. This means better government responses and better disaster preparedness are vital for economic success, and the fight against corrupt elements in the way of these efforts must continue at an advanced pace to ensure a bright future for the country.