The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. Located along the Pacific Ring of Fire, the country is susceptible to frequent earthquakes and even volcanic eruptions.
In addition, the Philippines is also geographically located along the typhoon belt in the Pacific. An average of 20 typhoons enter the Philippines every year, according to the Asian Disaster Reduction Center. Five of these are considered “destructive.”
According to the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT), the Philippines has lost a total of $26.35 billion in damages due to natural disasters including storms, floods, earthquakes, volcanic activities, droughts, landslides, insect infestations, epidemics, mass movements and wildfires over the past decades. EM-DAT is the international disaster database of the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) of the Université Catholique de Louvain in Brussels, Belgium.
Not surprisingly, 81.7 percent of it or $21.51 billion were lost due to storms only. Flooding incidents, which occur after torrential rains, follow with $3.81 billion.
EM-DAT counts a total of 49,221 deaths from storms that entered the Philippine area of responsibility since 1911, the earliest date with recorded incident of natural disaster, until early this year. This takes up 70.4 percent of the total 69,955 deaths from all types of natural disasters. (See infographic)
Among all the typhoons that entered the country, Typhoon Haiyan (local name Yolanda) in 2013 was the most devastating and deadliest of all, with the most number of affected individuals and deaths recorded. It is also the costliest disaster in Philippine history, with estimated damages of $10 billion. (See table)
Pauline Macaraeg is Entrepreneur PH's data journalist. Follow her on Twitter @paulinemacaraeg