As Mindanao in the Philippines was still slowly recovering from the effects of Typhoon Sendong which struck December 1, 2011, Typhoon Pablo slammed into the island on December 4, 2012, with devastating effect.
Our hearts go out to the thousands of families who lost everything: not just their homes and crops but their children, their parents, their brothers and sisters.
Once again, this kind of extreme weather event highlights just how vulnerable small and developing countries like the Philippines are. It also shows the extent to which the poorest people—already struggling to survive—continue to pay the highest price.
Greenpeace was able to travel to Davao Oriental a week after the typhoon, to bear witness to the reality of this tragedy and to hear the voices of the survivors.
Pablo claimed at least 900 lives, and more than 900 people are still missing. Damages are estimated to stand at at least 15 billion pesos in infrastructure and agriculture. Full recovery will take several years — years during which other extreme weather typhoons will most likely continue to strike.
Scientists have long warned that climate change will usher an era of more frequent and more intense extreme weather disasters around the word.
The world needs to take urgent action to tackle climate change NOW – not just for the survivors but for the future generations.