One week after Typhoon Pablo...

A week after typhoon Pablo (Bopha) pounded central and southern Philippines, the hardest hit communities have yet to start picking up the pieces and starting reconstruction. Boston, Cateel and Banganga in Davao Oriental province bore the brunt of the typhoon’s fury. While New Bataan, in Compostela Valley, which recorded the highest deaths, rescue workers continue to the search for survivors. Typhoon Pablo has left 1,300 people either dead or missing and is estimated to have cause PHP 7 billion in damages to infrastructure and agriculture. Government officials estimate that reconstruction and recovery will take several years.

Typhoon Pablo is the latest tropical cyclone to devastate the Philippines, leaving a trail of death and destruction. Pablo is just the latest in a string of extreme weather events that have battered the archipelago in recent years. Last year, Typhoon Washi (Sendong) killed at least 1,300 people and left USD 48.4 million in damages. Extreme weather events are expected to occur in the Philippines more frequently and with more intensity in this era of climate change. Southeast Asia is among the regions that are most vulnerable to climate change due to high population concentrations along its coastlines and its low capacity to adapt and respond. Within the region, the Philippines is expected to suffer most from extreme weather events.