It’s certainly worthy material for a Tom Clancy novel.
When Tropical Storm Washi struck the Philippines on Dec. 16, the slow-moving storm dumped up to 13 inches of rain on the northern edge of Mindanao.
The resulting flash floods and mudslides have left more than 1,060 people dead or missing and more than 300,000 people displaced from their homes, according to the Philippine government — numbers that are expected to rise as relief crews move farther into damaged areas.
The storm, known locally as “Sendong,” has also sparked a national discussion about the Philippines’ preparation for natural disasters and its ability to cope with future climate change.
Entire villages were wiped out when flash floods hit the southern Philippine island of Mindanao on Dec. 16. “Washi” was the 19th storm to hit the country in 2011. Photo courtesy of Oxfam.
“Climate change is here,” proclaimed the headline on an editorial published Tuesday by Business Mirror.
“Climate change and global warming are here, no doubt about it,” the piece continued. “And the government should have in place comprehensive plans for identified disaster-prone areas, such as coastal and mountainside communities, to minimize loss of lives and destruction of property, public infrastructure and agricultural crops when disaster strikes.”
Loren Legarda, chairwoman of the Philippine Senate’s climate change committee, said Sendong makes clear the link between climate change and her country’s vital interests.
“With this calamitous flood disaster, now the fourth that has struck our country, and the second in Mindanao just this year, climate change is now a clear and present danger and a national security for our country,” she said in a statement…