World at Risk: Disaster hotspots - the Philippines


One of the compulsory case studies for unit 1 of Geography as level. Taken from the Edexcel AS Geography textbook, with some extra facts and figures from my own lessons.
Holly Lovering
Note by Holly Lovering, updated more than 1 year ago
Holly Lovering
Created by Holly Lovering about 10 years ago

Resource summary

Page 1

The Philippines, an island arc in southeast Asia, consists of over 7 000 low-lying islands, many very small, concentrated at latitudes between 5 and 20 degrees north of the equator. It lies in a belt of tropical cyclones (typhoons), and astride an active plate boundary. The dense oceanic Philippines plate is being subducted beneath the lighter continental Eurasian plate at a rate of 3 cm per year. As a result of this, the Philippines is vulnerable to earthquakes, and also has 17 active volcanoes on it, such as Mount Pinatubo. The country experiences a tropical monsoon climate and is subject to heavy rainfall. Flooding can lead to landslides because of the deforestation of many hillsides; the Philippines has lost 56% of forest cover since 1945.The Philippines is a lower-middle-income country which is developing fast. With a rapidly increasing young population (45% are under 18 years old), average population densities for the whole country are high at 240 people per km squared, with up to 2 000 people per km squared in the megacity of Manila. 27% of the Philippines population live in poverty, and 20 million people live in slums. One tenth of these live in Manila, which is why it has such a high population density. Many live on the coast because the islands are so mountainous, making them vulnerable to locally generated tsunamis and typhoon-generated storm surges. On average, about ten typhoons occur each season, especially in Luzon.In response, the government has established several organisations to carry out forecasting, warning, hazard risk assessment, disaster training and education. These include the National Disaster Co-ordinating Council; Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical services; and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. Land-use planning and building regulation, and structural programmes of defences help people to survive the huge range of hazards facing them.Disasters in the Philippines, 1905 - 2007Droughts~Number of events: 6 ~Total killed: 8 ~Total injured: 0 ~Homeless total: 0 ~Affected total: 6 million ~Damage ($m): 64 000 ~Example: April 1998, 2.5 million severely affected. February 2010, $33 million loss to agriculture because of the destruction of 2.5 million metric tonnes of rice.Earthquakes~Number of events: 21~Total killed: 9 580~Total injured: 13 051~Homeless total: 3 985~Affected total: 2.25 million~Damage ($m): 844 485~Example: Manila (1990), 6 000 killed.Floods~Number of events: 72~Total killed: 2 716~Total injured: 570~Homeless total: 500 000~Affected total: 11.25 million~Damage ($m): 446 361~Example: July 1972, 2.7 million affected.Slide~Number of events: 25~Total killed: 2 604~Total injured: 381~Homeless total: 23 000~Affected total: 310 663~Damage ($m): 12 258~Example: February 2006, 1 126 killed.Volcano~Number of events: 20~Total killed: 2 996~Total injured: 1 188~Homeless total: 79 000~Affected total: 1.5 million~Damage ($m): 23 961~Example: Taal (July 1911), 1 335 killed. Pinatubo (July 1991), 700 killed.Tsunamis~Number of events: 5~Total killed: 69~Total injured: 0~Homeless total: 0~Affected total: 5 250~Damage ($m): 6 000~Example: Worst tsunami in 1976Typhoon~Number of events: 241~Total killed: 35 983~Total injured: 29 178~Homeless total: 6.25 million~Affected total: 86 million~Damage ($m): 9 018 574~Example: November 1991, 6 000 killed

Disaster hotspots: the Philippines

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