Resulting Multi-Hazard And Why 2006 Is An Unusually
Tropical Cyclone, landslides, floods, La Nina, El Nino
Philippines is visited by an average of 19 typhoons a year, of which
7 falls on land. Several weather events affect the Philippine
archipelago which include among others the intertropical convergence
zone, the northeast monsoon, the southeast monsoon, and tropical
cyclones. The year 2006 has been a very interesting year in terms of
meteorological-climatological events that hit the country. As a
result of these events, corresponding geohazards were triggered
which resulted into the loss of lives and destruction of properties.
In 2006, the early part was characterized by the La Niņa event which
was strange on its own as it had formed very late in its cycle.
Normally, it should have formed during the months of June to August
whereas for the 2005-2006 La Niņa, it had only started to form
during the month of November. The early summer month of April was
wet compared to the thirty year climatological normal. This climatic
event had also brought a lot of floodings, flashfloods and
landslides that devastated the areas of Palawan, Calapan, Mindoro,
the eastern seaboard of the Philippines (e.g. Aurora, Isabela,
Samar) and the northeastern parts of Mindanao. The most significant
one was the landslide that covered a whole sitio in barangay
Guinsaugon, in Southern Leyte. Due to water saturation of the soil,
a rain-induced landslide resulted into a disaster that resulted into
154 deaths (990 are still missing and are presumed dead). Geological
mapping previously done in the area showed the area to be
susceptible to mass wasting. The presence of the Philippine Fault
Zone, existence of hydrothermally altered zones and the presence of
ancient landslide scars all support this notion. The event has
triggered a massive response resulting into the conduct of
multi-hazard mapping of the whole Leyte.
rare event that occurred in the country was the presence of two
tropical cyclones inside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR)
in August. The last time this happened was 16 years ago. In August
2006, Tropical Depression Inday (International name Bopha) and
Tropical Storm Juan (International name Saomi) enhanced the
southwest monsoon. Flashfloods, landslides and high waves hit
Mindanao and Negros. This is strange since the month of August is
usually characterized by the southwest monsoon bringing rains in
Luzon and not Visayas-Mindanao. With the strong waves and winds
associated with Tropical Storm Juan, an oil tanker, the M/T Solar 1
had sunk resulting into the worst oil spill in the country. The
island of Guimaras has been tremendously affected by this event. A
science-based response involving bioremediation, offshore and onland
geological, health and climatological studies has been initiated.
with a weak El Niņo forming in the Pacific and affecting the
Philippines, a Typhoon Signal 3, Milenyo (International name
Xangsane) made landfall. This tropical cyclone made landfall three
times (Samar, Sorsogon, Quezon) before hitting Metro Manila.
Flooding, flashfloods, landslides, thunderstorms, tornadoes and
storm surges have been observed related to this typhoon. Appropriate
land use and land utilization has again been shown to be critical if
we are to minimize loss of lives and destruction of properties.
government, through the National Disaster Coordinating Council, is
in the forefront to minimize if not totally eradicate disasters thru
its 4-Point Action Plan: 1. Upgrading the forecasting capability of
DOSAT-PAGASA and DOST-PHIVOLCS; 2. Enhancement of the capability of
the Local Chief executives in disaster management; 3. Intensive
information, education campaign involving the church; and 4.
Engagement of the private sector in the rehabilitation efforts.