On Thursday, Dec. 16, the strongest storm of Earth in 2021, Super Typhoon Odette, made landfall in the central and southern islands of the Philippines. The onslaught of the typhoon severely affected millions of Filipinos in Mindanao, Visayas, and Southern Luzon. From Category 1 to 5 typhoon, Odette strengthened by 138 kmh in just 24 hours. About 100,000 people evacuated their homes before typhoon arrived, but it was difficult for communities to prepare for the arrival of the storm due to the rapid intensification of Typhoon Odette. This occurrence of rapid intensification of storms is becoming more common due to climate change.
The Philippines is one of the most affected countries by extreme weather events based on the Global Climate Risk Index. Evidently, the intensity of storms in the Philippines and the damages done has significantly increased in recent years, with Typhoon Odette as the deadliest typhoon this 2021 and the 5th costliest typhoon in the history of the Philippines.
We see the risks of rapid global warming. Increasing sea temperatures and sea-level rising, which causes extreme weather conditions and deadlier typhoons. A study produced by Climate Central shows that coastal areas, where the majority of the Philippine Population lives, are set to be submerged by 2050. With destructive wind speeds and storm surges that flood coastal areas, The Philippines is set for a recipe for disaster.
Let us become part of the bigger picture, climate change as an issue we should not see in silos. We are all interconnected and vulnerable to the effects of Climate Change, in our nation, communities, health and well-being, and economy. Now is the time to take Climate change seriously, let us work together to mitigate and adapt to Climate Change.