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Philippines

  • Cyclone set to make landfall Tuesday, second storm closing in
  • Nation is battered by an average of 20 cyclones each year
Flooding in Manila on Sept. 12. Photographer: Rolex Dela Pena/EPA

Philippine financial markets were closed on Tuesday along with government offices and schools as heavy overnight rains flooded parts of the capital Manila and nearby provinces.

Read more: Philippine Markets Shut as Waist-High Storm Waters Flood Capital

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Hurricane Harvey and Typhoon Hato precipitate escalation in extreme weather, particularly in countries of high global climate risk – including the Philippines.

RECENTLY, I followed the tropical storm Isang pass the Batanes area in the north. After I flew to Guangzhou in China, the low-pressure storm morphed first into a tropical depression southeast to Taiwan soaring into a typhoon in the South China Sea.

On August 23, Typhoon Hato’s eye was directly over Hong Kong. In China, Hato left 26 people dead, and damage amounting to $1.9 billion. Soon thereafter, Tropical Storm Jolina, known as Pakhar in China, formed to the east of Luzon in the Philippines and intensified as a severe tropical storm—and so it goes.

Almost at the same time, Harvey became the first hurricane in the US to make landfall since Wilma in 2005 and the strongest in Texas since Carla in 1961. As the media spotlight moved from the South China Sea to the Gulf of Mexico, Harvey unleashed “tornado-like winds,” including isolated tornadoes.

According to current estimates, exposed stock with damage to floods is calculated at $267 billion, which is more costly than Hurricane Katrina and Sandy put together. Indirect losses and total macroeconomic effects are likely to increase these estimates, not to speak of further damage in neighboring Louisiana and inland as long as rainfall-induced flooding will continue.

Read more: Global climate dissension is a risk to the Philippines

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