Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Nature's Toll on the Philippines

National Geographic has an excellent map showing all the problems nature causes for the Philippines. Not only are the islands magnets for huge typhoons, they also have to cope with earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides. The light brown lines represent a mere 10 years of storm tracks.
The islands are located in a very warm part of the Pacific with no major land masses to the east so they get the full force of these storms. More than 60 percent of the population lives in coastal zones, often in poorly constructed housing. High rates of poverty mean that many people have little control over their living situations. Deforestation has caused mudslides which in turn create sediment clogged stagnant water leading to outbreaks of cholera. On top of all of this, the Philippines are located in the Pacific "ring of fire" where volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis are common.

For a more complete summary of their precarious situation see the National Geographic article.

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