Tag: natural disasters

Thursday Morning Linkage – Special Typhoon Haiyan Edition

This week, more news from the relief effort and typhoon Haiyan and how the events in the Philippines threaten to overshadow the on-going climate negotiations in Warsaw.

The Security and Relief Situation on the Ground

  • U.S. military ramps up aid to Philippines with up to 1,000 soldiers likely on the ground from Okinawa in short order, ferrying Filipino troops and aid supplies
    • Plenty of gasoline but gas stations won’t open for fear of looting; mayor, a relative of Imelda Marcos, urges residents to flee, tells foreign aid workers “Please be self-sufficient, because there’s nothing”
  • Tacloban so bad that some prisoners who were freed from jail during the storm turning themselves in to get food and water
    • Fears of nearby guerillas coming to the area
  • Mob ransacked food storage in Tacloban, rice bags collapsed killing eight looters, nearby Ormoc peaceful
    • 1,000 Filipino troops deployed to the Tacloban area to restore order, curfew
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Postscript on Typhoon Haiyan: Hazard Vulnerability, Disasters, and Security

I found two pieces that asked similar questions to my earlier post on why this typhoon appeared to be so destructive and why similar storms in Asia are especially deadly. Both raise interesting questions for scholars of security studies and environmental politics.

Max Fisher raises a similar set of concerns in the Washington Post asking why the Philippines wasn’t more ready. Beyond the sheer size of the storm and the country’s poverty, he also addresses the governance challenges, writing: Continue reading

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Typhoon Haiyan and Asia’s Special Vulnerability to Climate-Related Hazards

You probably saw the horrific photos and video of Typhoon Haiyan (also known as Yolanda) that made landfall over the weekend in the Philippines, with winds nearing 200 miles an hour and an immense 13 foot storm surge that decimated infrastructure, leading to wide-scale loss of life due to drowning and collapsed buildings.

According to reports, the storm left perhaps as many as 10,000 dead in the city of Tacloban alone and displaced hundreds of thousands. Even as domestic and international aid efforts ramp up, there have been isolated widespread reports of looting, as people who lost everything have no water, food, or shelter are desperate for supplies. No doubt some unscrupulous others have taken advantage of the chaos as well.

First of all, if you have the resources, I’d encourage you to donate to Oxfam or the Red Cross. I’d also encourage you to volunteer with the Standby Task Force and Micro Mappers to lend your time to support volunteer relief efforts remotely.

In this post, I want to raise the question about what makes Asia particularly susceptible to such devastating climate-related hazards. Continue reading

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The Real Climate Negotiations

Bill McKibben has a long interview on the public radio show Speaking of Faith, which you can listen to here. An insightful quote from the transcript:

The negotiation that’s underway, we think is between China and the U.S. and the EU. It’s really not; the real negotiation underway is between human beings on the one hand and physics and chemistry on the other. We’re going to have no choice but to adapt, whether it’s gracefully or in violent and ugly fashion to that demand of basic bottom line of the planet.

Food for thought as news of the devastation in Haiti from yesterday’s earthquake trickles out of Port-au-Prince this morning. For an easy way to help, see here.

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