The 2016 World Risk Index is out and it doesn’t paint a pretty picture for the Philippines: The country is listed in the number three spot, making it one of the most disaster-prone countries on earth.
At the very top of the list are Vanuatu and Tonga, two Pacific island nations at risk from earthquakes, tsunamis and storms, while third-placed Philippines has to deal with volcanic eruptions and landslides on top of that. Malta and Qatar are least at risk of natural disasters, while European powerhouse Germany is ranked 147th out of the 171 countries evaluated for the study.
The report does not only look at the countries most likely to be hit by natural disasters, but also takes into account data pertaining to a wide variety of factors, including the number of people in each country exposed to natural hazards, the vulnerability of its transport infrastructure, housing, paths of distribution, and its general economic output. Furthermore, the index also factors in the country’s food supply, medical care and political situation in addition to education, social welfare, research and early warning systems.
The findings of the study, which was published by scientists from the United Nations University and from development organizations, mean that not only is the Philippines at great risk from natural disasters, but Filipinos are also more vulnerable to these natural hazards than people in most other countries. To put it bluntly: the higher a country is ranked in this index, the greater the chance that its inhabitants will die in a natural disaster, a thought that should be of some concern to local politicians and to everyone else in the Philippines.