Press Release
March 14, 2011


With almost 2,000 feared dead from the massive 8.9 earthquake and the resulting tsunami that hit Japan last Friday, Senator Edgardo J. Angara expressed his concern over the disaster preparedness of our own country.

The devastating earthquake was the largest in Japan's history. It set off tsunami alerts in 53 different areas in the Pacific, including the Eastern seaboard of the Philippines. People living near the coastlines were evacuated to higher ground until the risk of being hit by a tsunami passed.

"We are fortunate to have not been severely affected by this catastrophe which has crippled Japan, despite all their measures to safeguard the people and the infrastructure. But what if we are not so lucky next time? The Philippines is not nearly as prepared," said Angara.

According to "Natural Disaster Hotspots: A Global Risk Analysis", a joint study by the Columbia University's Earth Institute and the World Bank Hazard Management Unit, the Philippines is a high-risk area.

Angara says that it was "no surprise" that the Philippines was classified as such, since "we have seen our fair share of calamities and natural disasters which seem to happen more frequently in recent years."

The report classifies drought, earthquakes, floods, landslides, storms, and volcano eruptions as the primary indicators combined with mortality and economic loss to establish the risk level for a particular region.

The Philippines, due to its exposure to more than two dozen typhoons a year, ranks high in the storm, floods and landslides category. The archipelago is also part of the infamous Ring of Fire in the Pacific area, with several active volcanoes scattered throughout the country.

"We are among the top 20 worldwide when it comes to emergency loans due to catastrophe. I believe it's time that we become more proactive and establish preventive measures instead of waiting for the next natural disaster to hit our country then scrambling for the right response," he asserted.

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