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Youth

ENVIRONMENT | Climate change: Coping with natural disasters

by Imelda C. Barbacena
Juan F. Trivino Memorial High School
Caranan, Pasacao, Camarines Sur


Ideally, the Philippines, could be the perfect vacation spot, or the best place to live, for that matter. The archipelago is conveniently nestled along the equatorial line, where there is plenty of sunshine and no winters, and is surrounded by the crystal waters of the Pacific Ocean – what could go wrong?



Maybe, it is the disappointed foreign visitors who fly from half across the world, seeking a tan to brag to their colleagues, but who then return home instead with terrible sunburns. It could also possibly be the irritated, crimson-faced Filipino commuters, who are probably regretting braving the hot pavement at high noon. Perhaps, also, it is the number of people who have fallen ill, and even passed away, from the unnatural, outrageous heat.

This, however, barely takes the cake among the environmental problems that our country is facing. This is but a sneak peek of the real issue at hand – climate change.

Climate change is basically a change in climate patterns, may they be regional or global. At present, we are experiencing a drastic change in global climate, where our planet is getting hotter, not just because of this phenomenon, but also because of human activity. Sadly, with this change comes with disaster.

On the flip side of the Philippines being a tropical hotspot, it also resides along the typhoon belt. Even if there are no harsh winters in the Philippines, it has its share of typhoons which come periodically, destroying millions of Pesos’ worth of property and crops, and sadly, lives.

The Philippines had experienced its ten deadliest typhoons within 1947 and 2014. What really alarms us, however, is that half of these had occurred in only the last decade. To make matters worse, the latest among these, Typhoon Yolanda, was also the strongest recorded typhoon in world history. Climate change intensifies typhoons, so with this trend, we can expect worse typhoons to visit the Philippines, as well as floods, landslides, and storm surges.

When natural disaster strikes, it does not choose where or who to attack. Before a calamity, everyone is equal, and everyone could become a victim. This is why apart from preparing ourselves for them to come, we should all know how to cope, should disaster really try to take us on.

Although calamities themselves are bad, their aftermath is truly depressing. It will be easy to fall into a state of panic or shock once the amount of damage had been registered into your mind. This is why it would be best to try to stay as calm as possible, because only then will you be able to perform your next plan of action. Having loved ones, such as family and friends, would also be helpful, especially if you need to vent your thoughts and have someone to analyze the whole situation with.

Keeping yourself as healthy as possible is also key. To cope with these disaster, you will be needing not just your inner strength, but also your physical strength, so do your best to get enough food, water, and rest. If you are injured, have yourself treated right away to avoid the risk of infection and worse health complications.

Lastly, as a common people, it is our duty to help one another. Apart from seeking support from others, we should also offer our own support to them in return. This provides a sense of unity, empowerment, and hope, all of which are crucial for the recovery of a community that had endured a natural disaster.

The ultimate key, however, would be prevention. Although we have no clear shot at how we are going to just eradicate climate change for good, we do have ways to slow it down and cushion its impact. By being responsible stewards of the Earth and taking care of our planet, we can minimize any damage that we will ever have to cope with.

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