Del Rosario: ‘Yolanda’ a sign of climate change
Tacloban City is reduced to vast wasteland after the onslaught of super typhoon “Yolanda.” Video by INQUIRER.net’s Ryan Leagogo
MANILA, Philippines – Super typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) was a clear result of “the changing weather pattern” due to climate change, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) secretary Albert del Rosario said Tuesday.
“The unprecedented scale and strength of Yolanda, a typhoon that occurred at a very late time in the year, is a clear demonstration of the changing weather pattern,” Del Rosario said during the United Nations Flash Appeal for victims of Yolanda.
“Whether the world faces up to it or not, this is a manifestation of climate change,” he said.
Yolanda, which packed winds of up to 250 kilometers per hour, was widely regarded by meteorologists worldwide as the strongest typhoon in recorded history.
The 600-kilometer wide typhoon smashed across provinces in the Visayas region. The provinces of Leyte and Samar were among the hardest hit with still many more towns and cities without power and communication lines as well as relief supplies.
Del Rosario cited Nadarev Sano, the Philippine Commissioner to the 19th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), who decided to go on a hunger strike until a deal is finalized on the cutting of greenhouse gas emissions.
“The international community stands at a point where even the most aggressive and immediate actions to mitigate climate change will not stop the impact at least for the next half of this century,” Del Rosario said.
“While deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions may buy time for human and natural systems to adapt in the decades ahead, we must also begin dealing with the unfolding impact of climate change now,” he said.
At least 30 nations including the United States and Great Britain are continuing to provide aid to devastated areas.
About 1,700 people have so far been killed while millions more have been displaced.
“It is essential that we leave the generations to come a planet that remains habitable,” Del Rosario said.
“This we can only do if we work together as we are doing now united by our common goal to bring hope to those who are suffering and help them reclaim and rebuild their lives in light of this terrible tragedy,” he said.
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