Although the hot season just started in the Philippines last week, one more indicator that climate change is taking place is tropical storm Peipah (Domeng) has entered the country's Area of Responsibility on Sunday night.
The Philippine weather bureau said Peipah is expected to make a landfall on Tuesday in northeastern Mindanao before it crosses central and western Visayas. The fourth storm to hit the country in 2014 after Haiyan battered it in late 2013 was spotted as of 11 am on Sunday 1,275 kilometres east of General Santos City with maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometres per hour and gustiness of up to 80 kph.
This early, Filipinos have been told to prepare for another typhoon whose strength could be as strong as Haiyan (Yolanda) which hit the Philippines in November 2013. The strongest typhoon on record, Haiyan killed about 6,000 people and destroyed a lot of homes and infrastructure in the Visayas region, and until now, families are still rebuilding their lives and homes.
Olaf Neussner, chief advisor on disaster risk management of the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), pinpointed the Bicol region and other areas in the country's east coast. He made the warning at the Donors Forum for Yolanda victims organised by the GIZ.
"Statistically speaking, more typhoons go into the Philippines in the north so this is still in the storm belt. The probability is higher in Bicol so there should be a prioritization done to look at areas in the north," Daily Kicker quoted Mr Neussner.
He explained that the east coast is more vulnerable than the west coast to typhoons because cyclones often form and begin from the Pacific Ocean. He also said the strongest weather formations originate from the east also.
The expert urged the Philippine government to begin adjusting and updates the country's storm hazard map. The University of the Philippines National Institute of Geological Sciences, the United Nations Development Programme and GIZ are currently mapping the area hit by Haiyan in Leyte province.