Logo of the International Charter “Space and Major Disasters”

The International Charter “Space and Major Disasters” has been activated on 18 September after Typhoon Manghut hit the northern coast of Luzon in the Philippines with winds of up to 180mph. This has made Manghut one of the strongest storms in decades.

The high winds also churned rough seas as it moved across Luzon, producing 30 feet-high waves, damaging forest, dragging electricity supplies and harming a farmland in Cagayan.

Mass evacuations, restricted travel and school closures have helped to manage the situation across the Philippines, with the army on standby to assist relief efforts.

On 16 September, Manghut was making its way to southeastern China after moving all across the Phillippines.

Publishing Date: 19/09/2018
Mount Mayon in December 2009

The International Charter Space and Major Disasters has been activated for volcanoes in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea.

The activations have been requested by the Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC), a UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office.

In the Philippines, Mount Mayon, the country’s most active volcano, has been spewing lava since 13 January, leading to evacuations of over 40,000 residents from nearby villages. Authorities have has raised the alert level to four on a scale of five, indicating that an imminent eruption is expected within days, and expanded the exclusion zone to 8km around the volcano. The Japan Aerospace Exploration... read more

Publishing Date: 23/01/2018
Philippines from space. Image courtesy of ESA

A 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck the island of Mindanao in the Philippines on 10 February 2017. According to the Cable News Network of the United States (CNN), more than 6 people were killed, about 120 were injured and more than a thousand homes have been destroyed. A state of calamity has been declared at the Surigao City, where access to electricity and water was lost.

The International charter was activated on 13 February 2017 by the Philippines’ Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on behalf of Asia Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC). 

Publishing Date: 15/02/2017
Damages caused by Typhoon Haiyan in Philippines in 2013 (Image: Eoghan Rice - Trócaire / Caritas)

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will train government and community officials as well as volunteers in the Philippines and Bangladesh in the use of satellite-based tools to face natural disasters.

The officials will learn how to combine satellite-based hazard... read more

Publishing Date: 24/04/2015
2013 Typhoon Haiyan in Philippines (Image: DFID/ Henry Donati)

More than 50 percent of the most exposed cities in the world for natural disasters are located in Philippines, China, Japan and Bangladesh, according to a recent publication by the global risk analytics company Verisk Maplecroft.

The 5th annual Natural Hazards Risk Atlas (NHRA) shows that of the 100 cities with the greatest exposure to natural hazards, 21 are located in the Philippines, 16 in China, 11 in Japan and 8 in Bangladesh. The combined risk of tropical storms and cyclones, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis and severe storms or extra-tropical cyclones, among others, has placed the small capital city of Port Vila, on the isolated South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, on top as the world's riskiest ones.

The Philippines is the most exposed country with eight cities among the ten most risky at global level due to a high risk of tropical storms, earthquakes and landslides. In addition... read more

Publishing Date: 09/03/2015
Disaster Map, Philippines (Image: CalamityDisasterWatch)

The Philippines will spend US$11 million to produce maps as part of a US$489 million climate change fund that will help the country prepare for natural disasters. This inclucdes updating their... read more

Publishing Date: 12/02/2015
NASA's Terra satellite took an image of Super Typhoon Hagupit

The International Charter Space and Major Disasters was activated on 4 December 2014 in order to assist the Philippines to face Typhoon Hagupit, known locally as Ruby.

The mechanism to provide satellite-based emergency maps was triggered by UNITAR/UNOSAT... read more

Publishing Date: 06/12/2014
Typhoon Yolanda

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the Philippines has elaborated geohazard maps for 131 out of the 171 cities and municipalities that were hit by the typhoon Haiyan -known as Yolanda by local communities- on 8 November 2014.

Close to eight out of every ten localities that were devastated by Typhoon Yolanda's floods and landlides can now benefit from a geohazard map delineating potential disaster areas. The maps have a scale of 1:10,000... read more

Publishing Date: 11/11/2014
The report states that almost 22 million people were displaced by disasters in 2013.

According to a report from the International Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) of the Norwegian Refugee Council, almost 22 million people were forced to flee their homes due to disasters triggered by natural hazards in 2013. These numbers could increase as urban populations grow, the report says.

The majority of displaced people were in Asia (19 million) because of floods, storms and earthquakes. In the Philippines, typhoon Haiyan alone displaced 4.1 million people, a million more than in Africa, the Americas, Europe and Oceania combined. According to the report, developing countries were most heavily affected by disaster-triggered displacements,... read more

Publishing Date: 18/09/2014
The Philippines are frequently affected by floods

The Department of Science and Technology  of Philippines (DOST) has achieved the Light Ranging and Detection Technology (LiDAR) mapping of the three major river basins in Western Visayas.

As part of the Disaster Risk Assessment, Exposure and... read more

Publishing Date: 28/07/2014
Typhoon Rammasun

On 15 and 16 July 2014 Typhoon Rammasun swept across the southern Philippine islands of Luzon as a category 3 storm. The typhoon made landfall with 200 km dropping 200 millimeters of rain on Luzon, Samar, and Panay.  Official have attributed 20 deaths to Rammasun’s high winds blowing down trees and power lines but claim that the damage could have been worse. Applying lessons learned from Haiyan 8 months prior more than 400,000 people evacuated their homes in the storm’s path.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite... read more

Publishing Date: 17/07/2014
Image of Destruction in Phillippines

On 26 May 2014, the Yolanda Rehabilitation Scientific Information Center (YoRInfoCenter)  was launched  by the  Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The information center will be providing scientific data to the national  agencies and humanitarian organizations to aid in the rehabilitation of the... read more

Publishing Date: 27/05/2014
Satellite image of typhoon hitting the Philippines

The Information and Communications Technology Office of the Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST), together with the technology provider IBM launched the Intelligent Operations Centre (IOC) near Quezon City. The new facility is equipped with technology that will allow the Government to monitor and forecast weather, and thus be better prepared for disasters.

DOST Secretary Mario Montejo hopes the new technology will help its country to solve disaster management challenges. The Centre will enhance awareness and information sharing. During emergencies the IOC will analyze real-time data from social media and GPS systems. 

Publishing Date: 25/03/2014
Mayon Volcano in the Philippines in 2009

The Philippines is a country frequently affected by volcanic eruptions and seismic activities as it is located on the circum-Pacific seismic belt. now reported that the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has developed a wide-area disaster prevention... read more

Publishing Date: 17/03/2014
Typhoons in East Asia in 2013

The season over the Atlantic Ocean was considerably quieter than the typhoon season over the Western Pacific Ocean.

New maps posted on the NASA Earth observatory website show the tracks and intensity of the tropical storms in both basins this year.

In the Atlantic occurred just 13 tropical storms, none of them developed to major... read more

Publishing Date: 09/12/2013
Super Typhoon Haiyan over the Philippines on 8 November 2013

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired am image of Super Typhoon Haiyan over the Philippines on 8 November 2013. The image was acquired at 2:10 p.m. local time (5:10 UTC), when winds were estimated to be 270 km/h (165 mph). On 7 November, NASA had already captured the storm from Space before it made landfall.

NASA reported: "Super Typhoon Haiyan (locally named Yolanda) made its first... read more

Publishing Date: 11/11/2013
Fires in the Philippines, seen from Space by NASA's Terra satellite.

On 27 November 2013, the Philippine government will launch their new open government data portal:, as abs-cbnnews reported. The site will serve as repository for public national government datasets that can be easily accessed by the public.

The portal will be managed by the Open Data Task Force composed of Office of the Presidential Spokesperson, the Department of Budget and Management, and the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO). It will use easy-to-access file formats such as plain text files and comma-separated values for spreadsheets, compared to PDF files that are difficult for data analysts to process.

Publishing Date: 31/10/2013
The Earthquake information on the interactive map is based on USGS data.

The GIS software provider Esri published an interactive earthquake map of Bohol and Cebu, Philippines, to help government organisations in their disaster response... read more

Publishing Date: 21/10/2013
View of a 3D map of flood-prone Cagayan de Oro

In the context of its climate change adaptation efforts, the Philippine government has begun producing 3D flood hazard maps to help make better planning decisions about flood risks, as reported. The Philippines are a... read more

Publishing Date: 26/09/2013
The Philippines is increasingly relying on technology in its preparedness and re

“Along with other countries in the region, the Philippines is increasingly relying on technology in its preparedness and... read more

Publishing Date: 06/09/2013
The province of Manila has been declared in state of calamity

On 19 August 2013, the activation of the International Charter has been requested by the Asia Disaster Reduction Centre (ADRC) to provide satellite products of the capital city of the Philippines, Manila, which has been flooded by... read more

Publishing Date: 19/08/2013
Some of the Philippine archipelago, as captured by ESA astronaut, Andre Kuipers.

The members of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Region 2 (RDRRMC-2) in the Philippines are observing the National Disaster Consciousness Month this July.

Office of the Civil Defense Regional Director Norma Talosig, the RDRRMC-2 chair, said that all members of the council and other stakeholders will join a kick-off ceremony on July 1 where a thanksgiving mass, hataw exercises, and fun walk will start the month long celebration.

She said that... read more

Publishing Date: 27/06/2013
Fishermen in the Philippines

The website Futuregov Asia reported that the Philippines are planning to improve their disaster mitigation efforts by adopting an Indonesian mapping and planning tool: "The Department of Science and Technology revealed plans to adopt InaSAFE, a disaster mitigation technology from Indonesia, to its Nationwide Operational Assessment of... read more

Publishing Date: 27/05/2013
Super Typhoon Bopha on Dec. 2, 2012

Super-typhoon Bopha (locally called Pablo) that hit the Philippines on 4 December 2012 was one of the worst storms the region had ever seen. The category 5 storm produced wind speeds of up to 195mph. It was the world's deadliest typhoon in 2012, killing 1,067 people, with 800 left missing and 6.2 million people affected. The cost of the damage are estimated to reach $1bn.

The amount and intensity of storms in the Philippines might reflect changes caused by the current climatic trends, the Newspaper Guardian suggests. The authors point out that scientists are also registering steadily rising sea levels around the Philippines, and a falling water table which appears to increase the likelihood and incidence of extreme weather events. "Extreme weather is becoming more frequent, you could even call it the new normal," says Mary Ann... read more

Publishing Date: 19/02/2013

In early December 2012, Bopha made landfall in the southern Philippines as a powerful typhoon. Bopha weakened to a tropical storm after passing over the southern Philippines, but regained typhoon strength over the South China Sea on December 7. On December 8, Unisys Weather reported that Bopha was headed back toward the Philippines.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite... read more

Publishing Date: 12/12/2012


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