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High risk infrastructure

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A study that analyzed the vulnerability, particularly the physical damage to building structures, of more than 200,000 hospitals worldwide to six climate change hazards, including flooding, forest fire, extreme wind, and coastal inundation, ranked the Philippines 7th in terms of the number of high-risk hospitals.

High risk hospitals are those that have high probability of total or partial shutdown within the design life of the building, and the report by climate risk analysis organization XDI found that one in 12 hospitals globally will be at high risk of shutdown from extreme weather by 2100 if fossil fuels are not phased out and emissions remain high.

India, China, and Japan topped the list with the most high-risk hospitals by 2100.

The report also noted that Southeast Asia, whose most dominant hazards include coastal inundation and flooding, had the highest percentage of hospitals at risk of damage from extreme weather events due to climate change. “Analysis suggests that Southeast Asia has already experienced the greatest increase in risk of damage from climate change extreme weather: a 67 percent increase in risk of damage since 1990 (baseline year),” the study said.

The Philippines, along with Laos and Vietnam, are particularly vulnerable, the report said, as they are low middle income countries.

“Without a rapid reduction in emissions, by 2100, one in four or more of their hospitals will unlikely be able to withstand the type of severe weather events they will be exposed to,” it said.

The study estimated that a total of 16,245 hospitals globally will need to develop adaptation measures or require relocation.

As the top 7 country in the world when it comes to that particular metric, the Philippines has a lot of evaluating and adaptation or relocation to consider when it comes not only to hospitals, but all our public and private sector structures that are going to be found vulnerable to climate change hazards, especially flooding and coastal inundation, which will only worsen as time goes by, especially if fossil fuels are not phased out and emissions remain high.

If we cannot influence the rest of the globe on how climate change can be mitigated right now, it would be best if we get started looking at how to adapt and improve our resiliency to its effects as soon as possible.*

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February 2024
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