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Natural disasters

Disaster mitigation under scrutiny in ASEAN hot spots

Volcanoes, typhoons decimate lives as climate change increases threats

The eruption of Mount Semeru in the east of Java island killed at least 51 and displaced over 9,000 after it began on Dec. 4.   © Reuters

JAKARTA/MANILA/KUALA LUMPUR -- Just as the worst COVID-19 outbreak in Southeast Asia eased, natural disasters have dealt blows to some of the region's most vulnerable countries. For them, there will be little respite as natural disasters are here to stay and could potentially grow more destructive because of climate change.

At least 375 people were killed as Super Typhoon Rai -- locally named Odette -- pummeled the Philippines in mid-December, the strongest tropical storm to hit the archipelago this year, leaving an unprecedented trail of destruction on its central and southern islands and displacing over 600,000 people.

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