When Worlds Collide #93: After Haiyan: Philippines can learn from Lanka’s mistakes

When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today Sunday broadsheet newspaper on 1 December 2013

I felt a sense of Déjà vu as I spent the past week in the Philippines witnessing how the archipelago nation is struggling with the trail of destruction left by super typhoon Haiyan (local name: Yolanda). The aftermath is uncannily similar to what we in Sri Lanka went through following the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004.

The atmospheric disturbance that hit them on 8 November 2013, which was accompanied by tsunami-type sea waves, is their deadliest natural disaster on record. By November 25, the official death toll exceeded 5,600 with another 1,700 missing. Nearly 26,000 people were injured, and over a million homes destroyed or damaged.

In all, more than 11 million Filipinos have been affected in one way or another. The total economic cost, still being assessed, is likely…

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Author: Nalaka Gunawardene

A science writer by training, I've worked as a journalist and communication specialist across Asia for 30+ years. During this time, I have variously been a news reporter, feature writer, radio presenter, TV quizmaster, documentary film producer, foreign correspondent and journalist trainer. I continue to juggle some of these roles, while also blogging and tweeting and column writing.

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