Southeast Asians are the most vulnerable to climate change, and they are acutely conscious of their vulnerability.


Southeast Asians are the most vulnerable to climate change, and they are acutely conscious of their vulnerability.

Climate change threatens to undermine Southeast Asia’s decades of challenging economic growth.

Several regions in the provinces of Danang, Quang Nam, and Quang Ngai were overwhelmed by floodwaters a week ago after Vietnam experienced incessant rain. As water flooded into small lanes and low-lying houses, two people were reported to have been swept away.

Before making landfall in Vietnam, Typhoon Conson deteriorated into a tropical depression, sinking a ship and a barge, destroying or seriously damaging more than 30 buildings, and destroying 1,000 hectares of rice crops.

It was the fifth storm to hit mainland Vietnam, with another six to eight storms expected in the final three months of the year. Four of these storms will impact Vietnam directly, causing major damage such as landslides and flooding.

Typhoon Molave slammed into the south-central provinces in October of last year, killing more than 379 people, wounding hundreds, and destroying 10,000 homes and 20 bridges.

In 2006, Danang was hit by Xangsane, Vietnam’s most damaging storm in the last two decades. It killed 68 people, injured over 500 others, and damaged over 270,000 homes and 1,280 hectares of agricultural land. Damage from the hurricane was over VND10 trillion ($431 million).

Unfortunately, these scenes are not uncommon in Vietnam. Every year, the country is hit by four to six typhoons, and the situation worsens year after year, putting millions of people at risk of losing their homes, livelihoods, or even their lives.

Typhoon severity is expected to grow in Vietnam as the frequency of extreme weather events rises, according to climate forecasts. While Vietnam is used to recurrent floods and hurricanes, meteorologists and environmental experts have warned that rainfall levels will be unusually high.

Vietnamese citizens are very aware of the significant peril they face. According to a recent poll done by the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, the majority of Vietnamese respondents feel that floods (92.5%), sea level rise (77.5%), and droughts (75%) are the most catastrophic climate change consequences Vietnam is now facing. The same concerns ranked first in the 2020 poll.

Southeast Asians – the most threatened and vulnerable population — were polled on their opinions and perceptions on climate change from June to August in the Southeast Asian Climate Outlook Survey.

For… a brief summary of Brinkwire.


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