Extreme weather warning

Extreme weather warning

Thailand ranks ninth of a list of countries most affected by extreme weather events between 2000 and 2019, according to the Global Climate Risk Index 2021.

The Global Climate Risk Index ranks countries according to their level of exposure and vulnerability to extreme weather events, which governments should take as a warning for the future.

As world leaders gather for the COP26 summit in Glasgow, Scotland, the index pointed out that more devastating storms and other weather phenomenon are causing greater impacts on human lives and causing severe economic losses which often disproportionately affect the poor.

Puerto Rico, Myanmar and Haiti topped the index, followed by the Philippines, Mozambique, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Thailand and Nepal, according to the report.

The majority of the damage from natural disasters observed in 2019 were caused by intense showers and flooding which followed tropical storms and/or hurricanes, the frequencies and intensities of which are increasing each year as a result of higher average global temperatures, the report noted.

The secretary-general of the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning, Raweewan Bhuridej, said Thailand has to do more to mitigate the impact of climate change-induced extreme weather events, given its vulnerability to natural disasters.

She pointed out that rising global temperatures will also have an impact on public health. "A major concern is health. For example, when hot weather lasts longer, mosquitoes have more chance of laying eggs, increasing the risk of dengue fever," Ms Raweewan said.

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