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THE PHILIPPINES ARE located across 7,107 islands forming an archipelago in southeastern Asia, east of Vietnam. The country lies squarely in the typhoon belt, and is affected by an average of 15 storms (five to six of them direct strikes) annually. Most of the population of 91 million is at risk from landslides, flash flooding, and tsunamis. The Philippines face severe environmental problems, ranging from water pollution, soil degradation, deforestation, and loss of coral habitat, and are expected to suffer from rising sea levels and increased storm intensity.

The Philippines have already been feeling the impact of oscillations in Pacific sea temperatures known as El Nino and La Nina. In El Nino periods, the islands tend to see a decrease in rainfall, leading to droughts. During ...

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