Extreme weather highlights Southeast Asia’s vulnerability to climate change

Over the past several weeks, parts of Southeast Asia have been pummeled by severe storms. Widespread flooding across the region, especially in Vietnam, left hundreds of thousands of residents temporarily displaced.

In Vietnam alone, at least 90,000 people were forced from their homes during the first several weeks of October after two heavy tropical storms, Linfa and Nangka, hit the country just days apart.

In the Philippines, tropical storm Saudel made landfall on October 20 and subsequently formed into a typhoon, leading to further flooding in Vietnam. Parts of Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia were also affected.

The latest typhoon, Goni, slammed into the Philippines on Sunday. Reports indicate that it was one of the most powerful storms ever recorded. Hundreds of thousands were displaced and at least 10 people were killed, but the capital Manila was mostly spared.

While the typhoon season in the region typically lasts from May to October, this year’s storms were unusually frequent.

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Zachary Frye