MANILA, Philippines - The number of documented natural disasters in the Philippines surged 50 percent last year, making it the world's most disaster-hit country in 2011, according to the Citizens' Disaster Response Center (CDRC).
In a report, the non-government CDRC said natural disasters last year cost the Philippines P26 billion, displacing a record 15.3 million people - a huge jump from the 6.75 million people in 2010.
Carlos Padolina, CDRC deputy executive director, said the records of the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) showed that 33 of the 302 natural disasters worldwide occurred in the Philippines.
If human-induced disasters, such as armed conflict and fire were included, the total number of disaster would climb to 431, or more than 50 percent the 202 disasters in 2010.
CDRC said 2011 was the first time in six years that disaster frequency surged, reversing a downtrend through 2005.
It said the 15.3 million people displaced by disasters last year exceeded the previous record of 14.5 million in 2006.
CDRC said tropical cyclones explained the jump in the number of displaced people. It cited typhoon Reming in 2006 and tropical storm Ondoy in 2009.
The Philippines' 1,400 casualties from disasters, particularly tropical storm Sendong, was second only to Japan's 1,924.