Youth climate strikes sweep Asia ahead of UN Climate Action Summit

When Super-Hurricane Haiyan descended on the Philippines in 2013, it not only left behind more than 7,400 casualties and nearly $5 billion in destruction. It also helped birth a strong youth climate justice movement.

Manila, the Philippines – In 2013, Marinel Ubaldo was just 16 years old and Matarinaw, her seaside village in Eastern Samar, was paradise. She considered herself a simple barrio lass who found contentment in collecting seashells for decorative uses and sea cucumbers for dinner. Sometimes, she went out onto the Pacific Ocean along with his father, a local fisherman. Life was simple, quiet, happy.

She was aware, yet blissfully ignorant, of climate change.

In that same year, Super-Hurricane Haiyan descended on the Philippines. It arrived on November 3 and left eight days later leaving behind at least 7,417 casualties, more than a thousand people missing and $4.9 billion in damages. The storm placed seven provinces under a state of disaster and caused a humanitarian crisis. The most ravaged areas were Samar and Leyte, where 90 percent of infrastructures and homes were flattened to the ground.

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