Of the many countries in the world, Philippines is the most exposed to typhoons. This is because of its location in the Pacific region, where many tropical cyclones develop and move westward towards the Pearl of the Orient.
While Filipinos have a mindset to experience up to 20 typhoons each year, it always comes as a surprise whenever one landfalls and batters certain areas. The saddest thing is that these natural disasters claim many lives and damage properties and infrastructures.
Let’s look back at the most devastating typhoons to ever hit the country in its history.
- September 1881 typhoon (Haiphong) – Records show that this event was the deadliest tropical cyclone to impact the country at least since documentation began. Reportedly, it killed 20,000 people as it crossed Southern Luzon areas.
- Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) – Known as the deadliest typhoon in recent history, Haiyan became the thirtieth named storm that originated in the Pacific in 2013. It impacted the Pacific islands of Micronesia and Palau and other Asian nations (Vietnam, Taiwan, and southern China) but hit the Philippines the worst. The NDRRMC said it claimed 6,300 lives, injured 28,689 people, and left 1,061 still missing.
- Tropical storm Uring (Thelma) – Uring struck just five months after Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991. Although categorized only as a tropical storm, Uring brought torrential rains and caused massive flooding in most of the Visayas region. It killed 5,081 people.
- Super typhoon Pablo (Bopha) – It was the strongest cyclone of 2012 and the strongest to ever hit Mindanao. It caused power outages, flooding, and landslides in many provinces in southern Mindanao. Super typhoon Pablo claimed 1,067 lives and left 834 people missing.
- Typhoon Nitang (Ike) – Typhoon Nitang intensified its strength shortly before it approached the Philippines, through northeastern Mindanao. It caused 1,492 fatalities and displaced up to 400,000 people.
- Tropical storm Sendong (Washi) – The storm hit the country during 2011’s Christmas season. It triggered massive evacuation efforts, leptospirosis outbreak in certain area, and declaration of state of national calamity (in the affected provinces). The number of fatalities remained uncertain and was pegged between 1,268 and 2,546.
- Typhoon Yoyong (Amy) – It struck the Visayas region in December 1951. This typhoon triggered the eruption of Mount Hibok-hibok for six times and declaration of state of public calamity in 11 provinces. At least 569 lives were lost during its devastation and aftermath.
Other devastating typhoons that hit the Philippines were:
- Typhoon Rosing (Angela) – 1995; claimed 882 lives
- Typhoon Sisang (Nina) – 1987; claimed 808 lives
- Typhoon Frank (Fengshen) – 2008; claimed 598 lives
While many lives were lost in these calamities, Pinoys remain grateful for learning the best lessons in life: resiliency, preparedness, cooperation, and positivity.