Typhoon Haiyan Slams Philippines


A glimpse of the damage from the supertyphoon that ripped through the Philippines in early November: several families that survived are living temporarily in the wreckage of a tanker that ran aground during the storm in Tacloban, Leyte Island.

A devastating typhoon—one of the strongest ever recorded storms on the planet—devastated parts of the east-central Philippines on November 8. The typhoon (what we call in the Western Hemisphere a hurricane) inflicted death and destruction on the island nation on a massive scale. Official estimates of the number of people killed have topped 5,000, with perhaps thousands more missing. The search and rescue effort is ongoing, aided by the U.S. military. About 1,500 Filipinos are reported injured, and tens of thousands are homeless and desperately in need of food aid, which the United States and international organizations are trying to provide.

Landfall occurred near Tacloban, a city of more than 200,000 on the island of Leyte, where rescuers are continuing attempts to reach isolated communities. The island of Samar was also hard hit. Typhoon Haiyan (which was named Yolanda locally) was the equal of a Category 5 hurricane, the largest degree of tropical storm. Prior to its arrival, some remote tracking stations in the Central Pacific Ocean clocked sustained winds of 194 miles per hour. Forecasters predicted a “storm surge” that might reach seven meters (or about 23 feet high).

Although frantic preparations were under way for days beforehand, official evacuation orders proved to be inadequate to compel people to leave their property in low-lying coastal areas. Had officials called it a “tsunami” instead, perhaps more people would have heeded the call to evacuate. It didn’t help, however, that just over a year ago, a tsunami alert and evacuation had proven to be a false alarm. The scope of the disaster can be blamed in part on a “failure of imagination” on the part of the Filipino people, who regularly see tropical storms. No one had ever seen one this big and strong with as high a storm surge as Haiyan packed.

Image credit: © Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

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  1. psl (plastic statue lover) says:


  2. Nalae says:

    i think this story is very sad. i hope the Philippines get as much help as possible. i think you should also post a link were you can donate money to help natural disasters as such. i really love this story

  3. Kalanie says:

    right nala… thats a good idea? i would donate then.

  4. nala says:

    u should post a link to donate money for things as such as this.