With what has been dubbed as the “Super Typhoon Yolanda”–or the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) corresponding name Haiyan–currently raging in full blow across the Philippines, the whole world is once again faced with the destructive nature of natural disasters. Haiyan is expected to be the strongest and most destructive typhoon ever seen; although no small matter, typhoons are not all that uncommon in a place like the Philippines. Following is a list the five most devastating typhoons to have occurred in the Philippines, and how much damage each caused respectively:
1. Ruping [Mike]: 17th of all tropical cyclones to have hit Philippines in 1990, and is considered to be the deadliest typhoon of the 1990 Pacific typhoon season. This typhoon cost the country nearly $26 million in infrastructure damages and a whopping $197 million for agricultural costs; including destruction of private property, the total damages came to over $251 million.
2. Rosing [Angela]: 14th of all tropical cyclones in 1995, hit Philippines on the morning of Halloween day that year and remained active until November 4. Total damages caused accounted for$250 million, having a devastating effect on the economy. At the time, the typhoon was said to be the strongest to have hit the Philippines in the past twenty-five years.
3. Kadiang [Flo]: 22nd tropical cyclone of 1993. Merged with another typhoon “Dinang” during its course of destruction and making a loop before finally coming to an end four days after starting. Total damages add up to nearly $203 million – thus earning it the ranking of the costliest typhoon at the time of the event.
4. Loleng [Babs]: the 9th of tropical cyclones in 1998. This hurricane remained active between October 15 and 25, making it by far the longest-ranging one on this list. Total fiscal damages from this typhoon added up to USD $157 million, destroying the rice and coconut harvest and further budging the already poor economy.
5. Milenyo [Xangsane]: 13th tropical cyclone of 2003; caused $153 million in property damages.
If the predictions hold true about Haiyan, people may see far more devastating damages to the economy of the Philippines in the nearest future. Witnessing such staggering effects of natural disasters in other countries as well as in the U.S. should serve as a stern reminder to appreciate what we have and to help those who need it the most. Right now, the Super Typhoon seems like it is there to stay; citizens must await its end and hope for the best outcome for all those affected, providing support where possible.
- Natalia Isaeva