Typhoon Haiyan, known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, was an exceptionally powerful tropical cyclone that devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines, on 8 November 8, 2013. It was the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record,killing at least 6,201 people in that country alone. Haiyan is also the strongest storm recorded at landfall, and unofficially the strongest typhoon ever recorded in terms of wind speed, It had winds in excess of 185km/h which caused major damage and loss of life mainly due to the storm surge that accompanied it. In its wake it left a path of death and destruction through most of the provinces in Visayas. 

According to the National Risk Reduction and Management Council, to date there are 6,201 dead, 28,626 injured with 1,785 still missing across nine regions in the Philippines. It is estimated that 11 million people were affected by the storm’s damage with 4 million displaced from their homes, and a cost to infrastructure and agriculture of more than £5 billion.

The news of this cataclysmic storm drew extensive international news coverage, which in turn galvanized a huge relief efforts both locally and internationally.  International aid pledges alone amounted to USD 573 million according to Foreign Aid Transparency Hub (FAiTH) from different countries and international organizations.  As of Februrary 2014 USD 13 million has actually been delivered.

The major focus of devastation has been on Tacloban City, located on the east coast of Samar and Leyte because of its location and the large population in low lying areas.  The storm surge in Tacloban had been as high as 4.5 meters and caused flooding extending more than a kilometer inland on the east coast. Almost 90 percent of the building structures were either destroyed or damaged and some 2,000 lost their lives in Tacloban alone.

Roland Nagy