Deadliest, most destructive cyclones of the Philippines
Louis Bacani (The Philippine Star) - November 11, 2013 - 1:02pm

MANILA, Philippines - With thousands estimated to be dead in a single province alone, Super Typhoon "Yolanda" could be among the deadliest tropical cyclones to lash the country.

According to the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), which cited data from state weather bureau PAGASA and typhoon2000.ph, the deadliest tropical cyclone to be recorded in Philippine history was "Uring," which ravaged the country in November 1991.

Uring (international name Thelma) was only a tropical storm with a highest wind speed of 95 kilometers per hour. But this tropical cyclone was able to kill 5,101 people and cost damage worth P1.04 billion.

The NSCB said the official death toll from Uring was even estimated to be at 8,000. "Missing persons were presumed dead, some [may be] devoured by sharks at Ormoc Bay and Camotes Sea."

Here are the other deadliest and most destructive typhoons to hit the Philippines before Yolanda:

 

Table: Worst Typhoons of the Philippines (1947 - 2011)

NAME

PERIOD OF OCCURRENCE

DEATHS

DAMAGE IN BILLION PESOS

AREAS MOST AFFECTED

1. URING (Thelma)

November 2-7, 1991

5,101

1.045

Leyte, Negros

2. ROSING (Angela)

October 30-November 4, 1995

936

10.829

Bicol Region, CALABARZON, NCR

3. FRANK (Fengshen)

June 18-23, 2008

938

13.321

Eastern-Western Visayas, Romblon, Marinduque, CALABARZON, NCR, Central Luzon

4. NITANG (Ike)

August 31-September 4, 1984

1,363

4.100

Surigao, Bohol, Cebu, Negros

5. REMING (Durian)

November 26-December 1, 2006

754

5.086

Bicol, CALABARZON, Marinduque, Mindoro

6. RUPING (Mike)

November 10-14, 1990

748

10.846

Northern Mindanao, Visayas

7. SISANG (Nina)

November 23-27, 1987

979

1.119

Bicol, Marinduque, CALABARZON

8. SENING (Joan)

October 11-15, 1970

768

1.890

Bicol, CALABARZON, NCR

9. PEPENG (Parma)

September 30-October 11, 2009

492

27.195

Northern Luzon, Cordillera

10. LOLENG (Babs)

October 15-24, 1998

303

6.787

Bicol, Central-Northern Luzon

11. AMY

December 6-19, 1951

991

0.700

Visayas

12. UNDANG (Agnes)

November 3-6, 1984

895

1.900

Samar, Leyte, Panay

13. TRIX

October 16-23, 1952

995

0.880

Bicol Region

14. KADIANG (Flo)

September 30-October 7, 1993

576

8.752

Northern-Central Luzon, Cordillera

15. ONDOY (Ketsana)

September 24-27, 2009

464

11.121

NCR, CALABARZON, Central Luzon

16. ILIANG (Zeb)

October 7-18, 1998

75

5.375

Northern Luzon

17. UNSANG (Ruby)

October 21-26, 1988

157

5.636

Bicol, Central-Northern Luzon

18. HERMING (Betty)

August 7-14, 1987

200

2.066

Northern Samar, Southern Bicol

19. KADING (Rita)

October 25-27, 1978

444

1.900

Central Luzon

20. SALING (Dot)

October 15-20, 1985

118

2.133

Northern Bicol, Central Luzon

21. SENDONG (Washi)

December 16-18, 2011

1,257

1.382

Region X,  Region IX, Bicol Region, Region VII, VI, CARAGA

data from NSCB, NDRRMC and typhoon2000.ph

Typhoon 'Pablo'

The NSCB data only covered 1947 to 2011, which means Typhoon Pablo did not make it to the agency's list.

In December 2, 2012, Pablo (international name Bopha) intensified and entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility. It made landfall over Baganga, Davao Oriental two days later and traversed Compostella Valley, Bukidnon and Negros Oriental.

"Powerful winds and floodwaters from the typhoon flattened homes as it smashed ashore on southern Davao Oriental province. Continuing westward, it blew over mountains, with heavy rains triggering flash floods in nearby Compostela Valley province that washed down tons of mud and boulders on helpless communities," an Associated Press report said.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said a total of 711,682 families or 6,243,998 people in 34 provinces were affected.

A total of 1,067 people were killed as of December 25, 2012, while 834 others were reported missing.

Estimated cost of damages to properties, infrastructure and agriculture was pegged at P36.9 billion.

Due to the devastation caused by Pablo, Pres. Benigno Aquino III declared the State of National Calamity on December 7, covering eight provinces, 44 municipalities and three cities.

Notable tropical cyclones

Some of the deadliest and most devastating tropical cyclones to hit the Philippines also had notable traits, according to the data of typhoon2000.ph, which claims itself as the country's first website on tropical cyclones.

Typhoon Rosing, which killed over 900 people in 1995, had unusually maintained winds of at least 240 kph for 60 hours, most of it while over land. In 2008, Typhoon Frank had a very erratic movement causing numerous forecasting errors and killing 938 people, including those from the sunken M/V Princess Of The Stars and various fishing fleets.

Typhoon Reming in 2006 was the most powerful typhoon ever recorded by PAGASA, registering a 320-kph wind gust at Virac Weather Station before the anemometer was damaged. Sening, meanwhile, was a very large super typhoon in 1970 with a radius covering the entire country.

In 2009, Typhoon Ondoy brought record flooding in Metro Manila and Rizal that drowned hundreds and stranded millions. In the same year, Typhoon Pepeng criss-crossed Northern Luzon making initial landfall at Cagayan, then looping back to landfall in Ilocos Norte, looped back again and entered Cagayan the second time.

Over 1,234 tropical cyclones since 1948

The NSCB said a total of 1,234 tropical cyclones entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility from 1948 to 2011. Of this number, 270 are tropical depressions, 354 are tropical storms and 610 are typhoons.

Based on the said figures, an average of 19 tropical cyclones enter the country each year, with nine making landfall or crossing the archipelago.

The year 1993 had the most number of tropical cyclones that entered the country with 32 and most number of tropical cyclones that landed or crossed with 19.

The NSCB said that according to the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), the Philippines was among the top three countries with the highest number of natural disasters from 2008 to 2012.

Based on the CRED's Emergency Event Database, storms have already killed a total of 24,281 people in the Philippines from 1983 to 2012, while floods have killed a total of 2,013 people.

In the same timespan, storms affected a total of 99.6 million people while floods affected 14.9 million.

The economic damage caused by storms totalled to US$ 5.9 billion while about US $1.2 billion in damage was brought about by floods.

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