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Saturday, November 14, 2020

The Five Most Destructive Typhoons In The Philippines In The Past Decade

The Pacific Ring of Fire, where the Philippines reside in an area known for its susceptibility to natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and most frequently, typhoons cost the Philippines billions of dollars pesos each year. These five most devastating typhoons in our recent memory tested the resilience of Filipinos in the past decade. These typhoons are devastating because of the damages to infrastructure, agriculture, and the personal wealth of those devastated. 

Typhoon Vamco, Typhoon Ulysses
Image: ABS CBN News

5.Typhoon Ulysses and Super Typhoon Rolly: 17.9 Billion Pesos(Rolly), and 4.25 Billion Pesos(Ulysses) 

In the fifth entry, let's analyze the damages brought by two recent typhoons that devastated the Philippines at the time of writing. Typhoon Rolly and Ulysses are merely weeks apart when these typhoons unleashed destruction in the Philippines. Super Typhoon Rolly's peak strength reached up to 315 km/h or 195 mph(1 minute sustained. This strength left most of the Bicol region devastated, especially the provinces of Albay and Catanduanes. The typhoon left PAR on November 3, 2020. 

Merely a week after Rolly devastated Luzon, typhoon Ulysses followed. Ulysses brought torrential rains, gusts up to 155 km/h, or 100 mph that caused floods in Metro Manila and its surrounding cities. Cities such as Marikina experienced flooding that eclipsed Typhoon Ondoy 11 years ago. Filipinos once again saw scenes of houses flooded up to the roof level in Metro Manila in the news and social media; this prompted people to take action and help those affected by Rolly's widespread flooding. 

4. Typhoon Ompong: 38.9 Billion Pesos in Damage

In the fourth entry of the list, Typhoon Ompong devastated North East Luzon on September 15, 2018. The typhoon did not only leave a path of destruction in the Philippines; it also left nearby countries and islands states such as Guam, Hong Kong, Macau, and Mainland China with extensive damage. Overall the typhoon cost the Philippines more than 38.9 Billion pesos. 

Typhoon, Glenda, Philippines
Image Credits: Philippine Star

3. Typhoon Glenda: 38.6 Billion Pesos in Damage

Typhoon Glenda has a maximum strength of 260 km or 160 mph one minute sustained. Typhoon Glenda claimed at least 106 lives in the Philippines and was also known for bringing a broad power outage in Metro Manila back on July 15, 2014. The typhoon's economic cost might have come from the power grids and brought down power poles throughout Luzon.

2.Typhoon Pablo: 43 Billion Pesos in Damage

Typhoons rarely hit the Southernmost island of the Philippines, Mindanao. Pablo has a maximum sustained wind of 280 km/h (175 mph); this strength caused widespread landslides and deforestation in Northern and Central Mindanao. Davao Oriental and Davao De Oro were the most affected by Typhoon Pablo. Typhoon Pablo or Bopha left a wake of death and destruction on December 5, 2012, and claimed 1,067 lives. 

Typhoon, Haiyan, Yolanda
Image: Britannica

1.Super Typhoon Yolanda: 95 Billion Pesos in Damages

Super Typhoon Yolanda reached 315 km/h (195 mph) in strength and was known for the devastation of Visayas on November 8, 2013. Super Typhoon Yolanda's wrath in Tacloban's city has a devastating aftermath that still haunts many Filipinos today. Scenes of looting, body bags on the street, leveled houses, beached barges, and ships beyond the shoreline were part of our collective memory. At least 10,000 people died and went missing due to storm surges and winds caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda.

These typhoons contributed to the loss of 12,000 lives at least 463 billion pesos in damages in the past ten years.  We should not romanticize Filipinos' resilience in the face of disaster; instead, we should spread awareness and have enough knowledge to prepare for typhoons. 

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