The Tempest's Wrath

Note: This is a reprint of my article posted in my old blog . The Philippines is located north of Malaysia and Indonesia, south of Ta...


Note: This is a reprint of my article posted in my old blog.


The Philippines is located north of Malaysia and Indonesia, south of Taiwan, east of Vietnam and sandwiched by the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. In this setup, it is not surprising that the Philippines is battered by typhoons more than any of its closest neighbors. Because of this, the Philippines suffered most of the deadliest typhoons in recorded history.

When talking about the deadliest typhoons, these typhoons have killed the most in recorded history but estimates may be included in the list. As for the destructive typhoons, these typhoons have destroyed the most in terms of total damaged/destroyed properties (in pesos/dollars). The recent Typhoon Bopha (Pablo), Typhoon Washi (Sendong), and Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) are not included because it is difficult to make comparisons without verifiable records.

Before listing the ten most deadliest and destructive typhoons ever recorded, let us go back in time to evaluate the typhoons that hit the country before records were made. In this case, the destructiveness of these typhoons are based upon accounts by Spanish meteorologists at that time.

One of the earliest recorded typhoon was the typhoon that hit the island of Marinduque in October 10-15, 1617, wherein six ships were destroyed. A devastating tempest battered Samar and Leyte islands in May 4-5, 1870, destroying 400 houses and 15 bridges as another smashing hurricane was dismantling 247 houses in Negros, sinking 13 fishing trawlers and five schooners as it stampeded over the Iloilo seacoasts. At that time, it is considered the most deadliest and most destructive typhoon of the 19th century. In a situation eerily similar to Typhoon Ondoy, a powerful storm in October 12, 1872 brought havoc in Samar with a sustained ferocity for eight whole hours, crushing houses and drowning agricultural crops with its surging flood waters before turning with the same great energy to topple towering trees and level down whole towns in southern Luzon.

Two typhoons hit the archipelago in a span of one week from December 25, 1874 to January 1, 1875. Christmas Day saw a violent fury as a tropical tornado came howling over Misamis, northern Mindanao and onto Cebu; "uprooting" a stone church and mortar buildings; running a huge naval ship destroyer aground; dislodging massive stone docks of Cebu. Finally in November 25-27, 1876,  hurricane-generating surging tidal waves took a heavy toll in agricultural crops and livestock, sweeping away 2,500 houses in the then still sparsely populated areas of Mindanao and the Visayas.

The 20 Worst Typhoons in Philippine History
NAME PERIOD OF OCCURRENCE DEATHS DAMAGE IN BILLION PESOS HIGHEST WIND SPEED IN KPH (Place Recorded) AREAS MOST AFFECTED
 1.   URING(Thelma) 1 November 2-7, 1991 5101* 1.045 95 (Tacloban) Leyte, Negros
 2.   ROSING(Angela) 2 October 30-November 4, 1995 936 10.829 260 (Virac Radar) Bicol Region, CALABARZON, NCR
 3.   REMING(Durian) 3 November 26-December 1, 2006 754** 5.086 320 (Virac) Bicol, CALABARZON, Marinduque, Mindoro
 4.   NITANG(Ike) August 31-September 4, 1984 1363*** 4.1 220 (Surigao) Surigao, Bohol, Cebu, Negros
 5.   RUPING(Mike) 4 November 10-14, 1990 748 10.846 220 (Cebu) Surigao, Visayas
 6.   LOLENG(Babs) October 15-24, 1998 303 6.787 250 (Virac) Bicol, Central-Northern Luzon
 7.   SENING(Joan) 5 October 11-15, 1970 768 1.89 275 (Virac) Bicol, CALABARZON
 8.   UNDANG(Agnes) November 3-6, 1984 895 1.9 230 (Tacloban) Samar, Leyte, Panay
 9.   SISANG(Nina) November 23-27, 1987 979 1.119 240 (Legazpi) Bicol, CALABARZON
 10. KADIANG(Flo) September 30-October 7, 1993 576 8.752 130 (over water) Northern-Central Luzon
 11. AMY December 6-19, 1951 991 0.7 240 (Cebu) Cebu, Negros
 12. TRIX October 16-23, 1952 995 0.88 215 (Legazpi) Bicol Region
 13. UNSANG(Ruby) October 21-26, 1988 157 5.636 215 (Virac) Bicol, Central-Northern Luzon
 14. KADING(Rita) October 25-27, 1978 444 1.9 185 (Virac) Central Luzon
 15. HERMING(Betty) August 7-14, 1987 200 2.066 240 (Catarman) Northern Samar, Southern Bicol
 16. SALING(Dot) October 15-20, 1985 118 2.133 240 (Daet) Northern Bicol, Central Luzon
 17. MILENYO(Xangsane) September 25-30, 2006 110 6.61 180 (Legazpi) Bicol, NCR, CALABARZON
 18. ANDING(Irma) 6 November 21-27, 1981 409 0.65 260 (Daet) Bicol Region, Central Luzon
 19. ILIANG(Zeb) October 7-18, 1998 75 5.375 260 (over water) Northern Luzon
 20. FERIA(Utor) July 2-7, 2001 188 3.586 150 (over water) Northern Luzon, Cordillera

The 20 Costliest Typhoons in Philippine History
NAME Period of Occurrence Damage (in Billion Pesos)
1.   RUPING (Mike) November 10-14, 1990  10.846 
2.   ROSING (Angela) October 30-November 4, 1995  10.829 
3.   KADIANG (Flo) September 30-October 7, 1993    8.752 
4.   LOLENG (Babs) October 15-24, 1998   6.787
5.   MILENYO(Xangsane) September 25-30, 2006   6.610
6.   UNSANG (Ruby) October 21-26, 1998   5.636
7.   ILIANG (Zeb) October 7-18, 1998   5.375
8.   REMING (Durian) November 26-December 1, 2006   5.086
9.   NITANG (Ike) August 31-September 4, 1984   4.100
10. REMING (Xangsane) October 26-November 1, 2000   3.944
11. FERIA (Utor) July 2-7, 2001   3.586
12. HARUROT (Imbudo) July 19-23, 2003   3.240
13. NANANG (Lingling) November 6-9, 2001   3.200
14. MAMENG (Sybil) September 27-October 1, 1995   3.170
15. TRINING (Ruth) October 16-31, 1991   3.072
16. YONING (Skip) November 5-8, 1988   2.767
17. MONANG (Lola) December 2-7, 1993   2.463
18. SALING (Dot) October 15-20, 1985   2.133
19. HERMING (Betty) August 7-14, 1987   2.066
20. YOYONG (Nanmadol) November 29-December 4, 2004   2.036

The 20 Deadliest Typhoons in Philippine History
   NAME   PERIOD OF OCCURRENCE DEATHS
  1.   URING (Thelma)A   November 2-7, 1991 5,101 (8,000+)*
  2.   NITANG (Ike)   August 31–September 4, 1984 1,363 (3,000)*
  3.   TRIX   October 16-23, 1952 995
  4.   AMY   December 6-19, 1951 991
  5.   SISANG (Nina)   November 23-27, 1987 979
  6.   ROSING (Angela)   October 30 – November 4, 1995 936
  7.   UNDANG (Agnes)   November 3-6, 1984 895
  8.   SENING (Joan)   October 11-15, 1970 768
  9.   REMING (Durian)B   November 26–December 1, 2006 754 (1,200)*
  10. RUPING (Mike)   November 10-14, 1990 748
  11. TITANG (Kate)   October 16-23, 1970 631
  12. YOLING (Patsy)   November 17-20, 1970 611
  13. KADIANG (Flo)   September 30 - October 7, 1993 576
  14. KADING (Rita)   October 25-27, 1978 444
  15. ANDING (Irma)   November 21-27, 1981 409
  16. WINNIE C   November 28–30, 2004 407

The 20 Strongest Typhoons in Philippine History
   NAME   PERIOD OF OCCURRENCE DEATHS
  1.   URING (Thelma)A   November 2-7, 1991 5,101 (8,000+)*
  2.   NITANG (Ike)   August 31–September 4, 1984 1,363 (3,000)*
  3.   TRIX   October 16-23, 1952 995
  4.   AMY   December 6-19, 1951 991
  5.   SISANG (Nina)   November 23-27, 1987 979
  6.   ROSING (Angela)   October 30 – November 4, 1995 936
  7.   UNDANG (Agnes)   November 3-6, 1984 895
  8.   SENING (Joan)   October 11-15, 1970 768
  9.   REMING (Durian)B   November 26–December 1, 2006 754 (1,200)*
  10. RUPING (Mike)   November 10-14, 1990 748
  11. TITANG (Kate)   October 16-23, 1970 631
  12. YOLING (Patsy)   November 17-20, 1970 611
  13. KADIANG (Flo)   September 30 - October 7, 1993 576
  14. KADING (Rita)   October 25-27, 1978 444
  15. ANDING (Irma)   November 21-27, 1981 409
  16. WINNIE C   November 28–30, 2004 407

Sources: 
Typhoons in the Philippine Islands, by Ricardo Garcia-Herrera, Emiliano Hernandez & Luis Gimeno

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The Tempest's Wrath
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