The top 10 worst typhoons that have hit the Philippines

The Philippines is located in the Pacific region near the Equator which is prone to tropical cyclones and storms. Cyclones tend to develop over warm seas and approximately 80 typhoons form above tropical waters, 15 to 20 of which visit the Philippines per year. Filipinos have had to cope with much hardship due to these storms. The Dailypedia lists the top 10 worst typhoons that have wreaked havoc on the Philippines.

10. Typhoon Frank (International Name: Fengshen) June 2008

The ferry MV Princess of the Stars capsized off the coast of San Fernando, Romblon at the height of Typhoon Frank. More than 800 people were killed in this incident alone. In other affected provinces,  particularly Iloilo, citizens had to endure floods and landslides.

Approximately four million people were affected throughout the country. More than 81,000 houses were totally destroyed while 326,321 were seriously damaged. According to reports, around 80% of Iloilo City was submerged underwater. Aside from leaving many people homeless, there were also damages to agriculture and infrastructure which were estimated to have reached more than P500M.

Death Toll: 938

Wind Speed: 205 kilometers per hour (kph)

Frank. Photo credit: and
Frank. Photo credit: and

9. Typhoon Sisang (International Name: Nina) November 1987

Sisang ravaged the Bicol Region in 1987.  It caused mudslides on Mayon Volcano which took the lives of hundreds of residents. At least 10 provinces were put under typhoon alert. Overall, around 114,000 people were evacuated to shelters, 153,339 were listed homeless, and 1,075 were wounded. 

A total of 90,173 homes were demolished  while an additional 109,633 were partially destroyed. Damages from the storm totaled US$54.5 million (1987 exchange rate), of which US$7.9 million was incurred in the Bicol Region.

Death Toll: 979 dead

Wind Speed: 270 kph

Sisang. Photo credit: and
Sisang. Photo credit: and

8. Typhoon Amy (International Name: Nina) December 1951

Amy killed 991 people, most of whom were children. They were killed in floods and landslides that hit Guiuan on Samar Island. Amy moved across the country, causing huge storm surges. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the storm’s landfall coincided with the eruption of Mt. Hibok-Hibok on Camiguin Island. Damages amounted up to US$30 million (1951 exchange rate).

Death Toll: 991 dead

Wind Speed: 220 kph

Amy. Photo credit: and
Amy. Photo credit: and

7. Typhoon Walding  (International Name: Trix) October 1952

Not even a year after Amy hit the country, Trix entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) and wreaked havoc on the Bicol Region in October 16, 1952. The storm caused flash floods and deadly landslides.

Death Toll: 995 dead

Wind Speed: 220 kph

Trix. Photo credit: and
Trix. Photo credit: and

6. Tropical Storm Sendong  (International Name: Washi) December 2011

Sendong caused flash floods that cascaded down mountain slopes with logs and uprooted trees, causing rivers to swell while people were asleep. The late-season storm turned the worst-hit coastal cities of Cagayan de Oro and nearby Iligan into muddy wastelands filled with overturned cars and broken trees.

Death Toll: 1,200 dead

Wind Speed: 95 kph


Sendong. Photo credit: and
Sendong. Photo credit: and

5. Typhoon Nitang (International Name: Ike) September 1984

Nitang brought heavy rains that flooded many areas in the northeastern part of the main southern island of Mindanao and central Philippines. The overflowing waters of Lake Mainit in Surigao del Norte province reportedly killed several hundred people. The typhoon caused extreme wind speeds and flooding damage, killing more than a thousand people. Estimated damages were at US$1 billion or 16.7 billion pesos (1984 exchange rate).

Death Toll: 1,440 dead

Wind Speed:  230 kph

Nitang. Photo credit: and
Nitang. Photo credit: and

4. Tropical Depression Winnie  November 2004

Tropical Depression Winnie was a cyclone “wannabe” of sorts. Its peak intensity was only with winds of 55 km/h (35 mph). However, it brought torrential rainfall to much of Visayas and Luzon. It was discovered that at least 842 people perished and 751 others went missing, for a total of 1,593 people. Damages from Winnie were estimated at P678.7 million or $14.6 million USD).

Not long after Winnie devastated the Philippines, the country was struck by another, more powerful tropical cyclone, Typhoon Yoyong (Nanmadol), which killed 70 people.

Death Toll: 1,593 dead/missing

Wind Speed: 55 kph

Winnie. Photo credit: and
Winnie. Photo credit: and

3. Typhoon Pablo (International Name: Bopha) December 2012

Powerful winds and floodwaters from the typhoon smashed homes when it fell on Davao Oriental. 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.

Pablo is considered as the strongest cyclone to ever hit Mindanao. In fact, this storm caused the Philippines to be named the most disaster-affected country in the world in 2012. Millions of Filipinos were also affected by the typhoons, flood, and landslides, which caused over P42 billion in damages.

Death Toll:  1,100 dead, 800 missing

Wind Speed: 280 kph

Pablo. Photo credit: and
Pablo. Photo credit: and

2. Tropical Storm Uring (International Name: Thelma) November 1991

Though Uring’s wind speed was weak, it brought about tremendous rainfall. Unfortunately, it struck the Philippines just five months after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. Uring hit Leyte and Negros provinces in November 1991 and dumped torrential rains that caused massive flash floods in Ormoc City, leaving up to 5,000 to 8,000 people dead. Damages totaled up to US$27.67 million or P1.23 billion (1991 exchange rate).

Death Toll: 5,000-8,000 dead/missing

Wind Speed: 85 kph

Uring. Photo credit: and
Uring. Photo credit: and

1. Typhoon Yolanda (International Name: Haiyan) – November 2013

Yolanda is the deadliest typhoon that has struck the Philippines and is considered as one of the most powerful cyclones ever recorded. It has been called the most powerful storm to make landfall in recorded history. The cyclone caused catastrophic destruction in the Visayas, particularly in Samar, Leyte, Cebu, Capiz, Negros, and Northern Iloilo. According to UN officials, about 11 million people have been affected,  many of whom were left homeless. Up until January 2014, bodies of Yolanda victims were still being found.

Wind, torrential rain, and coastal flooding combined caused the damages which cost up to P89 billion.

Death Toll: 6,340 dead/1,061 missing

Damage: 89 billion pesos

Wind Speed: 315 kph

Yolanda. Photo credit: and
Yolanda. Photo credit: and

Thousands of lives have been taken and hundreds of homes have been destroyed because of these typhoons. To think these are just 10 of the many that pass through the country, it is amazing how resilient Filipinos are and how strong their faith is.

Written by KM Viray

Government employee from 8 to 5. Writer in between hours. Mom all day everyday.

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