Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful typhoons on record, slammed into the Philippines on November 7-8, 2013, bringing heavy destruction and significant loss of life to the island nation.
The Category 5 superstorm, locally known as Yolanda, made its first landfall at 20:40 UTC (4:40 a.m. Philippines Time) on November 7. The storm roared ashore near Guinan (Samar Province) where ground stations recorded sustained winds of 235 km/h (145 mph) and gusts to 275 km/h (170 mph). According to remote sensing data from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, sustained winds approached 315 km/h (195 mph) just three hours before landfall, with gusts to 380 km/h (235 mph).
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image of Super Typhoon Haiyan over the Philippines. The image was acquired at 2:10 local time (5:10 UTC) on November 8, when winds were estimated at 270 km/h (165 mph). The storm made landfall five different times as it skirted through the island chain. After leaving the Philippines, Haiyan took aim at the mainland, making landfall in northeastern Vietnam on November 11 at 21:00 UTC (4 p.m. EDT) as a much weaker typhoon with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 km/h). It then quickly weakened as it pushed over China.
On November 15 the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported that 2,360 people had been confirmed dead in the Philippines, with 3,853 injured and 77 missing. A total of 380,552 people were being served inside of 1,028 evacuation centers. Over 253,000 houses were reported damaged, with 136,247 of those totally destroyed. Airport operations remained limited, and power outages remain widespread. The destruction was caused not only by the extreme winds, but also by a ferocious storm surge, which was as high as 17 feet (5.2 m) in Tacloban.
The deadly nature of the storm wasn’t restricted to the Philippines. Vietnam reported 14 dead and 81 injured, while southern China reported 8 people killed and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to farming and fishing industry. In Taiwan, 16 people were swept out to sea, with eight rescued and eight drowned.
Haiyan (Yolanda) is the 24th storm to affect the Philippines in 2013.