A Trail Of Destruction In Philippines

Nov 11, 2013 By Deepa Gopal
Deepa Gopal's picture

Disaster does strike twice. Just four weeks ago, a magnitude 7.2 quake had struck the central region of Philippines, an island nation in the Pacific. Now, a disaster much worse has brought the country to its knees. 

Supertyphoon Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines at 5 am last Friday. The monstrous Category 5 storm with a diameter almost the size of the country had been closely tracked by meteorologists. People were warned to stay indoors and away from the coast. No one anticipated what happened next.

Winds blowing at speeds of 170 miles/hour sent walls of seawater pouring into unsuspecting towns and villages, like a tsunami. Everything was washed away as people helplessly clung on to poles and trees. When the waters receded, it had left a trail of destruction - nearly 10,000 estimated lives lost in one town alone. A weakened storm continued on to Vietnam where the damage is minimal. 

What Is A Typhoon?

Typhoon is just another name for tropical storms. When the winds in a storm reach at least 74 miles an hour, it is called a “hurricane” in the Americas, a “cyclone” near the Indian peninsula, and a “typhoon” in the eastern Pacific.

They are all children of the tropics, and hence called “tropical storms.” This is how they are born: trade winds from the north meet those from the south and cause disturbances. These disturbances gain energy from the warm tropical waters, causing what is called a depression – an area of low air pressure, where the warm air has risen up. This movement of air causes storms with winds up to 38 miles and hour.

As the depression moves over water, it gains in strength. When the winds are above 39 miles an hour, it is called a tropical storm. This is when it gets a name. It keeps moving over the oceans, gathering strength, gathering speed. Haiyan is a powerful storm that has formed well after the end of the typhoon season on Nov 1. Scientists blame warming ocean waters for the intensity and duration of storms.

A Country Devastated

Government officials are trying their best to reach towns cut off by roads and electricity. Many malls and shops are being looted as people scavenge for food and water to survive. The U.S government has extended humanitarian aid, as well as U.S marines stationed in Japan have arrived on the island to help in the relief efforts. Help is also pouring in from Britain and other countries.

President Benigno Aquino was elected last year, and this storm will be a test of his Presidency. Unfortunately for Philippines, another smaller depression is heading for the southern part of the country. This will make relief and rescue efforts harder.


beyonceg's picture
beyonceg October 23, 2014 - 1:07pm
So sad! My family is from the Philippines!
aqualove2468's picture
aqualove2468 January 5, 2014 - 8:24am

Wouldn't it be cool if we could do something? Even if we are kids we could probably raise money through fundraisers and donate it to the Red Cross who uses it to rebuild the Philippines.
Should think about it.

Tressa's picture
Tressa January 5, 2014 - 4:22pm
That's a really good idea! :) Even if we are kids, we can still help. I am planning on selling my crafts at a flea market. I wasn't sure what I would do with the money......If I actually sold any. I thought maybe just use it to buy more craft supplies, but I might end up giving it to a charity or something. :)
Tressa's picture
Tressa November 20, 2013 - 12:30pm

Wow, That looks pretty bad. :'(
I didn't know if there was a difference between cyclones hurricanes and typhoons. But now I know its just the difference of nationalities. :)

angelinag2's picture
angelinag2 November 19, 2013 - 5:33pm

Those people must be scared.

Iyana101's picture
Iyana101 November 17, 2013 - 11:33pm

I feel sorry for those Philippines out there because that horrible storm.

sarchita's picture
sarchita November 17, 2013 - 5:02pm

this really is devastating
I hope they get the power and supplies soon

Ayeshaazra's picture
Ayeshaazra November 14, 2013 - 8:04pm
SO sad !!!
Olivia-Anna's picture
Olivia-Anna November 14, 2013 - 4:42pm

That is really sad for the people who lived there. I say "lived" because their homes are probably destroyed.0

doe3068's picture
doe3068 November 14, 2013 - 10:30am

it is almost to sad to read or look at.i am trying to see what i can do to help them.we had some very heavy rain here where i live and we had some BIG floods so in have some feeling for them. does anyone have ideas on what to do?:(sad

Tryn28's picture
Tryn28 November 13, 2013 - 4:53pm

welcome to youngzine!

matthewx's picture
matthewx November 12, 2013 - 5:04pm

I feel bad for them

Gates's picture
Gates November 12, 2013 - 2:25pm

My Aunt was in this. :( Luckily :) she is ok!!

Olivia-Anna's picture
Olivia-Anna November 18, 2013 - 5:57pm

Oh no! I'm so glad she was all right.

annikahaney's picture
annikahaney November 11, 2013 - 5:04pm

that's horrible

isaacd2's picture
isaacd2 November 11, 2013 - 5:29am

Wow, that was as deadly as Hurricane Katrina in 2005! The only thing I liked in this article was the information I learned, but I hated the lives missing. Also, I have a question: is the philipines in the continent Asia or Austrailia? I wish luck to those who are missing.

Deepa Gopal's picture
Deepa Gopal November 13, 2013 - 9:15am

Cellestia101: As Anita mentioned, Philippines is in the continent of Asia.

Anita R's picture
Anita R November 11, 2013 - 7:20am

issacd2, Philippines is an Asian country.