• The country is made up of over 7,000 islands.
  • The economy of the Philippines is one of the biggest emerging markets in the world but many parts of the country remain very poor.
  • An average of 20 major storms hit the Philippines a year - Haiyan was the 25th tropical storm to enter Filipino waters in 2013.
  • The Philippines is an area of intense seismic activity because it is located along the border of two tectonic plates on ‘The Pacific Ring of Fire’ which means it is also prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. 


  • Typhoon Haiyan - known locally as Yolanda - hit eastern Samar Island at 8.40pm GMT on 7 November 2013 (4.40am 8th November local time).
  • It caused a storm surge – a wall of water – that was 25 feet high in some areas, including in the town of Tacloban.
  • Reports regarding Haiyan’s windspeeds vary but the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration – the relevant government authority - has said that when it made landfall Haiyan had sustained winds of 147mph and gusts of 171mph.
  • If the figures from the Philippines government are correct then Haiyan WAS NOT the strongest tropical storm to ever make landfall but it WAS the deadliest Typhoon in the history of the Philippines, a country hit on average by more than 20 tropical storms a year and prone to both earthquakes and volcanoes.
  • Over 14 million people were affected across 46 provinces.
  • The city of Tacloban, home to more than 220,000 people, suffered more loss of life than any other area of the Philippines.
  • Five million people saw their homes severely damaged or destroyed (550,000 houses destroyed and an additional 580,000 houses were severely damaged).
  • The Government of the Philippines said the storm resulted in over 6,201 deaths with over 1,785 people reported missing (14.01.14). 


  • The DEC launched its appeal on 12 November 2013 and raised tens of millions of pounds in the following weeks.
  • The leading UK aid charities which are the DEC's member agencies began immediately after the story to deliver vital supplies like food, water, emergency shelter and medical care to the survivors of the typhoon.
  • Funds raised by the DEC Philippines Typhoon Appeal have helped DEC member agencies and their partners reach over 900,000 people in the first six months.