Tenth Anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan: Remembrance, Recovery, and Resilience
Ten years ago the Philippines was struck by Typhoon Haiyan, the most powerful storm to make landfall in recorded history. Haiyan wreaked destruction across a broad swath of the central Visayas, displacing families and severely damaging businesses, ports, infrastructure, agricultural lands, churches and public facilities. More than 6,000 perished and 28,000 were injured; some four million people were displaced by the storm.
The assistance of first responders, local and national government agencies, volunteer groups, foreign governments and international organizations, coupled with the determination of Filipino residents to help one-another in the spirit of “bayanihan,” resulted in gradual progress toward recovery. A speedy response by the navy aircraft carrier USS George Washington, in coordination with USAID, provided decisive, life-saving early assistance in treating victims, nourishing survivors, and repairing critical infrastructure.
As we look back, Haiyan stands as a stark reminder of nature’s awesome power amid the intensification of global weather patterns. While the Philippines’ prime maritime location across vital trade routes remains an asset in commercial connectivity and marine transport, its exposure to potentially destructive natural phenomena along the Pacific rim requires a continuing commitment to resilience-building.
The US-Philippines Society recognizes the work of the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, co-chaired by Manuel V. Pangilinan and Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, and other partners that worked so effectively after Typhoon Haiyan and continue to advocate for preparedness, while responding to the impact of natural disasters. The Society also recognizes with appreciation the generous contributions from members, led by Honorary Chair Hank Greenberg, corporate and civic groups that resulted in our ability to donate more than $2 million toward post-Haiyan recovery in areas of health, education, and livelihood restoration, from Eastern Samar and Leyte to northern Cebu and Panay.
We remember the November 8 Haiyan anniversary with reverence for the victims and dedication to the task of building resilience to meet future challenges.