Philippines: 2020 Significant Events Snapshot (As of 14 January 2021)

Originally published


The year started with the sudden eruption of Taal volcano in Batangas province on 12 January, which caused heavy ashfall in neighboring provinces, including Metro Manila. The eruption displaced more than 500,000 people living mostly within the 14-kilometre danger zone. In March, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Philippines and a three-month total lockdown was implemented from March to June followed by several modifications of the community quarantines. In August, a 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck the province of Masbate in the Bicol Region. Twenty tropical cyclones also entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility with 12 making landfall. From October to November, nine consecutive tropical cyclones hit the Philippines that caused floods and landslides in almost the same regions exacerbated by southwest monsoon rains and La Nina event. Typhoon Molave (Quinta), Super Typhoon Goni (Rolly) and Typhoon Vamco (Ulyssess) were the three most destructive typhoons in 2020, which caused widespread damage in Region 5 and severe floodings in Region 2 and Metro Manila. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more difficult for people affected by natural disasters to bounce back and recover.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit