Three tropical cyclones affected Philippines between September and October: Typhoon Meranti (locally known as Ferdie) which affected the northernmost Philippine province in Batanes; Typhoon Sarika (locally known as Meranti) which made landfall in the central part of Luzon in Baler, Aurora; and Typhoon Haima (locally known as Lawin).
Typhoon Haima (locally known as Lawin) made landfall in Peñablanca, Cagayan province (north east coast of Luzon) on 19 October 2016 night as a super typhoon with winds of up to 225 kilometres per hour (kph) and gusts of up to 315 kph. After landfall, the typhoon tracked directly through the provinces of Cagayan, Apayao and Ilocos Norte, before exiting landmass into the sea, west of Philippines. As the strong typhoon approached landmass, the authorities evacuated at least 31,751 families (158,736 people) to get them out of harm’s way. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) update issued on 25 October, 14 human lives were lost as a result of the typhoon, mostly due to landslides in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
Despite causing a lower number of casualties than it was feared, Typhoon Haima displaced thousands of families and left a trail of destruction, especially to shelter and livelihoods. As per the latest update of the Disaster Response Operations Monitoring Information Center (DROMIC) – within the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) – 1,488,894 people (some 335,450 families) were displaced across four regions, of which 3,670 people (1,031 families) remain in 18 evacuation centres while 26,981 people (5,505 families) are staying with host families. In all, the typhoon affected 1.9 million people (from 429,000 families) in 22 provinces across the four regions.
Initial assessments by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) have been concluded, and it has emerged that the humanitarian needs resulting from Typhoon Haima are extensive, with shelter and livelihoods the topmost needs. Assessments concur with the DROMIC figures, which indicate that a total of 198,065 houses have been damaged (29,327 totally and 168,738 partially). The livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of farmers have been crippled, with the Department of Agriculture estimating that the cost of damage wrought to agriculture alone has exceeded PHP 10 billion (USD 210 million). Assessment teams observed extensive damaged to rice, corn and other high-value crop in the hardest-hit areas.