Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) - ECHO crisis flash N° 2


Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) rapidly crossed central Philippines and it is expected to leave the Philippines Area of Responsibility (PAR) around 14.00 - 15.00 (PHI local time) on Saturday 9 November 2013. Currently, Haiyan has maximum sustained winds of 175 kph and gusts up to 210 kph while moving 35 kph W-NW. It is approaching Vietnam where landfall is expected on late Sunday.

Haiyan is the 25th typhoon hitting the Philippines this year, but is considered as one of the strongest storms ever to make landfall in the country. Its fast speed while crossing the Philippines may have limited the expected very high humanitarian impact, although the current figures (number of affected people in particular) will increase significantly in the next 48 hours as access and conditions for field assessments will improve. Additionally, the storm diameter has been large, up to 400 km while crossing Philippines. Therefore, widespread humanitarian needs can be expected.

Despite preparedness and evacuation measures taken in the past days by national and local authorities, the death toll is expected to significantly increase in the coming days, as soon as zones in Central Philippines would become accessible. According to different humanitarian organizations, the number of affected people could be 3-4 million people, as a very conservative estimate. For the time being, there are many zones affected with power and telecommunications shutdowns. Access remains difficult for field assessment and rescue teams.

It is expected that the main humanitarian consequences will be concentrated in the following zones:
Eastern, Central and Western Visayas, Bicol, Northern Mindanao and Caraga.