Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan Action Plan - November 2013

12 November 2013


On the morning of 8 November, category 5 Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) made a direct hit on the Philippines, a densely populated country of 92 million people, devastating areas in 36 provinces. Haiyan is possibly the most powerful storm ever recorded. The typhoon first made landfall at Guiuan, Eastern Samar province, with wind speeds of 235 km/h and gusts of 275 km/h.  Rain fell at rates of up to 30 mm per hour and massive storm surges up to six metres high hit Leyte and Samar islands.  Many cities and towns experienced widespread destruction, with as much as 90 per cent of housing destroyed in some areas. Roads are blocked, and airports and seaports impaired; heavy ships have been thrown inland.  Water supply and power are cut; much of the food stocks and other goods are destroyed; many health facilities are not functioning and medical supplies are quickly being exhausted.

  • Affected area: Regions VIII (Eastern Visayas), VI (Western Visayas) and VII (Central Visayas) are hardest hit, according to current information. Regions IV-A (CALABARZON), IV-B (MIMAROPA), V (Bicol), X (Northern Mindanao), XI (Davao) and XIII (Caraga) were also affected.Tacloban City, Leyte province, with a population of over 200,000 people, has been devastated, with most houses destroyed.  An aerial survey revealed almost total destruction in the coastal areas of Leyte province.
  • Affected population: An estimated 11.3 million people in nine regions—over 10 per cent of the country’s population—are affected.  At least 673,042 people are displaced by the typhoon (55 per cent are in evacuation centres, the rest in host communities or makeshift shelters). Thousands of people have been killed or are still missing. Tens of thousands suffering from injuries, with the number of confirmed casualties still rising as more areas become accessible.Pre-disaster poverty levels and malnutrition rates in Regions VI, VII and VIII were already higher than the national average. 
  • Response capacity: National— the Philippines has experiencednational disaster response capacity and preparedness.  The Government’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, with local authorities, is leading the typhoon response. They pre-emptively evacuated 125,604 people to 109 evacuation centres in 22 provinces before the typhoon’s arrival. The Government has airlifted safe drinking water, relief supplies, and food commodities to Tacloban and other affected areas. International—humanitarian agencies have responded on a large scale to two major natural disasters in the Philippines in the last year: Typhoon Bopha/Pablo in December 2012 and the Bohol earthquake in October 2013.  They also have ongoing operations in Mindanao to respond to a protracted conflict situation. Bilateral—direct support from several governments has begun to arrive, such as military assets and equipment, personnel and materials. 



On 9 November, the Government welcomed the offer of international assistance. Food, water, sanitation and hygiene, shelter, medicine, debris clearing and logistics were identified as immediate priorities. In Tacloban City, the Government has requested the international community’s support in establishing logistics hubs to support the sustainable delivery of aid. Rapid provision of hygiene kits, water purification, debris clearing through cash-for-work, and food are also needed. Additional medicines are required and damaged. Medical facilities will need to be repaired.

Existing information and field observations suggest that the most immediate threats to life are (in rough order of urgency):

  • Lack of safe drinking water
  • Lack of shelter
  • Trauma injuries, especially if untreated
  • Other acute medical conditions (including contagious diseases) if left untreated
  • Disruption of treatment for severe acute malnutrition and for severe chronic disease 
  • Insufficient food
  • Lack of sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Lack of household items and supplies (like fuel), especially for preparing food

Key capabilities immediately needed to enable fast action to address these include:

  • Air and sea transport of relief goods and personnel
  • Emergency telecommunications
  • Temporary electrical power and fuel
  • Debris removal

Medium-term threats to health, dignity and security include:

  • Lack of access to primary and specialised health care
  • Moderate acute malnutrition
  • Psycho-social malaise
  • Disruption of education, entailing loss of protective daytime environment for children
  • Disruption of livelihoods, which will worsen general deprivation and add to humanitarian needs as soon as coping mechanisms have been exhausted. 


Document History

12 November 2013

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