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Typhoon Haiyan Worse for Philippines Than Superstorm Sandy Was for U.S.

The devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan, believed to be one of the most powerful storms in recorded history, may be far more damaging to the economy of the Philippines than Superstorm Sandy was to the U.S. economy...
November 15, 2013

The devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan, believed to be one of the most powerful storms in recorded history, may be far more damaging to the economy of the Philippines than Superstorm Sandy was to the U.S. economy. Typhoon Haiyan leveled buildings and generated storm surges that may have killed 10,000 people.

The United Nations said some survivors had no food, water or medicine. Relief operations were hampered because roads, airports and bridges had been destroyed or were covered in wreckage. The Philippines government and disaster agency have not confirmed the latest estimate of the number of deaths from Haiyan, whose sustained winds reached 195 mph with gusts of up to 235 mph. Haiyan met or surpassed the record of the strongest land-falling tropical cyclone in known history, compared with Hurricane Camille in 1969.

“The hearts of all Americans go out to the people of the Philippines during this time of unparalleled tragedy,” said PIA National President John G. Lee. “We are deeply saddened by the widespread loss of life and the devastation. Our prayers go out to all of the victims of this incredible natural catastrophe.”

Massive relief efforts are underway. U.S. government aid — both military and civilian — began flowing as relief efforts got underway by international organizations and private relief groups.

Charles Watson, director of research and development at Kinetic Analysis Corp., estimates that losses from the typhoon will total $12 billion to $15 billion, approximately 5 percent of the Philippine’s economic output, while Sandy caused damage that was less than 1 percent of the gross domestic product of the U.S., the world’s largest economy. According to Watson, approximately 10 percent to 15 percent of the losses in the Philippines may be insured, compared to approximately 50 percent of the damages from Sandy, which totaled approximately $50 billion in economic damage, according to data from Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurer.

“Having lived through Betsy, Camille and Katrina here in the South and seeing Sandy up North, you think that nothing could be worse,” said PIA National President-elect Richard A. “Richie” Clements of Chalmette, Louisiana. “Typhoon Haiyan had them all beat. The loss of life and the total destruction remind us that no one, anywhere, is immune to the wrath of nature. Our hearts go out to those who have suffered in the Philippines. While we continue to rebuild our lives from many storms in the United States, we need to take time to send our prayers and a contribution for those half a world away who were so tragically stricken.”

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