Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms in recorded history, has affected over 4 million people and is estimated to have killed more than 10,000, according to officials in the Philippines. Some coastal cities, including Tacloban whose population is about 220,000, were almost completely flattened, which means that aid efforts around the country remain severely hindered. One United Nations official in the Philippines compared the damage to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and an analyst pegged the cost to the Philippines economy at $14 billion.
The Philippines, a collection of thousands of islands, is ranked the third-most vulnerable nation in the world to climate change caused by the effects of greenhouse gases.
There have been no conclusive scientific studies finding that storms are getting more frequent or stronger in the Pacific Ocean, but the destruction wrought by Haiyan, known as Yolanda in the Philippines, marks the third year in a row that the island nation has been hit by such a deadly storm. It will also be the sixth year in a row that a storm has cost the country hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.