(Spanish Period / 1617-1876)
To thumb through the old logbooks containing the chronicles of past typhoons that had visited the Philippines is to re-live the vivid description of nature's fierce beauty from a safe distance.

The storm documents covering a three-century span of history show that, for some strange reason, the then sparsely populated island of Samar was already the favorite haunt of the most destructive Titans from the Sea. Over this 300-year period, seven of the 13 mightiest storms smashed Samar.

The Philippine Storm Logbook, 1617 to 1876 - in capsule, reads:

OCTOBER 10-15, 1617 - Six large ships were reduced to floundering hulks by a mighty tidal-wave-generating sea churner off Marinduque.

APRIL 28-MAY 5, 1866 - A rampaging whirlwind smashed the provinces of the Bicol Region, Southern Luzon, Masbate, Panay and Mindoro. In Manila, the barometer plummeted to a record low of 746.62 mm.

MAY 4-5, 1870 - A devastating tempest battered Samar and Leyte islands, destroying 400 houses and 15 bridges as another smashing hurricane was dismantling 247 houses in Negros, sinking 13 fishing trawlers and five schooners as it stampeded over the Iloilo seacoasts.

JUNE 24, 1871 - A cyclone of unusual fury hit Southern Luzon, Central Luzon and Samar. Big buildings were destroyed and several schooners were sunk or slammed against the shores.

OCTOBER 12, 1872 - This one hammered Samar with a sustained ferocity for eight whole hours, crushing houses and drowning agricultural crops with its surging floodwaters before turning with the same great energy to topple towering trees and level down whole towns in southern Luzon.

MARCH 4-5, 1874 - The first of this year's biggest churners scraped areas in Samar as it passed Panay Island; in one place, Laoang, only two houses remained standing, and as it hit Capiz province, even strong buildings and churches were severely damaged.

DECEMBER 25, 1874 - What a terrible Christmas it was! A violent tropical tornado came howling over Misamis, Northern Mindanao and screaming onto Cebu; "uprooting" a stone church and mortar buildings; running a huge naval ship destroyer aground; dislodging massive stone docks of Cebu.

JANUARY 1, 1875 - A raging tropical cyclone battered down bridges, destroyed roads in Samar completing its New Year's Day bash by raking towns on the far northern suburb of Manila.

NOVEMBER 25-27, 1876 - A frightful hurricane-generating surging tidal waves rampaging rivers took a heavy toll in agricultural crops and livestock, sweeping away 2,500 houses in the then still sparsely populated areas of Mindanao and the Visayas.


SOURCE: PAGASA; featured in the article "Everything You've Always Wanted to Know About Typhoons". FILIPINO HERITAGE: The Making of a Nation by Lahing Pilipino Publishing Inc.,1977.


Archived, Retrieved & Submitted by Dominic Alojado for Typhoon2000.com (05.18.05).
© 2005 Typhoon2000.com All Rights Reserved.

>> Back to Typhoon2000.com: Information Page