As far as I can remember, there have been other destructive typhoons that have hit the Philippines of all the times I have been aware of natural calamities. We were also a victim of one caused by nature which was the July 16, 1990 7.4 earthquake. There was widespread destruction in our City of Baguio and neighboring provinces. There was still no internet and advanced cellular phones during those times.
The destruction that super typhoon Yolanda has brought upon in the Visayas region, especially in Leyte, was very devastating. It wiped out entire towns that were never done by other natural forces of nature. It wrought havoc that made it impossible to estimate loss of property and lives immediately after a few days.
Super typhoon Yolanda was almost like a giant tornado that was 600 kilometers across compared to only around 150 meters for that of a tornado. It also traveled across for days unlike a tornado that would dissipate after a few miles. It was a typhoon and tornado at the same time rolled into one destructive force of nature,
Comparative photos of locations completely destroyed by typhoon Yolanda can be seen at http://cdnimages.abs-cbnnews.com/graphics/others/111313_luntad-leyte.jpg.