MANILA - The storm surge that devastated Tacloban City and many parts of the Visayas on November 8 was not a unique phenomenon.
Storm surges created by typhoons have struck the county many times in the past.
One storm surge on October 12, 1897 hammered Leyte and Tacloban City, killing as many as 7,000 people, according to historical records.
The Barrier Miner, an Australian newspaper, gives an account of the 1897 storm surge that is eeriely similar to the November 8, 2013 event that has killed more than 5,000 people and left more than 1,600 missing.
"The hurricane reached Leyte on October 12 (1897), and striking Tacloban... reduced it to ruins," the newspaper said.
"The sea swept inland for a mile, destroying property...many natives lost their lives," it added. "Thousands of natives are roaming about the devastated province seeking food and medical attendance."
The Department of Science and Technology's Project NOAH has published a timeline of storm surges that have hit the Philippines in recorded history.