Tropical Storm Thelma
On this day in 1991, Tropical Storm Thelma causes severe and massive floods in the Philippines, killing nearly 3,000 people.
It is the second major disaster of the year for the island nation, as it comes on the heels of the violent June 12 eruption of Mount Pinatubo.
The storm dubbed Thelma (or Uring in the local language) approached the southeast islands of Leyte, Samar and Negros from the east. It stalled there, dumping tremendous amounts of rain on the tiny islands and causing deadly flooding. As this was the first major flood in local memory, the islands were caught seriously unprepared. Fifty-three people were killed on Negros, and on the nearby island of Leyte, the damage was even greater.
Tropical Storm Thelma was the deadliest tropical storm of the 1991 Pacific typhoon season, killing more than 6,000 people as it crossed the Philippines.
Tropical Storm Thelma caused around 6,000 casualties in the Philippines (estimated death toll ranges from 5,101 to over 8,000), making it the deadliest tropical cyclone in Philippine history. In addition, tens of thousands were left homeless in the aftermath of the storm.
In the time Thelma crossed the Philippines, it dropped over 6 inches (150 mm) of rain in some areas, with a local maximum of 580.5 millimetres (22.85 in) falling at Tongonan Geothermal Site. The city hardest hit was Ormoc City on Leyte Island. Most of the storm's death toll occurred here. Three-quarters of the city was destroyed in the flooding.
Because of the death toll and other effects of the storm, the names Thelma and Uring were retired from future use.