Devastating typhoons such as Super Typhoon Haiyan, which slammed into the Philippines on Friday, are common for the area, weather experts say.
Haiyan is the fourth typhoon to hit the Philippines this year and the third Category 5 typhoon to make landfall in the Philippines since 2010, says meteorologist Jeff Masters of the Weather Underground.
Just last year, Super Typhoon Bopha killed more than 1,900 people in the Philippines when it hit on Dec. 3, and ended up as the most destructive typhoon (in terms of property damage) in Philippine history.
There have been at least ten typhoons that have resulted in at least 1,000 deaths over the course of the past few centuries in the Philippines, said Weather Underground weather historian Christopher Burt.
"The Philippines lie in the most tropical cyclone-prone waters on Earth, and rarely escape a year without experiencing a devastating typhoon," Masters said.
A tropical cyclone is an all-encompassing term that includes typhoons, hurricanes, and cyclones, which have different names depending on where they form.
Since 1970, the Philippines has been hit by more tropical cyclones than any country on earth except for China, according to the National Hurricane Center.
On average, about 30 tropical cyclones form in the western Pacific Ocean each year, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center reports.
According to data from the warning center, an October record of seven typhoons developed in the western Pacific Ocean last month.
That doesn't include Cyclone Phailin, which became the strongest system to make landfall in India since 1999, coming ashore in the eastern state of Odisha in October and killing at least 44 people.
Storms that form in the Indian Ocean - a separate "basin" from the Western Pacific - are known as cyclones.