Studying our data, we saw that callers from the UK using both the DialToSave InstantTalk and CreditTalk services to phone the Philippines made 300% more calls on Friday November 8th, hours after Typhoon Haiyan, compared to the average call numbers for the previous 4 Fridays. This trend continued on until Saturday November 9th, which compared to the previous Saturdays before saw a 187.5% increase.
The storm hit the Philippines at 05:30 on Friday the 8th of November, which was 21:30 on 7th November UK time. However as radio and mobile signal went down almost immediately after the storm struck, calls to the Philippines were being blocked. News of the unexpected magnitude of the storm quickly spread, resulting in the huge increase in calls vastly beyond anything we’ve seen for the Philippines in the past.
Most of the calls were made in the morning of the 8th, from 7am onwards, as the UK awoke to the news of the previous night’s storm.
We did expect to see an increase in the number of calls to nearby island nations like Malaysia and Indonesia, but surprisingly no such increase occurred.