Still, Ms. Ferris and other experts said the Philippines was relatively well positioned to handle the crisis, even as it evoked images of the devastation wrought on impoverished countries by the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the January 2010 Haiti earthquake.
“In the Philippines, you have a functioning government. That’s the main difference,” said Andrea Tamburini, the director of operations at Action Against Hunger, an emergency group that operates in 47 countries. “The country goes into recurrent crises. They have a much better way of coordinating.”