Leyte is especially prone to typhoons because of its geographic facing toward the Pacific Ocean.On 8 November 2013, the province was severely affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).When the Spanish government established government in Cebu, Leyte and Samar became part of the province of Cebu.In 1595, the religious Jesuits established mission in Carigara which preceded the mission established in Palo in 1596 and Ormoc and Alangalang missions in 1597.Before being colonized by Spain, the island was once home to indigenous animist Warays to the East and other indigenous Hindu-Buddhist Visayan groups to the west.The Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos, first came to the island in 1543 and named it Las Islas Felipinas.with a density of 270 inhabitants per square kilometre or 700 inhabitants per square mile.When Tacloban City is included for geographical purposes, the population is 1,966,768 people, with a density of 302/km (782/sq mi).
Both cities govern themselves independently of the province and their residents do not vote for elective provincial officials.
The people of Leyte are divided into two main groups, primarily by language.
In the west and south are the Cebuanos, while in the north and east are the Warays.
It was the largest naval battle in modern history, when at least 212 Allied ships clashed with the remnants of the Imperial Japanese Navy, some 60 ships, including the super battleships Yamato and Musashi.
The First Battle of Leyte occurred on 20 October 1944.