Politically, the island is divided into two provinces: (Northern) Leyte and Southern Leyte. Territorially, Southern Leyte Province includes the island of Panaon to its south. Biliran Island, to the north of Leyte Island, was formerly a sub-province of Leyte, and is now a separate province, Biliran Province.
Leyte today is notable for the geothermal electric power plants near Ormoc.
However, Leyte is most famous for its role in the reconquest of the Philippines in World War II. On 20 October 1944, General Douglas MacArthur waded ashore on Leyte, saying "I have returned". However, the Japanese did not give up so easily, as the ensuing Battle of Leyte proved, and convergence of naval forces resulted in the four-day Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle in history.