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1 of world's strongest storms hits Philippines

  • A house is engulfed by the storm surge brought about by powerful typhoon Haiyan that hit Legazpi city, Albay province Friday Nov.8, 2013 about 520 kilometers ( 325 miles) south of Manila, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded, according to U.S. Navy's Joint Warning Center, slammed into central Philippine provinces, with one weather expert warning "There will be catastrophic damage." Meteorologists said Haiyan has maximum sustained winds of 314 kilometers per hour (195 mph) and gusts up to 379 kilometers per hour (235 mph). (AP Photo/Nelson Salting)

Nearly 750,000 people were forced to flee their homes and damage was believed to be extensive.

Weather officials said Haiyan had sustained winds of 235 kph (147 mph) with gusts of 275 kph (170 mph) when it made landfall. By those measurements, Haiyan would be comparable to a strong Category 4 hurricane in the U.S., nearly in the top category, a 5.

Hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons are the same thing. They are just called different names in different parts of the world.

Because of cut-off communications in the Philippines, it was impossible to know the full extent of casualties and damage. Officially, four people were listed as dead as of Saturday morning, before the latest information from Tacloban came in.

Southern Leyte Gov. Roger Mercado said the typhoon ripped roofs off houses and triggered landslides that blocked roads.


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