With over 25 million people in its path, Super Typhoon Haiyan — one of the powerful storms recorded in the history of mankind — smashed into the Philippines on a Friday morning.
As the storm plowed across the cluster of islands in the heart of the country, casualties were reported, more than 100,000 people took shelter in evacuation centers and hundreds of flights were canceled.
The storm brought tremendously powerful winds roaring ashore as it made landfall in the province of Eastern Visayas, disrupting communications with a major city in its path.
With sustained winds of 315 kph (195 mph) and gusts as strong as 380 kph (235 mph), Haiyan was probably the strongest tropical cyclone to hit land anywhere in the world in recorded history. It will take further analysis after the storm passes to establish whether it is a record.
Haiyan, known in the Philippines as Yolanda, appeared to retain much of its terrifying force as it moved west over the country, with sustained winds of 295 kph, gusts as strong as 360 kph. Haiyan’s wind strength makes it equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane.
Video footage from on the ground in the Philippines showed powerful winds bending palm trees and whipping debris down deserted streets.
November 11, 2013: An aerial view of a coastal town in Samar province, devastated by super Typhoon Haiyan(Reuters)