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Monster storm roars into Philippines

One of the strongest typhoons ever to hit land has slammed the Philippines, forcing millions to take shelter.

Packing sustained winds of up to 320 km/h (199mph), Typhoon Haiyan left at least four people dead, but it may be days before the full damage is known.

The storm ripped apart buildings and triggered landslides as it ploughed across the country’s central islands.

Officials said more than 12 million people were at risk, but the storm’s rapid passing could limit its impact.

“We expect the level of destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan to be extensive and devastating, and sadly we fear that many lives will be lost,” said Save the Children’s Philippines director Anna Lindenfors.

Eduardo del Rosario, head of the disaster response agency, told the Associated Press that early evacuations and the speed at which the typhoon swept across the Philippines, may have helped reduce its destructive potential.

Lt Gen Roy Deveraturda, a military commander, echoed this view, telling the AP: “It has helped that the typhoon blew very fast in terms of preventing lots of casualties.”

Meteorologists had earlier warned that the storm could be as devastating as Typhoon Bopha in 2012, which ravaged parts of the southern Philippines and left at least 1,000 people dead.

Haiyan – equivalent to a category five hurricane – is now heading towards Vietnam and southern China.

The storm made landfall on the Philippines shortly before dawn, bringing gusts that reached 379 km/h (235 mph), waves as high as 15m (45ft) and up to 400mm (15.75 inches) of rain in places.

Read the full story on BBC News

Category: World News |

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Last updated March 23, 2017 at 1:16 AM
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