The strongest typhoon in the world this year and possibly the most powerful ever to hit land battered the central Philippines on Friday, forcing millions of people to flee to safer ground, cutting power lines and blowing apart houses.
Haiyan, a category-5 super typhoon, bore down on the northern tip of Cebu Province, a popular tourist destination with the country’s second-largest city, after lashing the islands of Leyte and Samar with 275 kph (170 mph) wind gusts and 5-6 metre (15-19 ft) waves.
Authorities warned more than 12 million people were at risk, including residents of Cebu City, home to around 2.5 million people, and areas still reeling from a deadly 2011 storm and a 7.1-magnitude quake last month.
“The super typhoon likely made landfall with winds near 195 mph (313 kph). This makes Haiyan the strongest tropical cyclone (typhoon) on record to make landfall,” said Jeff Masters, a hurricane expert and director of meteorology at US-based Weather Underground.
Typhoons and cyclones of that magnitude can blow apart storm-proof shelters due to the huge pressure they create, which can suck walls out and blow roofs off buildings.
About a million people had taken shelter in more than 20 provinces, after Philippine President Benigno Aquino appealed to people in Haiyan’s path to evacuate from danger spots, such as river banks, coastal villages and mountain slopes.
Courtesy – Excerpts from TOI Read more here @ TOI