Monster typhoon Haiyan roars across 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 10000 people dead, acording to the latest death toll, 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.
Haiyan – equivalent to a category five hurricane – is now heading towards Vietnam and southern China.
There were reports of buildings being ripped apart, flash floods and landslides. Schools and offices were closed, while ferry services and local flights were suspended. Hospitals and soldiers were on stand-by for rescue and relief operations.
Power and communication lines were also cut to some areas.
Most of the deaths have been caused by drowning and collapsed buildings. However, it is feared that the coastal cities will have even more casualties. With wires, trees and debris cutting off access to these areas, aid has been struggling to reach victims and unable to determine a final death toll.
“The wind here is whistling. It’s so strong and the heavy downpours are continuing,” Mai Zamora, from the charity World Vision, in Cebu, told the BBC.
“We’ve been hearing from my colleagues in [the city of] Tacloban that they’ve seen galvanised iron sheets flying just like kites.”
“It was frightening. The wind was so strong, it was so loud, like a screaming woman. I could see trees being top down,” Liwayway Sabuco, a saleswoman from Catbalogan, a major city on Samar, told AFP news agency.
It’s, the 25th tropical storm to enter Philippine territory this year.
In its path are areas already struggling to recover from a deadly 7.3-magnitude earthquake last month, including the worst-hit island of Bohol where about 5,000 people are still living in tents.
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