Strongest typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines

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A devastating typhoon called Haiyan slammed into the central Philippines this morning. The powerful cyclone is estimated to be one of the strongest in history.

The huge and very fast storm touched islands from east to west, as Samar, Leyte or Panay, with a rate of 124-mph winds.

Two people were electrocuted, a fallen tree killed one person and another was struck by lightning.  720 000 people were forced to evacuate their homes.

The typhoon has also cut the communication lines in several provinces. That’s why it’s hard to know the extent of casualties and damage.

Roger Mercado, the governor of Southern Leyte said the super typhoon triggered landslides that blocked roads, uprooted trees and ripped roofs off houses around his residence.

“When you’re faced with such a scenario, you can only pray, and pray and pray” he told the Associated Press.

According to him, the dense clouds and heavy rains made the day seem almost as dark as night.

A powerful typhoon of a similar strength last hit the central Philippines in November 1990. It killed 508 people with 246 missing. But today, the Philippines, a welcome mat for about 20 typhoons and storms a year, become more serious about preparations to reduce deaths.

Pauline HAYOUN

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