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article imageSuper typhoon 'Yolanda' hits land, batters central Philippines

By Leo Reyes     Nov 7, 2013 in Environment
Typhoon 'Yolanda' (International name Haiyan), has made landfall in the Visayan region in central Philippines early Friday morning as authorities raised typhoon signal No. 4 in many parts of the country.
Typhoon Yolanda has been tagged by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), an agency of the US Department of Defense based in Hawaii as the world's strongest cyclone this year.
The super typhoon carries a maximum wind of 235 kilometers per hour near the center and gusts of up to 275 kph.
Earlier, forecasters said the typhoon could be felt in many parts of Luzon islands due to its huge size, estimated initially at 600 kilometers in diameter, a span that could reach other distant areas including Metro Manila.
As of 8:00 a.m. local time, only intermittent rains and mild winds have been felt in the Metro Manila area.
The state weather bureau PAGASA said the typhoon is now traversing the provinces of Leyte, Cebu and other nearby provinces as it moves west northwest at 35 kph.
The weather.com.ph site reported that As of 5:00 am today, the eye of the typhoon was "located over the South Philippine Sea...about 975 km southeast of Tacloban City, Leyte or 1,065 km east-southeast of Metro Cebu...currently moving very quickly west-northwest with a forward speed of 35 km/hr towards Leyte and Southern Samar Area."
The super typhoon is expected to make an exit from the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) heading towards West Philippine Sea in the morning of Saturday.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino has appeared on prime time news Thursday evening and appealed to people residing along the typhoon track to "be alert and cooperate with authorities to prevent loss of life and property."
In his televised announcement before the expected landfall on Friday morning, the president asked the people to remain calm and to cooperate with local authorities.
"Let us do all we can while (Haiyan) has not yet hit land," Mr Aquino said in a nationally televised address.
"We can minimise the effects of this typhoon if we help each other.
"Let us remain calm, especially in buying our primary needs, and in moving to safer places."
Initial reports by major TV networks covering the typhoon indicate that Metro Manila could be spared of the possible devastation brought about by typhoon Yolanda.
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