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article imageTyphoon Haiyan brings death and destruction in Philippines

By Abdul Kuddus     Nov 8, 2013 in World
Cebu - Super Typhoon Haiyan battered its way through the central islands of Philippines, affecting 25 million people on its path and reportedly causing widespread damage.
The category 5 storm has been considered as one the strongest ever recorded in history.
Media outlets reported massive casualties; schools remained closed, power lines shut down, hundreds of flights and ferry services were suspended and more than 100,000 people took shelter in different evacuation centres.
Hayan, known as Yolanda in Philippines made landfall in the eastern province of Visayas with sustained winds of 315 kph (195 mph) and gusts as strong as 380 kph (235 mph), CNN reported.
According to media reports, it is too soon to estimate the the extent of damage caused by Haiyan. The death toll is expected to rise as authorities are unable to connect to the worst-affected areas.
The devastating typhoon was forecast to travel across central Philippines during Friday before making its way into South China Sea.
Reports mentioned deaths due electrocution, falling trees and storm-related accidents. An estimated 720,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes, according to the Telegraph.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, “the typhoon triggered landslides that blocked roads, uprooted trees and ripped roofs off houses.”
Haiyan further compounded the problems of the residents on Bohol Island who are a struggling to recover from a 7.1 magnitude earthquake that killed 222 people three weeks ago. The most vulnerable are those living in make-shift shelters in Bohol.
“Power and communications in the three large islands of Samar, Leyte and Bohol were almost completely down but authorities promised to restore them within 24 hours,” the Telegraph reported.
Before Haiyan struck Philippines, the administration led by President Benigno S. Aquino III relocated thousands of people away from vulnerable areas.
The administration made serious preparations to reduce deaths. Reportedly frequent public service announcements and warnings by the president and high-ranking officials via radio, TV and social networking site helped in relocation vulnerable sections of the population and preparing ahead of the typhoon.
The largest sections to be relocated were from Tacloban City, a coastal region that bore the initial brunt of the storm. Reportedly, communication lines with Tacloban were disrupted after the Typhoon struck.
“The government has put in place relief supplies worth 195 million pesos ($4.8 million) in Samar and Leyte islands in the Visayas where Haiyan is forecast” the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
At least 20 cyclones hit Philippines every year; the archipelago remains one of the worst affected by natural disasters. Typhoon Bopha killed at least 2,000 people in 2012.
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