Typhoon Haiyan is already the biggest typhoon of the year, and it might end up being the most powerful one in history. So far, four people are confirmed dead in the Philippines, but the number is sure to grow, reports AP. The storm had sustained winds of 147mph at landfall, says the government's weather bureau. It was moving across the nation's islands from east to west with winds of about 125mph, triggering landslides, ripping off roofs, and blocking roads with uprooted trees. Communication in many areas was cut off.
"When you're faced with such a scenario, you can only pray, and pray and pray," says one local governor. Authorities said 12 million people were at risk, reports Reuters, though they hoped that mass evacuations in advance of the storm would keep the toll low. National Geographic, meanwhile, has a primer on typhoons, explaining they're the "same weather phenomenon" as hurricanes and cyclones—it's just that those that occur in the northwestern Pacific get the "typhoon" tag. (Read more Philippines stories.)