'Catastrophic': Massive Typhoon Slams Into Philippines

Haiyan had sustained winds of nearly 200mph
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 7, 2013 5:02 PM CST
This image provided by the U.S. Naval Research Lab shows Typhoon Haiyan early today. It has since made landfall in the Philippines.   (AP Photo/US Naval Research Lab)
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(Newser) – An extremely unwelcome guest has arrived in the Philippines in the form of Typhoon Haiyan. The mammoth storm made landfall Friday morning local time after churning across the Western Pacific with sustained winds of 195mph. The speed at landfall hasn't been officially determined, but it is clearly "one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever observed," says CNN, on par with a Category 5 hurricane. "There will be catastrophic damage," a meteorologist at Weather Underground tells AP.

"One-hundred-ninety-five-mile-per-hour winds—there aren't too many buildings constructed that can withstand that kind of wind," he adds. (The local weather bureau pegged the landfall speed at 145mph.) Haiyan, known as Yolanda locally, has forced the evacuations of thousands of people. It is expected to move over the islands of the central Philippines before reaching the South China Sea in about 18 hours. (Read more typhoon stories.)

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