Typhoon brings 'perhaps greatest wind damage ever'

ONE of the most intense typhoons ever recorded has torn into the Philippines, triggering flash floods and ripping down buildings as millions of people huddle indoors.

Super Typhoon Haiyan smashed into fishing communities on the central island of Samar, about 600km southeast of Manila, before dawn on Friday with maximum sustained winds of 315km/h an hour.

The strength of the wind made it one of the four most powerful typhoons ever recorded in the world, and the most powerful to have made landfall, according to Jeff Masters, the director of meteorology at US-based Weather Underground.

Masters said he expected the damage in Guiuan, the fishing town of about 40,000 people that was the first to be hit after Haiyan swept in from the Pacific Ocean, to be "catastrophic".

"Perhaps the greatest wind damage any city on Earth has endured from a tropical cyclone in the past century," Masters wrote on his blog

Updates on this story at NZ Herald


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