Manila — (UPDATE) Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) slammed into the Philippines at 4:40 a.m.
Friday morning, the super Typhoon Haiyan packing monster wind gusts at an astonishing 379 kph (235 mph), and sustained winds of 315 kph (195 mph), making it easily the strongest typhoon this year, and one of the strongest ever recorded, according to weather experts.
Jeff Masters, a former hurricane meteorologist and current meteorology director at the private firm Weather Underground, said, “195-mile-per-hour winds, there aren’t too many buildings constructed that can withstand that kind of wind,” said a report.
Masters said the storm is poised to be the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded at landfall, and warned “catastrophic damage”.
Local authorities in the Philippines were reportedly having trouble reaching colleagues in the landfall area.
Another report indicated flash floods and buildings being ripped down in the landfall area as millions of people huddled indoors.
View a video of the super typhoon making landfall at Guiuan, a small city in Samar province in the eastern Philippines.
Typhoon Haiyan, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Yolanda, was one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded, devastating portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines, in early-November 2013.
Super Typhoon Haiyan is the deadliest Philippine typhoon recorded in modern history, killing at least 6,300 people in that country alone. Haiyan is also the strongest storm recorded at landfall, and the strongest typhoon ever recorded in terms of one-minute sustained wind speed. As of January 2014, bodies were still being found.