TODAY

TODAY   |  November 08, 2013

Strongest typhoon of the year hits Philippines

Although it’s been downgraded from a super typhoon, experts say that Haiyan is the strongest typhoon of the year and possibly the most powerful to ever hit land.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> first the storm is amazing. the top stiory today. a massive typhoon is wreaking havoc in the philippines right now. what can you tell us?

>> reporter: good morning, matt. experts were warning this would be the storm of the century . a category 5 super typhoon with wind speeds of up to 200 miles per hour. this morning, the people of the philippines are counting the cost. when typhoon haiyan made land fall at record speeds it shows no mercy. tearing apart houses and whipping up waves and forcing almost 1 million people to flee their homes. power and communication in large parts of the country were down as the super storm lashed the central island and tourist areas. some 12 million people were at risk but early evacuation kept the death toll low. so far, four dead have been reported but the numbers may raise. haiyan is the 24th storm to hit the philippines this year and this is prime storm system. this province is still recovering from a massive earthquake last month and now residents are fearing for their lives a second time.

>> the strength of this typhoon is massive and luckily so far we don't have too many reports of flash floods . we'll have to see what the extent of the damage is.

>> reporter: the storm is moving but experts say it may prevent the cause of most deaths from typhoons in the philippines . a ray of hope of perhaps in a country that will have to pick up the pieces yet again. the storm has been downgraded as it heads for us here and then off toward china and vietnam.

>> that's right. that's angus walker for us this morning. thank you very much.

>> let's bring in al. one of the strongest storms ever recorded?

>> that's right. stronger than hurricane andrew or even camille that was one of the strongest ever and this system now is 232 miles south, southeast of manila. even though it's not a super typhoon now, technically, 165 miles per hour winds, it's moving west at 25 miles per hour. this storm sabt 300 miles wide. roughly the distance between boston and philadelphia. it made landfall as one of the most powerful typhoons. hurricane sandy had winds of 80 miles per hour at landfall. it's on par with hurricane mitch and this was hit by an earthquake that killed over 225 miles per hour. to give you a perspective of 195 miles per hour winds, i was in hurricane wilma in 2005 with 185 miles per hour winds and that's what happened. imagine an entire area or country being buffeted by these. it is really rough and now this weekend it whips it's way out into the pacific and heads on toward vietnam.

>> we will continue to follow it throughout the morning, al. thank you.