Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan One of Strongest Storms on Record

Strength of Sandy and Katrina combined

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One of the strongest storms on record slammed into the central Philippines on Friday, killing at least four people, forcing hundreds of thousands from their homes and knocking out power and communications in several provinces. But the nation appeared to avoid a major disaster because the rapidly moving typhoon blew away before wreaking more damage, officials said.

Typhoon Haiyan raced across a string of islands from east to west — Samar, Leyte, Cebu and Panay — and lashed beach communities. Nearly 750,000 people were forced to flee their homes.