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07/11/2013 21:53 GMT | Updated 08/11/2013 05:46 GMT

Super Typhoon Haiyan Hits Central Philippines With 195mph Winds

The "strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in world history", Super Typhoon Haiyan, has crashed into the central Philippines, with the country suffering winds of up to 195mph. More than one million people have been evacuated from areas in the path of the extreme weather.

Known locally as Super Typhoon Yolanda, offices and schools were closed in preparation for the category-five storm, which made landfall early near Guiuan around 5am local time. According to Reuters, the storm pushed surges of giant waves, some more than 5 metres, which lashed coastal islands. Heavy rainfall is expected to lead to flooding.

The region, which is still recovering from being hit by a 7.3-magnitude earthquake in October, is expecting to suffer huge devastation, with meteorologist Eric Holthaus, tweeting that Haiyan could prove the "strongest landfall in history".

More than 5,000 people are currently without homes due to the quake, with the storm expecting to hamper current relief efforts, with all transportation suspended.

According to Andrew Freedman of Climate Central, the super typhoon has "estimated maximum sustained winds of 195mph with gusts above 220mph, which puts the storm in extraordinarily rare territory".

Only three storms have boasted similar sustained wind speeds in recent history.

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Satellite image of Super Typhoon Haiyan. Credit: U-Wisconsin-CIMSS via Twitter/@Ryan_Maue

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Satellite image showing the Super Typhoon. Credit: Facebook/EUMETSAT