Super Typhoon Haiyan, also known as Yolanda, hit the eastern Philippines with record-breaking force this morning, carrying wind gusts up to 235 mph and a storm surge expected to be as high as ten feet.
Local television stations showed the streets of Tacloban City, 360 miles southeast of Manila, flooded in water that was carrying massive piles of floating building debris.
Sheet metal flew through the air like paper and the rain blew sideways, according to eyewitness videos uploaded to Youtube:
More than 125,000 people have been evacuated from the storm’s predicted path, Philippines authorities said this morning. The storm is classified as a “Category Five,” and will cause severe damage, the US National Hurricane Center predicted:
A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.
The storm’s northeastern quadrant, its strongest side, is expected to hit the capital of Manila, which has a population of 12 million including the city and surrounding areas.