The strongest typhoon in the world this year and possibly the most powerful ever to hit land, battered the central Philippines on Friday (November 8), forcing millions of people to flee to safer ground, cutting power lines and blowing apart houses.

Haiyan, a category-5 super typhoon, bore down on the northern tip of Cebu Province, a popular tourist destination with the country's second-largest city, after lashing the islands of Leyte and Samar with 170 mph wind gusts and 15-19 ft waves.

Authorities warned more than 12 million people were at risk, including residents of Cebu City, home to around 2.5 million people, and areas still reeling from a deadly 2011 storm and a 7.1-magnitude quake last month.

At least 29,000 people have evacuated in the southern city of Surigao in Mindanao island after powerful winds and rains, as the typhoon passed through the north of the province.

Uprooted trees blocked major roads and ripped off roofs of houses in the eastern coastal villages of Albay province in Luzon Island, about 470 kilometres southeast of Manila.

Albay governor Joey Salceda said during a radio interview that residents were safely evacuated to temporary shelters and no casualties have yet to be reported in the region.

The state weather bureau said Haiyan, locally known as Yolanda, is expected to exit the Philippines late on Saturday (November 9) and then move into the South China Sea.

Presented by Adam Justice

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