Typhoon Haiyan, potentially the strongest recorded typhoon to make landfall, slammed into the Philippines' central islands on Friday (November 8) forcing millions of people to move to safer ground and storm shelters, cutting power and phone lines, and grounding air and sea transport.
The maximum category-five super typhoon, with destructive winds gusting of up to 275 kph (170 mph), whipped up giant waves as high as 4-5 metres (12-15 feet) that lashed the islands of Leyte and Samar, and was on track to hit holiday destinations.
About a million people are in shelter areas in more than 20 provinces, after Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Thursday appealed to people in Haiyan's path to evacuate danger areas, like river banks, coastal villages and mountain slopes.
Haiyan is forecast to pass just north of the Philippine's second largest city Cebu, home to around 2.5 million people.
The state weather bureau said Haiyan, locally known as Yolanda, is expected to exit the Philippines late on Saturday and then move into the South China Sea.
An average of 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year. In 2011, typhoon Washi killed 1,200 people, displaced 300,000 and destroyed more than 10,000 homes.
Typhoon Haiyan hits central Philippines (0:30)
Nov. 8 - Typhoon Haiyan slams Philippines central islands. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). ( Transcript )