5 Kislev 5774
'STORM OF THE CENTURY'
"This is probably one of the top twelve...of all storms ever seen on this planet. ...For some people on these islands this is an unsurvivable storm."
(CNN) -- Thousands of people in vulnerable areas of the Philippines are being relocated as one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever observed spins toward the country.
With sustained winds of 315 kph (195 mph) and gusts as strong as 380 kph (235 mph), Super Typhoon Haiyan was churning across the Western Pacific toward the central Philippines.
Its wind strength makes it equivalent to an exceptionally strong Category 5 hurricane.
The storm, known as Yolanda in the Philippines, is expected to still be a super typhoon, with winds in excess of 240 kph (149 mph), when it makes landfall Friday morning in the region of Eastern Visayas.
The storm is so large in diameter that clouds from it are affecting two-thirds of the country.
...As it moves across heavily populated areas of the central Philippines, Haiyan's high winds and torrential rain are expected to affect millions of people. The storm system had a diameter of about 800 kilometers (500 miles)....
...Last month, a 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit the island, which lies close to the typhoon's predicted path. The quake killed at least 222 people, injured nearly 1,000 and displaced around 350,000, according to authorities.