Manila, November 9 (RHC)-- A senior Philippine government official says the typhoon Haiyan may have killed at least 1,200 people in the Southeast Asian country. John Andrews, the deputy director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, said on Saturday that the death toll is likely to rise, given that many affected areas are still without electrical power and telecommunications.
The typhoon forced almost 750,000 people to leave their houses and caused extensive damage. Weather officials said Haiyan made landfall and created winds of 235 km/h with gusts of 275 km/h. Therefore, it is comparable to a strong Category 4 hurricane in the U.S., near in the top category of five.
Haiyan, possibly one of the most powerful typhoons on record that has ever hit the Philippines, trampled houses, triggered landslides and floods and cut off power and communications in a number of islands. An average of 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year. In December 2011, Typhoon Washi claimed the lives of 1,200 people, displaced 300,000 and destroyed more than 10,000 homes.
Typhoon Bopha last year flattened three coastal towns on the southern island of Mindanao, killing 1,100 people and wreaking damage estimated at over one billion dollars.
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