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The Philippines are battered by Haima Typhoon

The Philippines are battered by Haima TyphoonOne of the most powerful typhoons to ever hit the Philippines destroyed houses, tore roofs off schools and ripped giant trees out of the ground on Thursday, but there were no immediate reports of deaths, according to Agence France Presse.

Super Typhoon Haima hit the northern province of Cagayan late on Wednesday night with winds similar to those of catastrophic Haiyan in 2013, which was then the strongest storm to strike the disaster-prone Southeast Asian archipelago and claimed more than 7,350 lives.

Haima hit coastal towns facing the Pacific Ocean with sustained winds of 225km an hour, and wind gusts of up to 315km/hr.

It weakened overnight as it rammed into giant mountain ranges and by Thursday morning had passed over the western edge of Luzon and into the South China Sea, heading towards southern China.

Jefferson Soriano, mayor of Tuguegarao, the capital of Cagayan where Haima made landfall, reported badly damaged schools and gymnasiums where people had sought shelter.

"They are calling for help because the roofs have been torn off. The problem is, our rescuers here are unable to go out and help," Soriano told DZMM radio before dawn while the storm was still raging.
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