Jeff Masters, founder of Weather Underground has announced that Super Typhoon Haiyan has made landfall in the Philippines as the most powerful storm in recorded history. It contains sustained winds of 196 miles per hour, far more than the 145 miles per hour expected at landfall. On his blog, Masters said, "this makes Haiyan the strongest tropical cyclone on record to make landfall in world history. The previous record was held by the Atlantic’s Hurricane Camille of 1969, which made landfall in Mississippi with 190 mph winds."

Like Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, Haiyan strengthened dramatically as it came ashore, apparently because of high water temperatures near shore. This is an extremely dangerous Category 5 storm, and is likely to cause extensive damage and flooding as it crosses the Philippines. Because of its immense size, it may still be organized after it passes over the island nation, and therefore has the potential to reform It has the potential to reform and become stronger when it once again reaches open water as it passes over the South China Sea.

The storm will cause a catastrophe in the Philippines, and has the potential to do so again when it strikes the Asian mainland on Sunday. At present, it appears that its track will take it over central Vietnam, and that it will make landfall there on Sunday.

President Benigno S. Aquino III has asked the world for prayers for his country. He warned in a speech yesterday of the "calamity our countrymen will face in these coming days." The storm is called Supertyphoon Yolanda in the Philippines.

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