Typhoon Haiyan: Its impact and track

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A satellite image of super typhoon Haiyan Photo: Joint Typhoon Warning Centre

Typhoon Haiyan churned through the Philippines on Thursday night (our time) as a super typhoon - the equivalent of a Category 5 Hurricane - the same strength as Hurricane Katrina which struck the US in 2005.

Typhoons, cyclones and hurricanes are the same. All are low pressure systems or storms - their label depends on where they form.

Typhoons form in the north-west Pacific, cyclones in the South Pacific or Indian Ocean and hurricanes in the Atlantic or north-east Pacific.

Haiyan had wind gusts in excess of 200mph and torrential rain. The islands of Philippines were exposed to huge waves and storm surge of around 12 feet.

The storm's track over the next 48 hours Credit: Joint Typhoon Warning Centre

It'll veer north-westwards across the South China Sea, skimming Vietnam in the next 24 hours, the centre of the storm and strongest winds making landfall on Sunday night.

By then, winds will have weakened to around 70mph - around gale force.