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Typhoon Haiyan rips off roofs in the Philippines

Super typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda (as known in the Philippines) from a satellite view. Photo from www.sploid.gizmodo.com

Filipinos braced themselves for yet another natural catastrophe that will ravage the country until Saturday. Super storm Haiyan, or Yolanda, as it is called in the Philippines, lashed through the middle section of the country. It landed in its eastern regions of Leyte and Samar, trailblazing its way out west with harrowing winds of up to 313 km per hour

“The area with the shanty houses ... Their metal roofs are flying,” said Charles Abais, a Filipino Canadian who works in Cebu.

Abais said he is fine, living in a sturdy apartment, he feels the cold, gusting winds bellowing across outside his room. The makeshift houses he was referring to are beside the University of Cebu of Banilad.

Residents in Cebu City are still recovering from a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that rattled the city, destroying a bridges, hospitals and colonial church constructed in 1565. 

Trees that collapsed near Charles Abais' neighbour's car. Photo submitted by Abais.

The government has issued four different signals for the regions typhoon Yolanda will wreak havoc in the Philippines. Abais lives in signal number four, which has been alerted to winds blowing over 186 km per hour. Flash floods, landslides, and waves at the height of 22 feet were predicted earlier this morning to slam through regions four, three and two.

Rosanna Wisden, a Filipino student at UBC, went home for a break since June. She said she is safe in her home in Las Pinas, just outside of Metro Manila. But she has relatives who live in Camarines Norte, in region one, which will be the most mildly hit.

Typhoon Yolanda's wreckage on resorts in Quezon, designated in region two. Twitter photo from ABS-CBN, one of the Philippines' national news outlets.

Still, she knows all too well how natural disasters have struck her family. She said Manila is usually in the safe zone, but lately, people panic over typhoon warnings in the capital.

“I know very well my brother's uni(versity) – La Salle and St. Scholastica's college are always affected. But it's now becoming a problem for everyone. Looks like people are scared now whenever it starts raining. Traffic gets even worse because everyone wants to go home. People can only use parts of the road that aren't flooded –  which makes travelling slower,” she said.

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