MANILA - The strongest typhoon in the world this year and possibly the most powerful ever to hit land smashed into the Philippines on Friday, forcing more than a million people to flee, flooding villages and raising fears of widespread casualties.
Haiyan, a category-5 super typhoon, scoured the northern tip of Cebu province and headed northwest towards Boracay island, both tourist destinations, after lashing the central islands of Leyte and Samar with 275-kph (170 mph) wind gusts and 5-6 metre (15-19 ft) waves.
At least three people were killed and seven injured, national disaster agency spokesman Rey Balido told reporters in Manila. The death toll could rise as more reports arrive.
Power and communications in the three large islands of Samar, Leyte and Bohol were almost completely down but authorities promised to restore them within 24 hours.
Officials warned that more than 12 million people were at risk, including residents of Cebu City, which has a population of about 2.5 million, and areas still reeling from a deadly 2011 storm and a 7.2-magnitude quake last month.