This image from the Suomi NPP satellite captured Super Typhoon Haiyan on Wednesday.(Photo: NOAA via AFP/Getty Images)
Doyle Rice and Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY
Super Typhoon Haiyan, which slammed into the Philippines early Friday morning, is one of the strongest storms ever recorded on the planet.
Here are some fast facts about the storm:
• Super Typhoon Haiyan has winds of 195 mph and gusts of 235 mph. This is one of the highest wind speeds ever recorded in a storm in world history.
• The strength of Haiyan is equal to that of an extremely powerful Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic. (Typhoons are the same type of storms as hurricanes).
• No hurricane in the Atlantic has ever been this strong.
• It's possible Haiyan could become the strongest storm ever recorded to make landfall, anywhere on Earth.
• The storm is over 300 miles wide: The width is about equal to the distance between Boston and Philadelphia.
• Haiyan is the fourth typhoon to hit the Philippines in 2013.
• The Philippines typically gets hit by more typhoons than any country on Earth, usually about six or seven each year.
• About 10 million people live on the central Philippine islands and are most at risk of a direct strike from Haiyan.
• A storm surge as high as 15 feet is possible in some parts of the Philippines.
• A 50-mile wide swath of 8+ inches of rain is predicted to cross the central Philippines, which will lead to dangerous flash floods and mudslides.
• Sea level rise from global warming is escalating the risk posed by storm surges across the globe, including in low-lying areas of the Philippines.
• Haiyan is the Chinese word for petrel, a type of bird that lives over the open sea and returns to land only for breeding.
• Haiyan is the 28th named storm of the 2013 Western Pacific typhoon season.
• The storm is known as Super Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines. The World Meteorological Organization officially assigns typhoon names, to have a consistent name for a storm, but other countries are free to create their own names too.