US offers help to Philippines in wake of storm

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Associated Press

Posted on November 8, 2013 at 8:33 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 8 at 9:01 PM

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry says America stands ready to help the Philippines recover from one of the strongest storms on record.

The big typhoon slammed into the central part of the country, killing at least four people.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced from their homes and power and communications are still out in several provinces making it difficult to determine the number of casualties and the full extent of damages.

But officials say the island nation appears to have avoided a major disaster because the rapidly moving storm blew away before wreaking more damage.

Weather officials say the typhoon had sustained winds of 147 mph with gusts of 170 mph when it made landfall Thursday. By those measurements, it would be comparable to a strong Category 4 hurricane in the U.S., nearly in the top category, a 5.

Hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons are the same thing. They are just called different names in different parts of the world.

The typhoon left the Philippines early Saturday on a path toward Southeast Asia. Forecasters say the storm is expected to pick up renewed strength over the South China Sea on its way toward Vietnam.

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