Powerful Typhoon Slams into Philippines

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Typhoon Hagupit has slammed into the eastern Philippines, where more than 650,000 people have fled to safety.

The country’s weather agency says the typhoon, packing maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometers (109 miles) per hour and gusts of 210 kph (130 mph), made landfall late Saturday in Dolores town in central Eastern Samar province.

Hagupit’s winds and pounding rain knocked out power and toppled trees in Dolores and other eastern coastal towns hours before it barreled inland in a region still haunted by the massive death and destruction wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in November last year.

The Philippines’ 120,000-strong military has gone on full alert to respond to a possible catastrophe.