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Powerful typhoon blasts Philippines

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MANILA, Philippines — One of the strongest storms on record slammed into the central Philippines today, killing at least four people, forcing hundreds of thousands from their homes and knocking out power and communications in several provinces. But the nation appeared to avoid a major disaster because the rapidly moving typhoon blew away before wreaking more damage, officials said.

Huge Typhoon Haiyan raced across a string of islands from east to west — Samar, Leyte, Cebu and Panay— and lashed beach communities with over 124 mph winds. Nearly 750,000 people were forced to flee their homes.

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