On November 8, 2013 the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated, as requested by UNITAR/UNOSAT on behalf of UNOCHA, due to the landfall made by super Typhoon Haiyan over the central Philippines at 04:40, local time. The typhoon, known locally as Yolanda, constitutes a category five storm which has brought winds as strong as 314 km/h, making analysts believe it may be one of the strongest storms to make landfall in recorded history.
In its wake across the Philippine islands, Super Typhoon Haiyan has caused widespread damage with power lines cut off, roads blocked and buildings reportedly collapsed under the strong winds. The central islands of Leyte and Samar are among the worst affected areas. A minimum of four people have died so far and it is estimated that 12 million in 20 provinces could be affected.
The typhoon made landfall over the eastern Visayas and then moved in an easterly direction. Over the coming days it is expected to head north toward Vietnam and China.