The most powerful typhoon in history: Nearly 720,000 forced to evacuate as 200mph winds spark landslides and destruction across the Philippines(video)

The most intense typhoon on record continued to batter the Philippines today, killing three people and forcing almost 720,000 people to flee their homes. Super typhoon Haiyan smashed into coastal communities on the central island of Samar, 370 miles southeast of Manila, on Friday with maximum sustained winds of about 195 miles an hour and gusts of up to 235 miles per hour. 

According to The U.S. Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center, which measures average wind speed accurate to every minute, that makes Haiyan more powerful than the 1969 Hurricane Camille, which battered Mississippi in the United States with winds of 190mph. 

The Filipino government said the storm has claimed three victims after one person was electrocuted by damaged power lines and another was crushed by a falling tree. It is unclear how the third died but another man is missing after he fell off a jeti in the central port of Cebu. According to authorities the death toll is expected to rise, with emergency services unable to immediately contact the worst affected areas and Haiyan only expected to leave the Philippines this evening.