Typhoon Boha Hits Philippines Reuters

About 40 dead or missing after this year’s strongest typhoon hit the Philippines

This year's most powerful typhoon in south Philippines devastated the Mindanao island and caused the death or disappearance of about 40 people.

The tempest caused chaos on the island after powerful wind gusts wrecked homes, destroyed communication lines and brought down trees.

Local television stations reported that a strong water flood had broken through an army base and 20 people, of which six soldiers, were missing.

The number of lost lives and missing people is expected to grow as rescue groups are carrying on research missions, Reuters informs.

However, the estimated death rate is not extremely high, due to the rapid evacuation actions carried by Filipino authorities. By the end of the day, over 155,000 were safely sheltered.

The typhoon affected the country's transport system, several internal airlines being forced to cancel their flights on Tuesday, as well as a few ferry services to suspend their activity. Several schools were also closed for the day.

Typhoon Bopha, with wind gusts of almost 195 kph and a cloud veil of about 500 km (310 miles) and headed west-northwest, is estimated to reach the South China Sea in one day.

Annually, the Philippines are being hit by around 20 typhoons, bringing significant damages to the country's health system, economy and landscape. The population is growing tired of the continuous danger their lives are being exposed to.

The extreme frequency of rains and thunderstorms is caused by the islands' climate and geographic position: located astride the typhoon belt, their avoidance is not by any means possible.

The strongest typhoon to have ever hit the Philippines was Uring, a tropical cyclone which in 1991 caused the death of thousands of people and a general destruction of the islands' landscape.

Authorities are surveying the natural threats warning the population about their approaching through a set of Public Storm Warning signals, with an intensity adjusted to the gravity of the danger.

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