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Super Typhoon Bopha hits the Philippines with 160 mph winds, 40 dead or missing

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Residents brave heavy rains next to a tilted electric post after Typhoon Bopha hit the city of Tagum, Davao del Norter province, on the southern island of Mindanao on Dec. 4.

Erwin Mascarinas / EPA

Filipinos sift through their belongings outside their house damaged by Typhoon Bopha in Butuan City, southern Philippines, Dec. 4.

By NBC News staff and wire reports

The strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year pounded the southern island of Mindanao on Tuesday and about 40 people were dead or missing, media said, after the storm destroyed homes and brought down power and communication lines.

Typhoon Bopha made landfall at dawn, uprooting trees and tearing off roofs. The Weather Channel said the storm was packing maximum sustained winds of 160 mph and was the equivalent of a category five hurricane.

About 40 people were killed or missing in flash floods and landslides near a mining area on Mindanao, ABS-CBN television reported, saying waters and soil had swept through an army post. Continue reading.


AFP - Getty Images

A boy rides on a makeshift raft made from a banana tree as he makes his way to his flooded home after heavy rans and strong winds brought about by Typhoon Bopha hit Pantukan town, Compostela Valley province on the southern island of Mindanao on Dec. 4.

Karlos Manlupig / AFP - Getty Images

A girl cleans a religious statue of mud after landslides hit her home due to heavy rains brought about by Typhoon Bopha in Compostela town, Compostela Valley province, on the southern island of Mindanao on Dec. 4.

Karlos Manlupig / AP

A dog is chained near a damaged house after Typhoon Bopha made a landfall in Compostela Valley in southeastern Philippines on Dec. 4. A Philippine governor says at least 33 villagers and soldiers have drowned when torrents of water dumped by the powerful typhoon rushed down a mountain, engulfing the victims and bringing the death toll from the storm to about 40.

At least 40 people are feared dead or missing as Typhoon Bopha, the strongest storm this year, slams the southern Philippines. NBCNews.com's Dara Brown reports.

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