Typhoon Mike battered the central Philippines Tuesday, killing at least 14 people and forcing nearly 240,000 to flee homes damaged or flooded by the storm's torrential rains and 150 mph winds.

Mike trapped 17 people, including six Americans, on an offshore oil drilling platform. They were reported safe, however, and a helicopter was to carry them to land after the weather cleared.After wreaking considerable destruction in the midsection of the nation of islands, the so-called "super typhoon" passed into the South China Sea in the evening, sparing populous metropolitan Manila and U.S. military bases in the northern Philippines of its fury.