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Philippines powerful typhoon prompts mass evacuation

14 December 2015 10:06


Nearly 750,000 people have been evacuated in three provinces in the central Philippines as a powerful typhoon has struck the country.

The evacuation took place on Monday when Melor with winds of up to 150 kph (95 mph) made landfall, bringing heavy rain that could cause flooding, landslides and storm surges.

The typhoon slammed into the village of Batag on the northern tip of Samar Island, cancelling about 40 domestic flights and causing 73 ferries and hundreds of fishing boats to remain in port.

The storm is expected to make a second landfall later on Monday near Sorsogon Province, which is located about 385 km (240 miles) southeast of the capital, Manila, on the densely populated island of Luzon. Before that, it will roll across nearby islands.

Authorities in the Asian country have temporarily shut schools and some offices.

“Melor is a very compact typhoon, so that will prevent its most devastating impacts from extending too far from its center,” said AccuWeather meteorologist Adam Douty, warning that it still might kill people and damage property.

Alexander Pama, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, also said that Melor could cause flooding and landslides and create storm surges of up to 4 meters (13 feet) while disrupting power and communications.

This comes as the government has issued a public storm alert for about 20 provinces due to strong winds and torrential rains of up to 300 mm (12 inches) within a 300 km (185 miles) radius.

The Philippines witnesses an average of 20 storms every year, with many of them deadly and destructive.

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