Thousands evacuated as Typhoon Melor slams into Philippines

December 14, 2015 10:51 am

The
government’s weather bureau said the typhoon is packing winds of 150
kilometers per hour and gusts of 185 kph. Photo / Getty Images

Thousands of residents evacuated as Typhoon Melor slammed into the
eastern Philippines, where flood- and landslide-prone communities are
bracing for destructive winds, heavy rains and coastal floods of up to 4
meters (13 feet), officials said Monday. Classes and flights were
suspended.
The government’s weather bureau said the typhoon is
packing winds of 150 kilometers (95 miles) per hour and gusts of 185 kph
(115 mph), and carrying heavy to intense rains within its 300-kilometer
(185-mile) diameter. It made landfall Monday morning in tiny Batag
Island in the eastern Philippines, and a second landfall is expected in
Sorsogon province.
Bernardo Alejandro, a regional civil defense
official, said thousands of residents were evacuated in the six
provinces comprising the Bicol region, and that relief goods had been
put in place.
In Sorsogon, he said, more than 700 people
voluntarily went to shelters Sunday night, but the provincial governor
then ordered evacuations Monday for residents who had refused to leave
their homes despite the risks of floods and landslides.

About 120,000 Sorsogon residents live in the typhoon-affected
area, and many are expected to move in with neighbors or relatives with
homes on higher ground during the flooding.
About 20 storms and
typhoons hit the Philippines each year. In November 2013, Typhoon
Haiyan, the strongest typhoon on record to make landfall, left more than
7,300 people dead and missing as it leveled entire villages and swept
walls of seawater into parts of the central Philippines.

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