750,000 evacuated in Philippines amid Typhoon Melor threat

Philippines is on high alert as Typhoon Melor (Nona) barrels towards country causing harsh weather conditions

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Fishermen unload their catch after their vessel was grounded due to Typhoon Melor in north Cebu island, central Philippines December 14, 2015

750,000 people were evacuated from central Philippines due to the threat from Typhoon Melor as officials said on Monday that landfall and heavy rain could cause giant waves, floods and landslides.

Esperanza Cayanan, the weather bureau director said residents in the affected areas should be ready for Melor.

"We have been preparing for the Christmas holidays , but we need to prepare for the typhoon that is currently passing through the Bicol area," she said.

About 40 domestic flights and marine transportation was suspended, while about 8,000 people are stranded in the sea as Typhoon Melor hit the island of Samar with winds up to 150 kph (95 mph) on early Monday. There have been no casualties reported.

In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan hit the Samar island and left 7,350 people dead or missing.

Stranded passengers wait in Hagnaya port, north of Cebu island, central Philippines December 14, 2015

600,000 of those evacuated were from the Albay province, after officials from the National Disaster Office announced the preventive evacuation due to heavy rains which could cause mudslides on the slopes of the nearby Mayon Volcano.

Additionally, up to 150,000 people were evacuated in the nearby Sorsogon province.

AccuWeather meteorologist Adam Douty said that Typhoon Melor was very compact so the evacuations would prevent its most devastating impacts from expending too far from its centre.

About 20 major typhoons pass through the Philippines in a year.

In October, the latest typhoon, Koppu hit the Philippines, killed 54 people and forced tens of thousands to flee the country.

The Typhoon Melor is expected to hit the country early Tuesday, before continuing onto the western South China Sea.

Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman told DZMM radio that more than 200,000 food packs had been prepared by the Philippine government as well as other emergency items.


TRTWorld and agencies