Category 2 typhoon Melor approaches Philippines

Strong tropical storm in Philippines nears towards areas hit by destructive typhoon Haiyan two years ago

Photo by: AP (Archive )
Photo by: AP (Archive )

People walk through the remains of typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban city, Philippines on November 2013

The national disaster agency on Sunday ordered a pre-emptive evacuation in coastal, low-lying and mountainous areas in the central Philippines as a category 2 typhoon approached areas hit by the destructive typhoon Haiyan two years ago.

With winds of up to 140 kph (87 mph), typhoon Melor, known locally as Nona, is now about 440 km (273 miles) to the east of Northern Samar province, moving west and due to make landfall on Monday night.

Alexander Pama, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said he had advised local emergency teams to take precautionary measures and initiate a preemptive evacuation in coastal, low-lying and mountain slopes.

"We will possibly raise a public storm alert in the capital Manila and suspend sea travel and fishing due to storm surge and up to 4-metre high waves at the open sea," he said.

Pama said typhoon Melor may bring torrential rains within a 300-km diameter and may cause flooding and landslides in the Samar and Leyte islands and in the Bicol region at the southeastern tip of the main island of Luzon.

AccuWeather, a weather information provider, said Melor would further intensify into a category 3, dumping 300 mm (12 inches) of rain, before weakening to a tropical depression and exiting the Philippines on Friday.

Herminio Coloma, a spokesman for President Benigno Aquino, said the government was preparing an evacuation plan to avoid the loss of life, moving people to higher and safer grounds.

Typhoon Melor will pass through the area near where Haiyan struck in November 2013, killing more than 6,300 people and leaving more than 1.4 million homeless.

An average of 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year.