Philippines braces for typhoon Melor as it nears areas hit by Haiyan

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.
Channel NewsAsia 13 Dec 15;

MANILA: The national disaster agency on Sunday (Dec 13) 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 kilometres per hour, typhoon Melor, known locally as Nona, is now about 440 kilometres 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 pre-emptive 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 four-metre high waves at the open sea," he said.

Pama said typhoon Melor may bring torrential rains within a 300-kilometre 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 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.

- Reuters

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