Schools are closed and fishing and ferry services have been suspended in the central Philippines where a category three typhoon is lashing the eastern seaboard, dumping heavy rains that have caused flooding and landslides in some areas.
The weather bureau said typhoon Melor, known locally as Nona, is about 205 kilometers east of Samar island after intensifying from a category 2 storm overnight.
It’s whipping up winds of up to 150 kilometers per hour at its center, Reuters reports.
It’s plotting a similar path to Haiyan, a category five typhoon that struck the central Philippines in 2013. Almost 8,000 people were killed or left missing by Haiyan.
Melor was expected to make landfall on Monday night in Sorsogon province at the southeastern tip of the main island of Luzon.
Disaster authorities have temporarily closed schools and some offices and have started evacuations.
About 8,000 people were stranded in ports after the coast guard stopped all ferry services and fishing in the central Philippines.
“Melor is a very compact typhoon, so that will prevent its most devastating impacts from extending too far from its centre,” said AccuWeather meteorologist Adam Douty.
He said the typhoon had weakened a little as it encountered drier air early on Monday. “While Melor will not slam onshore as a super typhoon as once feared, it still poses dangers to lives and property,” Douty said.
Alexander Pama, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said typhoon Melor was expected to cause flooding, landslides and storm surges of up to four meters and disrupt power and communications.
About 20 provinces, including around the capital, Manila, are under public storm alert due to strong winds and torrential rains of up to 300 mm. within a 300 km (185 miles) radius.
About 20 major typhoons pass through the Philippines each year.
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