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Thousands evacuated as Typhoon heads for Philippines



Flood and landslide-prone communities in eastern Philippines are bracing for destructive winds, heavy rains and coastal floods of up to 4 meters (13 feet).

Officials say thousands of residents have been evacuated as Typhoon Melor slammed into the eastern part of the country.

The typhoon is packing winds of 150 kilometres (95 miles) per hour and gusts of 185 kph (115 mph), and carrying heavy to intense rains within its 300-kilometre (185-mile) diameter. It made land fall Monday morning in tiny Batag Island in the eastern Philippines, and a second land fall is expected in Sorsogon province, the government weather bureau said.

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“Thousands of residents were evacuated in the six provinces comprising the Bicol region, and that relief goods had been put in place.” Bernardo Alejandro, a regional civil defense official said.

Continuing, Alejandro noted that more than 700 people voluntarily went to shelters Sunday night in Sorsogon, but the provincial governor then ordered evacuations Monday for residents who had refused to leave their homes despite the risks of floods and landslides.

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