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Thousands displaced after TYPHOON slams into Philippines

Thousands displaced after TYPHOON slams into Philippines

At least one person has died and tens of thousands have been moved to safety as Typhoon Kammuri hits the Philippines’ main Luzon island.

Kammuri has continued to gain strength, now packing maximum winds of 175kph near the centre and gusts of up to 240kph, the nation’s weather bureau said late on Monday.

The 20th storm to enter the Philippines this year is following a track similar to Typhoon Rammasun in July 2014, which killed 106 people and caused damage worth 38.6 billion pesos (Dh2.78bn) to property.

More than 50 areas are on storm signal three, the third-highest in a five-level warning system, as Kammuri made landfall in Sorsogon province late on Monday.

Under signal three, wind of as much as 170kph, strong enough to blow down coconut trees and destroy rice and corn crops, may be expected in 18 hours.

Manila and nearly 100 other areas in Luzon and Visayas are under signal 2.

Heavy rains and winds are expected to be felt in the capital starting on Tuesday morning, prompting schools to be closed.

Thousands displaced after TYPHOON slams into Philippines

More than 217,000 people have fled their homes in Bicol, many of them staying in evacuation centres, authorities said.

The Manila airport will be shut from 11 am to 11 pm on Tuesday in preparation for Kammuri, the Transport Department said.

Philippine Airlines, Cebu Air and AirAsia have suspended more than 380 flights, the airport authority’s Facebook page says.

The storm could have a high human cost among the population of 9.6 million, the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System said on its website.

Kammuri is forecast to leave Philippine waters on Thursday, the weather bureau said.