A powerful typhoon on Sunday approaching the northeastern Philippines has prompted evacuations from high-risk villages and the capital Manila, which could be sideswiped by the storm, according to the officials.
Typhoon Noru was swirling at sea about 115km east of Infanta town in Quezon province with sustained winds of 195 kilometers and gusts of up to 240kph (149mph) at midafternoon.
Forecasters expect it to hit the coast on Sunday evening.
Thousands of villagers were “forcibly” evacuated from the typhoon’s path, as well as from mountainside villages prone to landslides and flash floods and in coastal communities that could be hit by tidal surges as high as 3 meters (about 10 feet) in Quezon province, including Polillo island and nearby Aurora province.
“The combined effects of storm surge and high waves breaking along the coast may cause life-threatening and damaging inundation or flooding,” the weather agency told The Associated Press.
Furthermore, several provinces and cities, including Manila, suspended classes and government work on Sunday and Monday.
The typhoon’s eye could pass about 40 to 50 kilometers (25 to 30 miles) from metropolitan Manila, “which is nearly a direct hit,” Vicente Malano, who heads the country’s weather agency, said.
The typhoon is forecast to sweep through the main Luzon Island overnight and into the South China Sea on Monday.
It’s on track to hit Vietnam later in the week still maintaining its powerful winds.
Additional reporting from outlets