750,000 evacuated before typhoon hits the Philippines

750,000 evacuated before typhoon hits the Philippines
The Philippine authorities have closed schools, ordered ships and fishing boats docked and evacuated 750,000 people from coastal areas, awaiting the typhoon Melor.

Melor is expected to reach the southern tip of the main island of Luzon on Monday evening local time, with gusts of over 40 meters per second.

Hundreds of thousands have been evacuated from their homes, schools and government offices are closed, fishing boats and ferries are docked and departures cancelled.

- We have asked them to move to safer areas and evacuation centers due to possible storm floods, says Edgar Posadas, from the region's civil defense office.

Monday, Melor hit the village Batag at the north end of the island Samar on the east coast. The typhoon is moving in a similar route as Haiyan, the typhoon that took nearly 8,000 lives when it hit the country in 2013.

Meteorologists believe the typhoon will reach the densely populated main island of Luzon on Monday night, probably in the Sorsogon area 385 kilometers southeast of the capital Manila.

20 provinces in central parts of the country are on alert because of strong winds and heavy rain, but it is not expected that Melor will cause equal damage as Haiyan.

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