Thousands evacuated as typhoon slams into Philippines

MANILA: Thousands of residents have been evacuated as Typhoon Melor slammed into the eastern Philippines, where flood- and landslide-prone communities are bracing for destructive winds, heavy rains and waves up to 4 meters (13 feet) tall. Classes and flights have also been suspended.

The government's weather bureau said Monday that the typhoon is packing winds of 150 kilometers (93 miles) per hour and gusts of 185 kph (115 mph), carrying heavy to intense rains within its 300-kilometer (185-mile) diameter. It made landfall Monday morning in tiny Batag Island in the eastern Philippines, and a second landfall is expected in Sorsogon province.

Bernardo Alejandro, a regional civil defense official, says thousands of residents have already evacuated.