The Straits Times
Published on Dec 03, 2012

Evacuations ordered as powerful typhoon nears Philippines


MANILA (AFP) - A powerful typhoon barrelled towards the Philippines on Monday, prompting authorities to order the immediate evacuation of thousands of people from coastal and low-lying areas, officials said.

Typhoon Bopha, packing winds of up to 210 km an hour, is expected to hit a southern fishing village overnight, making it the strongest typhoon to slam the Philippines this year.

The mayor of Hinatuan has urged the village of 39,000 people to prepare for the worst, ordering those living along the coast, flood-prone river valleys, as well as tiny islands off the village to move to government shelters.

"There is no rain yet but they might start experiencing rain tonight. This will be the strongest typhoon this year," warned Mr Edgardo Ollet, director of the civil defence office in Manila.