The Straits Times
Published on Dec 04, 2012

40,000 cram into shelters as typhoon smashes into Philippines


MANILA (AFP) - Typhoon Bopha smashed into the southern Philippines early Tuesday as more than 40,000 people crammed into shelters to escape the onslaught of the strongest cyclone to hit the country this year.

The state weather service said Bopha made landfall on Mindanao island's east coast at dawn, raking across the island of 10 million people, packing gusts of up to 210 km an hour and bringing heavy rain.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or serious damage but Mindanao was in lockdown with residents of coastal and flood-prone areas moving into shelters as floods hit some areas.

Aviation and shipping were suspended, with 80 flights grounded and thousands of ferry passengers stranded at ports as the coastguard ordered vessels to stay in port, the civil defence office said.