Schools have been closed, fishing boats berthed and ferry services suspended in the Philippines, as a category 3 typhoon lashes the eastern coast. Typhoon Melor has whipped up extreme winds and grew stronger overnight.
About 8,000 people were stranded in ports Monday after the coast guard stopped all ferry services and fishing in the central Philippines, with winds of up to 205 kph (95 mph).
The weather bureau reported that Typhoon Melor, known locally as Nona, was about 205 kilometers (130 miles) east of Samar island and had intensified from a category 2 storm overnight.
"Melor is a very compact typhoon, so that will prevent its most devastating impacts from extending too far from its center," AccuWeather meteorologist Adam Douty predicted. "While Melor will not slam onshore as a super typhoon as once feared, it still poses dangers to lives and property."
A similar path as 2013 Typhoon Haiyan
About 20 provinces, including the area around the capital Manila, are under public storm alert due to strong winds and torrential rains of up to 300 mm (12 inches) within a 300-km (185-mile) radius.
The typhoon made landfall Monday morning in tiny Batag Island in the eastern Philippines, and a second landfall is expected in Sorsogon province. About 20 typhoons hit the Philippines annually.
jar/rc (Reuters, AP)