Thousands of Filipinos urged to evacuate before Christmas Day
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine authorities urged hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate their homes on Saturday, December 24, as Typhoon Nina (Nock-ten) threatens to hit the eastern part of the country on Christmas Day.
Typhoon Nina is expected to be packing winds of 222 km/h when it makes landfall on Catanduanes, a remote island of 250,000 people, on Sunday, December 25, the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center said.
It is then expected to hit the country's main island of Luzon, including Metro Manila, on Monday, December 26.
"We issued an advisory to local government units this morning to conduct preemptive evacuations," Rachel Miranda, spokeswoman for the civil defence office in the Bicol region that includes Catanduanes, told AFP.
Bicol, an agricultural region of 5.5 million people, is often the first area to be hit by the 20 or so storms and typhoons that pound the archipelago each year.
Cedric Daep, civil defense chief for the Bicol province of Albay, told AFP at least 400,000 people in that region alone needed to be evacuated.
"Our evacuation centers will not be able to accommodate all of them," he said. Others were being asked to stay with relatives or friends.
"We are requesting vehicle support" from other government agencies to move people to safety, Daep added.
State weather bureau PAGASA warned of potentially deadly 2-meter waves along the east coast, as well as landslides and flash floods from heavy rains.
Earlier today, the provincial government of Camarines Sur ordered the evacuation of its residents in risky areas by 3 pm as it prepares for Typhoon Nina. (READ: Camarines Sur orders evacuation ahead of Typhoon Nina)
Governor Miguel Luis Villafuerte said all families living within the 1-kilometer strip of land along coastal areas, those living along riverbanks and lakes, in low-lying and landslide prone areas, and in houses made of light materials should be immediately transferred to safer grounds. – Rappler.com