Killer typhoon returns to Philippines

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - A typhoon that has killed hundreds of people and left tens of thousands homeless in the southern Philippines turned back towards the country Saturday, the state weather service Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.

Typhoon Pablo (International name: Bopha) would slam into the northern tip of the main island of Luzon overnight from Saturday into Sunday, packing gusts of up to 160 kilometers (around 100 miles) an hour, PAGASA said.

As of 8:00 pm, December 8, the center of the returning was located west of Vigan, Ilocos Sur. Heavy to intense rainfall - between 15-25 millimeter/hour was expected within the typhoon's 400-kilometer footprint.

"People there need to take precautions," civil defense office director Benito Ramos told a news conference.

Pablo smashed into the east coast of the southern island of Mindanao with gusts of up to 210 km/hour on Tuesday. At least 548 people have been killed and about 500 others missing.

Some 212,000 other people have also been left homeless, according to the civil defense office. 

To date, at least 1,077,541 families or 5,317,275 people have been affected by the deadly Typhoon "Pablo," according to the estimates of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

On Saturday, December 8, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III declared a national state of calamity. - Agence France-Presse