Philippines evacuates thousands in South as storm approaches

Philippines evacuates thousands in South as storm approaches

FILE PHOTO: A woman wades through muddy floodwater following Typhoon Vamco, in San Mateo, Rizal province, Philippines, Nov 13, 2020. (Reuters)
FILE PHOTO: A woman wades through muddy floodwater following Typhoon Vamco, in San Mateo, Rizal province, Philippines, Nov 13, 2020. (Reuters)

Philippine authorities evacuated tens of thousands of people in the south of the country on Sunday as tropical storm Dujuan approaches.

About 51,400 people have been moved to 331 evacuation centres in the provinces of Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Dinagat Islands, and Butuan City, the disaster risk reduction and management agency said.

The first storm to hit the Philippines this year maintained its maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometres per hour and gusts of up to 80 km/h, the state weather bureau said in its 2pm report. Dujuan, locally known as Auring, is forecast to make landfall on the Dinagat Islands-Eastern Samar-Leyte area, about 600 to 700 kilometres south of Manila, between Sunday evening and Monday morning.

The storm was 320km east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur and has started moving northwestward at 15 km/h. It is expected to bring heavy rains and trigger landslides, although it may weaken into a tropical depression before it makes landfall.

An average of 20 typhoons pass through the Philippines every year, in most cases forcing the evacuation of thousands of people.

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