More than 700,000 people fled their homes in the central Philippines before powerful Typhoon Melor made landfall on Monday, amid fears of flooding, landslides, and storm surges.
The typhoon made landfall on Samar island early Monday evening local time, the Philippines' PAGASA weather bureau said. It made a second landfall in Sorgoson province later in the evening.
On Monday morning, the typhoon was recorded with maximum winds of 93 mph near its center, with gusts of up to 115 mph, The Philippine Star reported.
A total of 724,839 people — or 161,014 families — were pre-emptively evacuated in Albay, Sorsogon, and in Northern Samar, the country's National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said, according to The Philippine Star.
Some 40 domestic flights were grounded. Hundreds of fishing boats and 73 ferries were ordered to remain in port, The Guardian reported.
Nearly 8,000 passengers were left stranded due to to the cancellations.
Melor is following a similar path to the category-5 Typhoon Haiyan, which killed 8,000 people in 2013. While it is not as strong as that storm, it is still expected to pose a danger to lives and property, according to The Guardian.
Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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