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More Than 700,000 People Evacuated As Typhoon Melor Hits Philippines

The storm made landfall on the island of Samar early Monday evening local time.

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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.

Charism Sayat / AFP / Getty Images

A coastal road in Legaspi, Albay province, Dec. 14.

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.

Charism Sayat / AFP / Getty Images

Military personnel evacuate residents from a village in the city of Legaspi, Albay province, Dec. 14.

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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.

Bullit Marquez / AP

Government meteorologists monitor from a satellite image of Typhoon Melor in Quezon City, Dec. 14.

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.

Romeo Ranoco / Reuters

Stranded passengers wait inside a bus terminal in the city of Pasay, Metro Manila, Dec. 14.

Some 40 domestic flights were grounded. Hundreds of fishing boats and 73 ferries were ordered to remain in port, The Guardian reported.

CHARLIE SACEDA / Reuters

Passenger ships are seen docked at a port in Cebu island, Dec. 14.

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.

Charism Sayat / AFP / Getty Images

A young evacuee wades through flooded school grounds in Legaspi, Albay province, Dec. 14.

Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Francis Whittaker at francis.whittaker@buzzfeed.com.

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