Thousands of people were evacuated Monday ahead of Typhoon Kammuri as it barreled toward the Philippines, bringing with it potential torrential rains, disaster relief officials said.
Kammuri is expected to make landfall over Catanduanes or Albay provinces late Monday or early Tuesday local time and could bring sustained winds of 150 kph (93 mph) with gusts of up to 185 kph (115 mph), according to PAGASA, the national weather agency.
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered all government agencies to be on alert for Kammuri, which threatens to bring heavy rains over Manila and other parts of the eastern Philippines, spokesman Salvador Panelo said.
Panelo assured the public that the government is on top of preparations for the storm.
“The president has already directed all agencies to be alert and to perform all the measures that have been prepared in the event of a storm coming,” Panelo told reporters.
At the same time, Panelo urged people to coordinate with their local governments as the storm approaches
“We ask the public, especially residents who will be affected by the typhoon to stay vigilant, check the latest weather advisory in their respective areas through government social media accounts and coordinate with their local disaster and risk reduction management offices for appropriate and responsive action,” Panelo said.
Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara said residents are being taken to safer locations.
“We have to evacuate them and for those (residents) who are stubborn, I have directed the police to forcibly bring them to the nearest evacuation camps,” Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara said, according to the national news agency PNA.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said the number of preemptive evacuations was expected to be about 43,000 people in the provinces of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay and Masbate.
Albay officials reported 100,000 could be evacuated from the province, according to PNA.
PAGASA warned of possible landslides and storm surges of up to 3 meters (10 feet) in coastal regions hit by Tisoy, the Philippine name for Kammuri.
Jeoffrey Maitem in Cotabato, Philippines, contributed to this report.