Thousands evacuated as storm hits Philippines

2017-01-08 20:01
A man pets a dog in a flooded street caused by heavy rain in the Philippines. (Aaron Favila, AP)

A man pets a dog in a flooded street caused by heavy rain in the Philippines. (Aaron Favila, AP)

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Manila - About 6 000 people were evacuated from their homes as a tropical storm hit the southern Philippines on Sunday, raising the risk of floods and landslides, authorities said.

The storm, locally named "Auring", hit Siargao island - just off the main southern island of Mindanao - with maximum gusts of up to 70km/h.

The storm is forecast to move westward across the southern and central islands before exiting the archipelago by Tuesday, the government weather station said.

Floods have already occurred in some communities as rain had been falling even before the storm hit, said Amado Posas, the civil defence director of operations in the affected area.

The storm is expected to bring heavy rain that will cause rivers and streams to overflow, said Posas.

He said disaster monitoring agencies had ordered pre-emptive evacuations even before the storm hit so there would be no casualties.

The government has also suspended sea travel in affected areas.

The Philippine islands are often the first major land mass to be hit by storms that generate over the Pacific Ocean. It endures about 20 major storms each year, many of them deadly.

At least six people were killed and 18 others were missing after Typhoon Nock-Ten lashed the Philippines over the Christmas holidays.

Read more on:    philippines  |  weather

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