Thousands evacuated in Philippines ahead of typhoon

December 3, 2012 13:37

MANILA - Philippine President Benigno Aquino told people on Monday to take storm warnings seriously as authorities evacuated thousands of residents of coastal and mountain regions hours before the biggest typhoon this year was due to hit.

Typhoon Bopha, with winds of 175 kph (108 mph) and gusts of up to 210 kph (130 mph), is expected to make landfall early on Tuesday on the southern island of Mindanao.

People should heed evacuation calls to avoid a repeat of a typhoon last year that killed 1,500 people on Mindanao, Aquino said.

The storm cloud approaching the country was 600 km (370 miles) across and it would bring heavy rain that could cause floods and landslides, he said.

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