The Philippines carries out evacuations ahead of Typhoon Noru : NPR

Residents of Tondo district in Manila hold their children as they evacuate to safer areas Sunday before Typhoon Noru hits the Philippines.

Aaron Favila / AP

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Aaron Favila / AP

Residents of Tondo district in Manila hold their children as they evacuate to safer areas Sunday before Typhoon Noru hits the Philippines.

Aaron Favila / AP

MANILA, Philippines – A powerful storm made landfall in the northeastern Philippines on Sunday and swept across the main island of Luzon toward the capital in a densely populated road, where thousands of people have been evacuated to safety.

Typhoon Noru made landfall in the coastal town of Burdeos on Polillo Island in Quezon Province just before nightfall.

With sustained winds of 195 km (121 mph) and gusts of up to 240 km/h (149 mph), it is forecast to weaken slightly as it hits the Sierra Madre mountains but will remain fierce. bouncing, forecasters said.

“The storm was very strong and we lived by the sea,” said Marilen Yubatan, who left the slums of Manila with her two young daughters. “If we fell into the water, I don’t know where I would end up with my children.”

Vicente Malano, head of the country’s weather agency, said the storm had gained significant strength from a storm with sustained winds of 85 km/h (53 mph) on Saturday, into super storm just 24 hours later in an “enhanced outburst” over the high seas, Vicente Malano, head of the country’s weather agency, told the Associated Press.

Thousands of villagers were evacuated – some forced to evacuate – from the storm’s path, as well as from villages on the mountainside at risk of landslides and flash floods. Coastal communities can be affected by high tides of up to 3 meters (about 10 feet) in Quezon Province, including Polillo Island and nearby Aurora Province.

“The combined effects of high tides and high waves crashing along the coast can cause flooding or endanger life and damage,” the weather agency warned.

In Manila’s coastal slum of Tondo, some residents left their homes with bags of their belongings and rushed to walk to a nearby evacuation center as it got dark and rain started to fall.

Melchor Avenilla Jr., the head of Quezon’s disaster response office, said law enforcement agencies were ordered to forcibly move people who refuse to leave their homes. “But so far we’ve been able to do this by engaging people,” Avenilla told the AP by phone.

In some provinces and cities, including the densely populated capital Manila, classes were suspended and government work on Sundays and Mondays. The eye could pass about 40 to 50 kilometers (25 to 30 miles) from the capital Manila, “almost a direct hit,” Malano said.

The coast guard said fishing boats, inter-island vessels and cargo ferries were restricted from entering the port as a precaution, the coast guard said. stuck. More than 30 flights at Manila’s airport, mainly to domestic destinations, have been cancelled.

The storm is forecast to sweep over the main island of Luzon overnight and into the South China Sea on Monday. It is on track to hit Vietnam over the weekend still maintaining strong winds.

About 20 typhoons make landfall in the Philippines each year. The archipelago is also within the “Pacific Ring of Fire”, an area along most of the Pacific rim that is the site of many volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, making the Southeast Asian nation a one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world.

In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful tropical cyclones on record in the world, left more than 7,300 people dead or missing, flattened entire villages, swept ships inland and over 5 million people. people in the central Philippines – also south of Noru. path.

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