Thousands of residents were fleeing coastal and other hazardous areas in the eastern Philippines on Sunday as a powerful typhoon barrelled towards the disaster-prone archipelago.
Officials warned 2.5-metre (eight feet) high waves and landslides posed the biggest threats as typhoon Nina (also known as Nock-ten) closed in on the Bicol peninsula and nearby islands.
“We went around with megaphones and gave instructions to our people to eat breakfast, pack and board the military trucks,” said Alberto Lindo, an official of Alcala, a farming village of 3,300 people near the active Mayon volcano.
“There are large ash deposits on the slopes. Heavy rain can dislodge them and bury our homes in mud.”
Philippine and international weather services said Nina was set to hit Bicol on Sunday before reaching the rest of the main island of Luzon on Monday.