Typhoon Melor struck the Philippines on Monday, killing at least four people and forcing thousands to flee.
Officials reported that wide areas of the central Philippines were plunged into darkness on Tuesday as the powerful typhoon barrelled into the coconut-growing region, causing flooding, storm surges and forcing almost 800,000 people to evacuate their homes.
The disaster has also caused significant damage in several provinces across the country, as gust velocities reached 170 kilometers per hour.
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The typhoon is expected to move out into the South China Sea late on Tuesday.
All of the deaths resulting from the storm occurred in the Northern Samar province, where two people drowned in floods, one died because of hypothermia, and another person was killed by flying debris.
Thousands of people were evacuated from the disaster zone, with authorities ordering the evacuation of about 720,000 people in the Bicol region alone. Thousands of passengers have been stranded in ports and airports, as dozens of flights were cancelled and hundreds of ships were forced to stay in port.
The typhoon also caused severe damage in several provinces where most houses built of light materials were unroofed or destroyed. Electricity supplies were also disrupted, and rice and corn crops may suffer heavy losses, Philippian National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reports.
The disaster hit the country when it was preparing for Christmas, so many of decorations that had already been put up were destroyed
“It will be a very sad Christmas and a dark one because we have no power. But the important thing is everyone around me is still moving,” rice farmer Noemi Pesigan, 54, told AFP.
The Philippines is one of the most typhoon-prone countries on the planet. The Philippines have already endured devastating Typhoon Koppu this year, which killed about 50 people. Another deadly tropical storm, Haiyan, hit the Philippines in November of 2013, killing about 6,000 and causing massive damage.
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