World

Thousands evacuated as powerful typhoon slams into eastern Philippines

  • Government meteorologists monitor from a satellite image of Typhoon Melor fat the weather bureau center in suburban Quezon city, northeast of Manila, Philippines as it hits the eastern Philippines Monday, Dec. 14, 2015. Thousands of residents evacuated as the typhoon slammed into the eastern Philippines, where flood- and landslide-prone communities are bracing for destructive winds, heavy rains and coastal floods of up to 4 meters (13 feet), officials said Monday. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Government meteorologists monitor from a satellite image of Typhoon Melor fat the weather bureau center in suburban Quezon city, northeast of Manila, Philippines as it hits the eastern Philippines Monday, Dec. 14, 2015. Thousands of residents evacuated as the typhoon slammed into the eastern Philippines, where flood- and landslide-prone communities are bracing for destructive winds, heavy rains and coastal floods of up to 4 meters (13 feet), officials said Monday. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Government weather forecaster Loriedin De La Cruz briefs the media on Typhoon Melor at the weather bureau center in suburban Quezon city, northeast of Manila as it hits the eastern Philippines Monday, Dec. 14, 2015. Thousands of residents evacuated as the typhoon slammed into the eastern Philippines, where flood- and landslide-prone communities are bracing for destructive winds, heavy rains and coastal floods of up to 4 meters (13 feet), officials said Monday. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Government weather forecaster Loriedin De La Cruz briefs the media on Typhoon Melor at the weather bureau center in suburban Quezon city, northeast of Manila as it hits the eastern Philippines Monday, Dec. 14, 2015. Thousands of residents evacuated as the typhoon slammed into the eastern Philippines, where flood- and landslide-prone communities are bracing for destructive winds, heavy rains and coastal floods of up to 4 meters (13 feet), officials said Monday. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

Thousands of residents have been evacuated as Typhoon Melor slammed into the eastern Philippines, where flood- and landslide-prone communities are bracing for destructive winds, heavy rains and waves up to 4 meters (13 feet) tall. Classes and flights have also been suspended.

The government's weather bureau said Monday that the typhoon is packing winds of 150 kilometers (93 miles) per hour and gusts of 185 kph (115 mph), carrying heavy to intense rains within its 300-kilometer (185-mile) diameter. It made landfall Monday morning in tiny Batag Island in the eastern Philippines, and a second landfall is expected in Sorsogon province.

Bernardo Alejandro, a regional civil defense official, says thousands of residents have already evacuated.