Philippines evacuates 200,000 ahead of Typhoon Kammuri

Philippines evacuates 200,000 ahead of Typhoon Kammuri

Philippines evacuates 200,000 ahead of Typhoon Kammuri

The storm is forecast to pass to the south of the capital, which is hosting thousands of athletes for the regional Southeast Asian Games.

Kammuri has continued to gain strength, now packing maximum winds of 175 kilometers per hour near the center and gusts of up to 240 kph, the nation's weather bureau said late Monday.

Almost 70,000 people have already left their homes in the Bicol region, the AFP reported.

It is then forecast to pass close to Manila, which is home to 13million people and is the site for numerous SEA Games events.

The Philippine disaster agency said 200,000 people had been evacuated from dozens of provinces in southern Luzon as authorities raised the cyclone warning level for 35 provinces and told people in areas in the path of the Category-4-equivalent typhoon to be on alert for possible landslides, storm surges and floods triggered by heavy winds and rain.

The storm is then forecast to pass close to Manila, which is home to 13million people and is the site for numerous SEA Games events.

Officials have warned of storm surges of up to 3 meters (nearly 10 feet), according to the Office of Civil Defense. The 20th storm to enter the Philippines this year is following a track similar to typhoon Rammasun in July 2014, which killed 106 people in the southeast Asian country and damaged properties worth 38.6 billion pesos ($759 million). It has suspended canoeing and windsurfing competitions scheduled for December 3.

"The proper timing of when to postpone them (events) is decided by the technical delegate or the one that is in charge of the sport", said Celso Dayrit, SEA Games Executive Committee Chairman.

"For example, basketball or volleyball, normally if there are typhoons, which has been done, the competition continues if necessary but without spectators", Suzara said.

The storm is the latest trouble for the SEA Games, which saw a series of transport snafus and a rush of last-minute construction ahead of the opening.

Around 8,750 athletes and team officials are expected at this year's 30th edition - the biggest ever - and there are some 12,000 volunteers.

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