Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes in the Philippines as Typhoon Kammuri (locally dubbed “Tisoy”) hit Luzon, the country’s largest and most populous island.
Kammuri made landfall near the city of Gubat on Monday evening local time and has continued to strengthen. The storm has clocked maximum sustained winds near 215 kmph, making it equal to a Category 4 hurricane.
The eye of the typhoon, known locally as Tisoy, was set to move directly over Legazpi City in the next few hours, bringing damaging winds and torrential rainfall, which could lead to devastating mudslides. The typhoon will track across the Central Philippines and southern Luzon over the next 24 hours before emerging into the South China Sea early Wednesday morning.
Authorities in the Albay province, where Legazpi City is situated, began evacuating 100,000 people in anticipation of the storm
Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal Number 3 (out of the 5 levels) was raised by authorities in several parts of the Philippines, while Signal No. 2 has been raised in Metro Manila.
Kammuri forced schools across the region to close on Monday.
December sees fewer typhoons in the Western Pacific, the waters around the Philippines stay warm enough to support typhoons in any month of the year.