Typhoon Melor batters Philippines

Melor kills 4 in Philippines.  Source: Wikimedia 

Typhoon Nona, as it is known in the Philippines or Melor internationally, has killed at least four people and left large swathes of the country powerless. 

Some 730,000 people fled to safer grounds as the storm ravaged the central Philippines. 

The government weather bureau said the typhoon had weakened but was still generating winds of 140 kilometres per hour and gusts of 170 kph in Mindoro province. Schools, flights and ferries remained suspended in affected areas.

Alfonso Umali, governor of Oriental Mindoro, announced that strong winds were battering the province and corrugated iron roofing panels were flying around, endangering rescuers trying to reach flood victims.

The storm was expected to exit Mindoro before Wednesday and weaken further as it moved across the South China Sea, said the government weather agency.

A 31-year-old man was reportedly killed by an iron sheet while he was fixing his roof in Northern Samar province.

The national disaster management agency said 733,200 people were evacuated before the typhoon hit, and officials claimed the measures averted more casualties.

The storm had produced maximum sustained winds rising to 230kph, according to the US military’s Joint Typhoon Warning Centre. 

Those speeds mean it is the equivalent of a category 4 hurricane as it hit Mindoro.

The storm is yet to hit any major population centres and has instead battered rural coastal communities.