CALM BEFORE THE STORM
Noru comes nine months after another super typhoon devastated swathes of the country, killing more than 400 people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.
Ahead of the latest storm, residents in several municipalities in Quezon were evacuated from their homes, according to the provincial disaster office.
In the neighbouring province of Aurora, residents of Dingalan municipality were forced to seek shelter.
“People living near the coast have been told to evacuate. We live away from the coast so we’re staying put so far. We’re more worried about the water from the mountains,” said Rhea Tan, 54, a restaurant manager in Dingalan.
Tan said residents were securing the roofs of their houses and boats were being taken to higher ground while the weather was still calm.
“We’re even more anxious if the weather is very calm, because that’s the usual indicator of a strong typhoon before it hits land,” Tan added.
Noru is expected to weaken to a typhoon as it sweeps across central Luzon, before entering the South China Sea on Monday and heading towards Vietnam.
The weather bureau has warned of dangerous storm surges more than 3m high along the coast of Aurora and Quezon, including the Polillo islands, along with widespread flooding and landslides as the storm dumps heavy rain.
It could topple coconut and mango trees, and cause “severe losses” to rice and corn crops in the heavily agricultural region, while inundating villages.
The coast guard reported more than 2,500 people had been left stranded by ferry cancellations as vessels took shelter ahead of the storm.
Dozens of flights in and out of Manila were also cancelled.
School classes and non-essential government services have been suspended for Monday.
The Philippines – ranked among the most vulnerable nations to the impacts of climate change – is hit by an average of 20 storms every year.
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