Alert in Philippines as Typhoon Koppu Nears


Manila: The Philippines is bracing for a typhoon that is predicted to cause heavy rain and cause severe flooding when it arrives at the weekend.

On Friday President Benigno Aquino warned people living in the path of Typhoon Koppu to be ready to evacuate.

In a TV address, he said the storm could bring up to 12 hours’ torrential rain and cause severe flooding.

It was Mr Aquino’s first such appeal since Typhoon Haiyan struck in 2013, leaving more than 6,000 people dead.

Koppu is due to hit the northern island of Luzon early on Sunday.

Forecasters say it is packing winds of up to 180km/h (115mph) and is slow moving, meaning it could bring intense rain over a long period of time.

The first heavy rain was expected in parts of northern and central Luzon on Saturday.

In his address, Mr Aquino urged the estimated six million people in the typhoon’s direct path to listen to government warnings and be ready to evacuate their homes if necessary.

He said aid agencies had already distributed emergency supplies to evacuation centres.

Meanwhile, the Philippine military in northern Luzon has been placed on alert for disaster operations.

Typhoon Koppu, also known as Lando, is not due to leave the Philippines until Tuesday, when it will be heading towards Taiwan.

In November 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan – the strongest storm ever recorded on land – swept into the Philippines, destroying entire towns and leaving more than 6,300 people dead and more than 1,000 missing.