Residents evacuate to the Central Elementary School which was turned into an evacuation center in Santo Domingo, Albay province on December 25, 2016 due to approaching Typhoon Nock-Ten. / AFP / CHARISM SAYAT
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Babies, toddlers and old people were loaded onto military trucks in the Philippines Sunday as thousands fled from the path of a powerful typhoon barreling towards the disaster-prone archipelago.Officials warned that storm surges up to 2.5-meters (eight-feet) high, landslides and flash floods posed the biggest threats as Nock-Ten closed in on the Bicol peninsula and nearby islands.The US Joint Typhoon Warning Center has forecast sustained winds of 231 kilometers (144 miles) an hour and gusts of 278 km when Nock-Ten makes landfall on the now-isolated island of Catanduanes, home to 250,000 people.The typhoon will eventually affect an area of nearly 42 million people, including the capital Manila which was forecast to be hit Monday.Some 20 typhoons or lesser storms strike the Philippines each year, routinely killing hundreds of people, and Bicol is often the first region to be hit.
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