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  • Waves spill over a wall onto a road in Legaspi in Albay province south of Manila on Dec. 14, 2015.

    Waves spill over a wall onto a road in Legaspi in Albay province south of Manila on Dec. 14, 2015. | Photo: Reuters

Published 14 December 2015

The authorities grounded at least 40 flights and ordered ferries and fishing boats to stay at port in anticipation of Typhoon Melor.

More than 750,000 people were evacuated, schools shut down, flights grounded and ferry trips canceled in the Philippines as the country braced for Typhoon Melor, authorities said Monday.

Typhoon Melor, known locally as Nona, has led authorities to ground at least 40 domestic flights, while 73 ferries and hundreds of fishing boats were ordered to remain in port, stranding more than 8,000 people.

"Melor is a very compact typhoon, so that will prevent its most devastating impacts from extending too far from its center," AccuWeather meteorologist Adam Douty said according to Reuters.

He added that the typhoon, with winds of up to 150 kph (95 mph), has weakened a little since it encountered drier air early Monday. "While Melor will not slam onshore as a super typhoon as once feared, it still poses dangers to lives and property."

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It is expected to arrive on land later on Monday close to Sorsogon, about 240 miles southeast of the capital, Manila, on the heavily populated main island of Luzon.

About 20 storms and typhoons hit the Philippines each year. In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest typhoon on record, left more than 8,000 people dead and missing when it struck the central Philippines, leveling entire villages.

Alexander Pama, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said Typhoon Melor is expected to cause flooding, landslides and storm surges of up to 4 meters (13 feet) and disrupt power and communications.

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