People secure their boats in Baseco, Manila as Typhoon Noru approaches the Philippines on September
Sharjah 24 – AFP: Super Typhoon Noru slammed into the Philippines Sunday, battering the heavily populated main island of Luzon with strong winds and heavy rain that have forced hundreds of people to flee their homes.
The storm was packing maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometres (121 miles) an hour as it charged towards the archipelago nation after an unprecedented "explosive intensification", the state weather forecaster said.
Noru, the strongest storm to hit the Philippines this year, made landfall in Burdeos municipality on the Polillo islands, part of Quezon province, at 5:30 pm (0930 GMT).
"We ask residents living in danger zones to adhere to calls for evacuation whenever necessary," Philippine National Police chief General Rodolfo Azurin said.
The Philippines is regularly ravaged by storms, with scientists warning they are becoming more powerful as the world gets warmer because of climate change.
Videos posted on social media and verified by AFP showed trees being buffeted by strong winds in Infanta and on the Polillo islands.
The meteorology agency said the storm's wind speeds had increased by 90 kilometres per hour in 24 hours.
The storm hit about 100 kilometres northeast of Manila. Emergency personnel braced for the possibility of strong winds and heavy rain battering the capital, home to more than 13 million people.
Forced evacuations have started in some "high risk" areas of the metropolis, officials said.
"NCR is prepared. We are just waiting and hoping it will not hit us," said Romulo Cabantac, regional director for the civil defence office, referring to the National Capital Region.