Bopha, the strongest typhoon to have hit the Philippines this year, was headed towards the tourist destinations Wednesday after battering the southern Philippines, destroying buildings, setting off floods and landslides and killing over 200 people.
The typhoon with central winds of 120 kph (75 mph) and gusts of up to 160 kph (93 mph) was expected to hit the beach resorts and dive spots in northern Palawan Wednesday, Reuters reported citing the weather bureau. The typhoon continued to soak a wide area with heavy rains, raising the risk of mudslides and flash floods elsewhere.
Intense winds stuck the large southern island of Mindanao, uprooting trees and destroying homes. The typhoon, which made a landfall in Compostela Valley Tuesday, had affected more than 120,000 people, news agencies reported citing the Philippine disaster agency. More than 85,000 people were in evacuation centers, the reports said.
Officials said the death toll was likely to have risen above 200 after at least 151 people were killed in the worst-hit province of Compostela Valley, the Associated Press reported.
A landslide in eastern Mindanao blocked a national highway, leaving hundreds of people stranded, news agencies reported.
About 20 typhoons hit the Philippines annually, often causing death and destruction. Last year’s Typhoon Washi killed 1,500 people.