MANILA, April 10 (IANS): Tropical storm Megi made landfall in the Philippines on Sunday, weather authorities have confirmed.
The country’s Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said Megi made landfall at about 8 a.m. and it is the first tropical storm to hit the Southeast Asian country this summer season, reports Xinhua news agency.
Megi was blowing maximum winds of 75 km per hour and with gusts of up to 105 km per hour.
The bureau said Megi maintained its strength while moving slowly westward over the coastal waters of Guiuan, a town in Eastern Samar province.
The bureau raised the alert level to 1 or 2 (on a scale of 5) in several central and southern areas.
But some southern provinces of the main Luzon island are also drenched with heavy rains.
“Heavy to intense with torrential rains over (these areas),” the bureau added.
The bureau urged vigilance to residents in these areas, warning of “scattered to widespread flooding and rain-induced landslides, and strong winds”.
Located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Philippines is among the most disaster-prone countries, including active volcanoes, frequent earthquakes, and around 20 typhoons a year, causing floods and landslides.
Typhoon Rai, the 15th to lash the Philippines last year, killed more than 400 people.
The category 5 typhoon destroyed more than 1.7 million houses in eight provinces.
The UN estimated over 9.9 million people across the six worst-hit regions were affected by the typhoon.