Typhoon Kammuri pounds Philippines, forces Manila airport closure

Cebu Air and Philippine Airlines suspended some domestic flights and schools are shut in several provinces and parts of Metro Manila

Typhoon Kammuri, the 20th typhoon to hit the country this year, has been expected to make landfall on the Philippines' main Luzon island, packing 165 kph wind speeds and gusts of up to 230 kph, the weather bureau said.

Typhoon Kammuri has lashed the Philippines, forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents and the closure of Manila's worldwide airport as a safety precaution.

The powerful storm, which blew in windows and sheared off roofs, roared ashore late Monday and was due to pass south of Manila - home to some 13 million people - and thousands of athletes at the regional Southeast Asian Games.

More than 50 areas are on storm signal 3, the third-highest in a five-level warning system, before it hits land over Bicol region as early as Monday evening. Under signal 3, wind of as much as 170 kph - strong enough to topple coconut trees and destroy rice and corn crops - may be expected in 18 hours.

Officials warned of storm surges and prolonged heavy rain.

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CAAP said airports in Bicol, Eastern Visayas, central and southern Mindanao regions, have already prepared by boarding up facilities, reinforcing structures, charging generators, and restocking batteries and needed emergency supplies. Philippine Airlines Inc., Cebu Air Inc. and AirAsia Group Bhd have suspended more than 380 flights, according to the airport authority's Facebook page.

This year's Games in Clark, Manila and Subic, which run through to December 11, are already particularly complex with a record 56 sports across dozens of venues that are in some cases hours apart by vehicle.

Organisers did not elaborate on the broader contingency plans or the decision making process, but cited the example of how an indoor event could be impacted. Windsurfing, originally scheduled for Sunday, has been reset as have other outdoor events, ABS-CBN News reported.

The weather bureau forecast Tisoy to make landfall over the Catanduanes-Albay-Sorsogon area between Monday night and Tuesday morning.

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